ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Municipal Planning Board voted unanimously to change the name of Stonewall Jackson Road to “Roberto Clemente Road.”
The road is located between Semoran Boulevard and Gelwood Avenue in the Engelwood community.
Father Jose Rodriguez, with Jesus de Nazaret Episcopal Church, grew up in the area and went to Roberto Clemente Middle School, which was formally known as Stonewall Jackson Middle.
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“It didn’t cross my mind that this would ever be Roberto Clemente Middle School, but it did when I was in eighth grade and we started learning about the civil rights and the problem the name the school had,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said it took a couple of years to change the name of the school to “Roberto Clemente” but it was the first step in pushing for more diversity in the area with the help of Alianza for Progress, a grassroots organization.
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“I think that’s what we need to remember him by, as a man who loved his neighbor and a man who laid down his life for his neighbor,” he said.
But Rodriguez said not long after the name changed, activists were already making plans to push for the name change of Stonewall Jackson Road.
“When it came to the street, Commissioner (Tony) Ortiz stepped up. He volunteered to have meetings with us and he taught us how things worked for city government, he pointed us (in) the right direction and the community did their thing,” Rodriguez said.
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