Ella Baker Then and Now
Ella Baker Global Studies and Humanities Magnet School was built in 1923 as a middle school to feed into the former West High School located at 28th and Hennepin. Currently, Ella Baker is a PK-8 school with a student population of around 700 students drawing from all areas of Minneapolis.
Ella Baker was an influential and respected human and civil rights activist. She acquired the nickname “Fundi,” a Swahili word meaning a person who teaches the next generation. Baker believed in the power of youth to strengthen their communities and shape their future. Check out the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (EllaBakerCenter.org) to read more about her and listen to some of her speeches.
Over the course of a year, our youth participatory evaluation (YPE) group engaged with our students, families and community to gather possible new names to replace Jefferson. After a rigorous process of elimination, YPE brought the list down to three; Ella Baker, Bde Mka Ska, and L. Howard Bennett. After a final vote among the student body, Ella Baker was selected. We look forward to celebrating the life and accomplishments of a revolutionary woman.
For more history of our district, go to the MPS History Site or the MPS Historic Context Study.