An effort to rename East 10th Street to Feemster Street is being spearheaded by Reno City Council member Oscar Delgado and members of the Feemster family.
The Feemsters have been a fixture in Reno for generations. The family’s members are well known for their community activism and roles in organizations like the Reno-Sparks NAACP.
“The smallest thing I can do to make sure there’s long-term recognition is renaming East 10th Street, Feemster Street. We’ve got to show our support. We’ve got to recognize,” Delgado said. “We’ve got to give credit where credit’s due. We’ve got to recognize that northeast Reno is what it is because of the families that have contributed to it for so many years.”
The late Dolores Feemster, who passed in 2018, served as the president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. She was also on the board of the Nevada Parent Teacher Association, a founding member of the Northern Nevada Black Cultural Awareness Society and a board member of Washoe Legal Services and the Community Services Agency of Washoe County.
She spent more than three decades as a counselor at Procter R. Hug High School.
Some members of the community were dismayed when the Washoe County School District announced it would be naming the new career and technical academy on the site of the current Hug High School after late Nevada legislator Debbie Smith.
People have asked the district to reconsider the naming during public comment made in front of the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees, but no action has been taken by the district in response to these requests.
Dolores’ son, the late Darryl Feemster, died in 2017. He, like his mother, was well known for his community involvement. He was a longtime executive committee member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and a member of the Reno Cigar Lions Club as well as several other community service organizations.
Delgado, the Feemsters and members of the community gathered on Saturday afternoon outside of Traner Middle School for the official announcement of the street renaming effort. There was food, live music and entertainment. Members of the Reno-Sparks NAACP were present, as were representatives from the ACLU, the Northern Nevada Black Cultural Awareness and Animarte.
“This is amazing. It’s long overdue for us to be here. … I stand on so many shoulders that are here today, Dolores and Darryl have done so much for our community,” Delgado said. “There’s got to be a school named after Dolores Feemster in the future. My hope is that they recognize her and that happens.”
Delgado explained that the renaming petition will be considered by the Regional Street Naming Committee, which meets Oct. 21. He said in the meantime that he and volunteers will be doing outreach to the residents of East 10th Street to ensure they’re aware of the proposal and in support of it.
Jeri Chadwell came to Reno from rural Nevada in 2004 to study anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2012, she returned to the university for a master’s degree in journalism. She is the former associate and news editor of the Reno News & Review and is a recipient of first-place Nevada Press Association awards for investigative and business reporting. Jeri is passionate about Nevada’s history, politics and communities.