CAMDEN, NJ — Councilwoman Felisha Reyes-Morton apologized Thursday following controversial social media posts surrounding the renaming of Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden.
On Tuesday — the same day the district said it would revisit the name — a community member asked online what the new name should be. After another Facebook user asked if it would be a community decision, Morton replied, “No, not a community decision."
The comment and others to follow sparked a back-and-forth online, most notably from school board member Nyemah Gillespie, who posted an hour-plus long Facebook Live video that now has over 3,000 views.
Gillespie said she was triggered by Morton’s statements — especially amid the pandemic, its impact on her small business and the hardship of black people recently broadcast around the country.
In a statement Thursday — also signed by her husband — the councilwoman addressed the allegations, saying she supported the black community and the renaming of racist symbolism in the city.
“I commit to actively listening and responding to the concerns of the city’s residents and to using my role as a City Councilperson to further these conversations,” Morton wrote. “In closing, it is my sincerest apology to those that may have been hurt by comments taken out of context. I love you all too much especially my sisters in this struggle to ever purposefully do so.”