De Anza College faculty, students begin push to discuss renaming school

De Anza College is the latest Bay Area institution where students, faculty and community members are pushing for a name change to honor indigenous people who were harmed and pushed out by Spanish colonizers several centuries ago.

Founded in 1967, De Anza College was named after Juan Bautista de Anza — an 18th century Spanish military officer who led two expeditions to California. The first from Spanish-controlled Mexico, which is now Arizona, to Southern California, and a second from the south to the San Francisco Bay where he established a presidio and a mission.

Students, faculty and staff from the college recently began circulating a petition asking administrators to consider changing the De Anza name, which they said “covers up the disaster that he and the process of Spanish colonization would bring upon the indigenous people.”

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