We often report on bills, laws, and leaders making forward progress around the world, but often these nationwide changes start with small local initiatives. One such example this week is from Santa Barbara, California where residents said goodbye to a symbol of racism and oppression in their community.
Since 1851, the five-block stretch of road between the city’s Eastside and the freeway was named “Indio Muerto Street,” meaning “dead Indian.” This year, in collaboration with The Chumash Tribe, the region’s indigenous group, city officials have renamed the road “Hutash Street,” the Chumash word for Mother Earth.
Although it took many years and local initiatives to change the highly offensive street name, the change is a reflection of the positive potential of local activism and community organizing.
A virtual ceremony commemorating the change will take place in Santa Barbara this week as new signage is installed along the stretch of road.