Rename St*pleton for All

The problem: 

Our community name honors a Denver mayor, a KKK member who enabled the Klan to flourish in Denver, 1921-26, where it controlled both city and state government for several years. The use of his name contributes to normalizing and institutionalizing white supremacy and is unwelcoming and hurtful to some neighbors. We believe that white nationalism has never died, but shrinks and goes underground until the time is ripe for it to flourish again—as we have seen in 2017 in the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, the Muslim ban, the appearance of the KKK in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction.

The solution: 

Rename St*pleton for All. 

Our vision:

Remove Stapleton’s name from public spaces, and support private businesses that remove the name. This effort is a trigger for broader conversations about Denver’s history of white supremacy and what we can learn from the past. We want to shine a light on local programs that work to dismantle white supremacy and call people to action! Join the conversation! Work with us!

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” Arthur Ashe

 

Who are we?

  • We represent many groups and organizations.
  • We are black, white, people of color.
  • We are of a variety of faiths and philosophical positions.
  • We love who we choose to love, regardless of sex or gender identity.
  • We embody several generations.
  • Our abilities do not define us nor limit us.
  • We are your neighbors, we are your friends, we are parents, we are grandparents.
  • We are Elementary, Middle School, High School students and beyond.
  • We embrace scholarship, with open hearts and minds, knowing that knowledge is power.
  • We want to honor the history of this land.  

We are a group of concerned residents who are passionate about removing the name, Stapleton, from places of honor in our community.

We are acting locally.  This is our home and we feel strongly that Benjamin Stapleton should not be honored.  We aren’t happy with the status quo.
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We are embracing community values and getting back to the vision of the Green Book.  Coming together to reflect on Denver’s history and refocusing our goals for future generations because, as so many yards signs say, “Hate has no home here.”  
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We are creating opportunities for discussion and learning.  We are bringing attention to Denver’s ugly past, instead of falsely honoring it, so that we truly learn from our mistakes.
We see this movement as a positive way to unify our community by making the values that represent the promise of America captured in words, closer to being the values that we practice in deed.

We are grateful that BLM 5280, who started the #ChangeTheNameStapleton movement, supports Rename Stapleton For All. In 2015, BLM 5280 sought to inform its neighbors not only about the Ku Klux Klan history of Ben Stapleton, but also about the failure of Forest City, the corporate Stapleton developer, to live up to its own initial goals:

  • to reflect the diversity of the neighborhoods surrounding Stapleton (Park Hill, Aurora, Commerce City, East Colfax)
  • to provide housing inventory that would be 10% “affordable” and 30% rental housing.

BLM 5280 were painted as outsiders, by those who sought to dismiss them, despite several of their members being longtime residents living and working within the Stapleton development. Regardless, we know the attempt to create an “us” and “them” was intentionally divisive.

The community that resides at the former Stapleton airport is a part of Denver given its mandate by the surrounding community represented by the Green Book authors.  Honoring the legacy of Ben Stapleton with its name contradicts and undermines the ideals of the Green Book, Denver, Colorado, and this country; it is unwelcoming and offensive, not only to those who live outside of the former airport’s boundaries but also to those of us who live there.  

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