Send a Letter to the YDRSB Supporting the Renaming of Vaughan S.S. to Hodan Nalayeh


We have been told that the York Region District School Board has asked that constituents send emails around the renaming of Vaughan SS to Hodan Nalayeh Secondary School by Feb 22, as a recommendation on what the school should be named will go to the Property Management Committee on February 23rd.

It is critical that constituents send as many letters as possible now to let the trustees know that they must listen to their community.

It takes 30 seconds of your time to do.


In mid-September 2020, trustees unanimously agreed to change the name of Vaughan SS given that Benjamin Vaughan was a notorious slave trader. A survey went out to residents who overwhelmingly selected that they would like to have Hodan Nalayeh as the first choice of the most popular names.

Hodan Nalayeh, a Somali-Canadian journalist who once resided in Vaughan, was a giant and first-mover as a storyteller and as a journalist. Nalayeh made immeasurable and immense contributions to the Canadian community, and told the stories of our communities that are often doubly-marginalized – stories of our Black Muslim community, and stories of how our communities flourished. Nalayeh was tragically killed in attack on a hotel in 2019, and we are therefore unsurprised that in putting forward names centered celebrating around Black excellence, that Nalayeh’s name was overwhelmingly selected by residents.

We are particularly concerned that one particular school board trustee, Mr. David Sherman, has appeared to indicate that he was concerned that “submissions were coming from outside the country”, according to an article from the Toronto Star.

We ask you to join us in sending this letter to Board Chair Cordova, and CC’d Minister Leece and show your support to renaming the school after Hodan Nalayeh