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During their meeting on January 25, 2021, the Board of Education voted unanimously to move forward with the proposal that had been submitted to rename Falk Elementary School after Milele Chikasa Anana. Additional information about Milele can be found below. The proposals to rename the school after John Robert Lewis, William H. Noland or Dolores Simms Greene did not move forward. 

About Milele Chikasa Anana

Milele Chikasa AnanaMilele Chikasa Anana, commonly referred to as Mother Milele, served as the editor and publisher of UMOJA Magazine. A monthly magazine that featured the art, accomplishments, and voices of African Americans and the community for three decades. Ms. Milele served as Madison’s first Affirmative Action Officer, paving the way for women and minorities who were excluded from opportunities in employment. She was always striving to cultivate new talent and fought for Black people to be recognized and celebrated. Mother Milele passed away in 2020. The community will remember her as a mentor, advocate, community leader, trailblazer, and “Village Mother” for her lifetime of volunteer efforts, activism, community organizing, extensive mentoring, and willingness to serve those in need. View the full proposal here. 

Process and timeline

Per School Board Policy (6700), the public has a minimum 30-day window to comment on the recommendation and submit additional proposals. The 30-day window to submit proposals for Falk ended on September 30, 2020.

Download this process flowchart.

School naming process flowchart

Board of Education Role:

  1. Appoint a Citizens Naming Committee. The Citizens Naming Committee shall consist of twelve individuals and a chairperson appointed by the Board President and approved by the BOARD OF EDUCATION. Each Board Member may recommend up to five names to serve on the Committee, and the Board President shall select Committee members from these names. The BOARD OF EDUCATION shall strive to ensure that the Citizens Naming Committee is representative of the District as a whole.
  2. The chairperson will be selected by the President of the BOARD OF EDUCATION.
  3. Establish a date by which the work of the Citizens Naming Committee must be completed.


*Proposal Criteria:

  1. What individuals/groups are proposing the name? What is the proposed name?
  2. Madison Metropolitan School District schools may be named after a prominent national or local figure who is deceased, a locally significant geographical site, a place of local significance, or an idea or concept which represents a broadly respected civic virtue. Into which of these categories does the proposed name fall?
  3. If the proposed name is a prominent local or national figure who is deceased, describe why this person is considered prominent. “Prominent” is defined as “widely and popularly known.”
  4. If the proposed name is a prominent local or national figure who is deceased, what is the significance of the person specifically to the Madison Metropolitan School District that it should choose to name a school for this particular person over others of similar prominence?
  5. If the proposed name is a locally significant geographical site or a place of local significance, what is the significance to the Madison Metropolitan School District? For what reason would the Madison Metropolitan School District choose to name a building for this particular geographical site or place of local significance?
  6. If the proposed name is an idea or concept which is a broadly respected community value, what is the significance of this idea or concept to the Madison Metropolitan School District? For what reason would the Madison Metropolitan School District choose to name a building for this particular idea or concept?

Members of the Citizens’ Naming Committee

Verona Morgan, Erica Lee, Gloria Hawkins, Yvette Craig, Yolanda Shelton Morris (Chair), Gloria Ladson Billings, Vaunce Ashby, Theola Carter, Richard Scott, Cara Jenkins, Sarah B. Hall & Claire Siegrist