Press Releases

CAIR Welcomes Renaming of Formerly Confederate-Themed Virginia Middle School

(WASHINGTON D.C., 5/10/2022) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed this afternoon’s renaming ceremony for a Virginia middle school from “Stonewall Jackson Middle School” to “Unity Braxton Middle School.” 

That new name, replacing that of a Confederate General, is derived from desire to honor both the school’s diverse student population and a decorated veteran, Carroll Braxton, and his late wife, Celestine Braxton, a pioneering educator. The renaming was decided in 2020 but the ceremony was delayed due to the pandemic. Unity Braxton is an International Baccalaureate Middle School with 35 nationalities represented in its student population. 

“We welcome the new name of ‘Unity Braxton Middle School’ as a recognition of our nation’s diversity and a repudiation of the Confederacy and its legacy of systemic anti-Black racism and white supremacy,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.  

He noted that CAIR has repeatedly called for the removal of Confederate holidays, flags, statues, and symbols nationwide.  

Hooper said the American Muslim community and CAIR stand in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, antisemitism, white supremacy and all other forms of bigotry.

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.            

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.           

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CONTACT: CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, 404-285-9530,; CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,; CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ismail Allison, 202-770-6280,