Kingsley House to ‘Move Away’ from Kingsley Name
NEW ORLEANS – Venerable New Orleans nonprofit Kingsley House, which has been active for more than 125 years, announced it will begin the process of changing its name after learning that its namesake Charles Kingsley published “writings and sermons that proved to be completely inconsistent with the core values and mission of the organization.”
Since 1896, the state-certified and nationally accredited nonprofit has provided southeast Louisiana with programs and services for infants, toddlers, preschool-aged children, youth, parents, senior citizens, veterans, and “medically fragile” adults.
“When considering such a prolific change like renaming a treasured and historic organization, our team recognizes the need to retain the heartbeat of our work and keep the community we serve top of mind in our decision-making,” said Kingsley House CEO Keith Liederman, Ph.D., in a press release. “We are proud of the impact we’ve had in our first 125 years and believe our renaming decision is a testament to our ongoing commitment to advancing systemic change for our children, families and community.”
Charles Kingsley was a respected British clergyman, author and social reformer – but Kingsley House researchers found documents of his espousing racist viewpoints while preparing for the organization’s 125th anniversary.
“When the board was presented with the information about Charles Kingsley, we took immediate action to begin the process of changing the organization’s name,” said Richard J. Roth, III, Kingsley House board president. “We knew it would be a monumental effort, but as an organization rooted in equity and committed to providing access and opportunity to all people, there was never a doubt that we’d move away from the Kingsley name. We are confident that we’ll establish a unifying name that will strengthen generations for the next 125 years.”
The organization will continue to operate as Kingsley House until a new name is approved. A decision is expected by early fall.
Kingsley House claims many accomplishments, including being the first settlement house in the south, the first home of Tulane University School of Social Work, the first children’s summer camp in New Orleans, and the first integrated public pool in the city
For more information about the name change and the nonprofit’s work, visit www.KingsleyHouse.org.