In summer 2020, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser formed a working group charged with evaluating named DC government-owned facilities and making recommendations as to what, if any, actions need to be taken if the person the facility is named for is inconsistent with DC values and in some way encouraged the oppression of African Americans and other communities of color or contributed to systemic racism.
After their evaluation the working group recommend renaming 21 District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) schools and school buildings, including Woodrow Wilson High School. (The Racist Legacy of Woodrow Wilson) The public now has a chance to help rename the school named for the former U.S. president.
Morgan State University Archivist and Port Of Harlem contributor Dr. Ida Jones is calling for the DCPS to rename Woodrow Wilson High School after William Syphax. Besides be a DC native, Jones says he deserves the honor because he “organized and established the preparatory high school for advanced African American students, known today as Dunbar High School.”
Historian CR Gibbs called it a “worthwhile suggestion.”
As a trailblazer in Negro education, the Secretary of the Interior appointed Syphax to the Board of Trustees of Colored Schools of Washington and Georgetown in 1868. He served as the board’s first President from 1868 until 1871, and then as Treasurer in 1871.