Field Dedication For African-American Educators

MEDIA ADVISORY: District and City Leaders to Join Students, Community Members in Dedicating Field Posthumously Named After African-American Educators
Posted on 08/03/2021
Fannie and William Payne

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 August 3, 2021

MEDIA ADVISORY

District and City Leaders to Join Students, Community Members in Dedicating Field Posthumously Named After African-American Educators

WHAT:
San Diego Unified Board of Education President Richard Barrera will join City of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria in dedicating the Pacific Beach Middle Joint-Use Field after Fannie and William Payne, African-American educators who overcame adversity in the 1940s. Students and community representatives who advocated for the “Fannie and William Payne Joint-Use Field and Community Park” will also speak.

Please note: the Payne’s surviving Godson is unable to attend this event due to an illness, but he has provided a statement that will be read during the event. The statement will become available following completion of the event.

WHEN:
Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Pacific Beach Middle School
Fannie and William Payne Joint-Use Field and Community Park
4676 Ingraham St., San Diego CA 92109*

*See parking map below for instructions on where to park and event location.

VISUALS:
Speakers and unveiling of signage for “Fannie and William Payne Joint-Use Field and Community Park,” photo opps, and media one-on-one interviews.
Photos of Fannie and William Payne
Video: Students Nuhamin Woldeyes and Juliniel Woods Present at Board of Education Meeting on March 9, 2021

SPEAKERS:
Todd Gloria, Mayor, City of San Diego
Richard Barrera, Board of Education President, San Diego Unified
Jennifer Campbell, Council President, City of San Diego
Kimberly Meng, Principal, Pacific Beach Middle
Nuhamin Woldeyes, Promoted 8th Grade Student and Field Advocate, Pacific Beach Middle
Regina Sinsky-Crosby, Community Member, Pacific Beach
Paige Hernandez, Director of Student Retention and Success, San Diego State University

ADD’L MEDIA INTERVIEW/PHOTO OPPS:
Sabrina Bazzo, Board of Education Trustee, San Diego Unified
Lee Dulgeroff, Chief Facilities Planning and Construction Officer, San Diego Unified
Andy Field, Park and Recreation Director, City of San Diego
Ashley Hensen, International Baccalaureate Coordinator, Pacific Beach Middle

BACKGROUND:
Local Bond Propositions
San Diego Unified’s capital projects are funded by San Diego Unified School District’s Propositions S, Z and Measure YY, which are local bond measures approved by San Diego voters to repair, renovate and revitalize neighborhood schools. The City of San Diego contributes some design and construction funds and will operate and maintain the joint-use facilities.

Play All Day Parks Program

As part of the Play All Day partnership with the City of San Diego, the joint-use field will be accessible to the community as a local park after school hours and during school breaks.

Fannie and William Payne History
Following the George Floyd protests during the summer of 2020, the Pacific Beach Middle School community requested to name the Pacific Beach Middle joint-use field the "Fannie and William Payne Joint-Use Field.”

Two residents of Pacific Beach sought to recognize local black citizens who broke down barriers while dedicating their lives to educating the youth of Pacific Beach and the greater San Diego community, and collaborated with two 8th grade students (now freshmen in high school) in this endeavor as part of their International Baccalaureate Community Service Project to educate the students and staff at Pacific Beach Middle School while garnering support for the proposal.

William Henri Payne was the first Black teacher at Pacific Beach Junior High in 1945. During that time, an estimated 1,900 residents in Pacific Beach petitioned to remove him from the position, stating that the Superintendent, Will C. Crawford, “used very poor judgement in assignment of a Negro teacher to that school.” Crawford defended the district's commitment, “in keeping with the principles of democracy,” by employing teachers based on training, experience and character, “regardless of race, color or creed.” Superintendent Crawford said Payne was, “doing a good job and is accepted both by his pupils and their parents.”

Mr. Payne’s wife, Fannie Lois Jeffries Payne, was also a well-respected teacher in San Diego public schools. She was an alumni of San Diego State University and was an active member of the community, engaged in many service and philanthropic activities.

Naming Process and Community Effort
In June 2020, community members Paige Hernandez and Regina Sinsky-Crosby created a Change.org webpage to request naming the Pacific Beach Middle School (PBMS) Joint-Use Area and the hard-court areas of Pacific Beach Community Park in honor of Fannie and William Payne. PBMS students Juliniel Woods and Nuhamin Woldeyes also led the effort.

The renaming includes the entire joint-use area and the hard-court areas of Pacific Beach Community Park, including the basketball and tennis courts. The recreation center and playground areas are not included in the renaming.

The Pacific Beach Community Recreation Group and the Pacific Beach Planning Group (PBPG), along with other community groups and community members, expressed their support in honoring Fannie and William Payne by renaming the Pacific Beach Middle School Joint-Use Field and the hardcourt areas of Pacific Beach Community Park to “Fannie and William Payne Joint-Use Field and Community Park.”

Channeling the effort from the community, the San Diego Unified Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the name “Fannie and William Payne Joint-Use Field” at its March 9, 2021 Board of Education. Following the district’s approval, the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Board approved the name “Fannie and William Payne Joint-Use Field and Community Park” at its April 15, 2021 meeting.

RELATED LINKS:
Play All Day Parks Program
Pacific Beach Middle School students succeed in drive for park renaming to honor two Black educators
March 9 Board of Education Agenda Item
April 15 City of San Diego Park and Recreation Board Agenda Item


EVENT/PARKING MAP:
Payne Media Parking Area
MEDIA CONTACTS:
Jamie Ries, Facilities Communication Liaison, San Diego Unified, 619-855-9283, jries@sandi.net
Samer Naji, Facilities Communication Supervisor, San Diego Unified, 619-548-3388; snaji@sandi.net
Tim Graham, City of San Diego Communications, 619-253-9197, TGraham@sandiego.gov