Fresno’s Armenians could get a School named for Roger Tatarian

Armenians represent about 7% of Fresno’s population, but in the city’s largest school district there are no schools bearing the name of an Armenian. That could change at Wednesday evening’s Fresno Unified School Board meeting, GV Wire reports.

The trustees are scheduled to consider renaming a northwest Fresno elementary school for H. Roger Tatarian, a Fresno native who achieved worldwide renown as the head of United Press International before returning to his hometown to instruct budding journalists at Fresno State.

The school that could bear Tatarian’s name is now named for J.C. Forkner, who developed Fresno’s Fig Garden neighborhood as well as other parts of the city but excluded people of color from buying his homes. Critics of Forkner have noted that nearly all of today’s Fresno Unified trustees would have been prevented decades ago from buying Forkner’s homes because they are people of color.

The southeast campus, the site of the old Fresno County juvenile hall, was in the neighborhood where Tatarian and many other Armenians were born and raised in Fresno.

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