With all due respect to the board of directors who, in good faith, have decided to rebrand the name of the Gendron Franco Center because of the inconvenience of fielding calls from people looking for the Franco-American Collection at L-A College and because the board wanted to portray the Center as more inclusive — I ask them, avec tous mon coeur, to reconsider.

The visionaries who raised funds and worked hard to rehabilitate and convert St. Mary’s Church into the center made me proud to be a Franco-American. My relatives were parishioners there, and I donated money when the center was a bebe to honor the memory of my grandmother.

Now I feel her memory has been somewhat tainted. Would I have donated to the Riverfront Performing Arts & Events in her memory?

The name change is just another small example of the prejudice against Francos that I felt as a youngster growing up in this community. Intentionally or not, the negative sway seems to be rearing its ugly head again.

We should be proud to preserve the Franco Center name at all costs. The byline of “founded by Franco-Americans” will no doubt fade into the sunset, as will the proud spires of the Franco Center.

Joanne Lebel, Auburn

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