Have Cincinnati Country Day School change its mascot

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Have Cincinnati Country Day School change its mascot

This petition made change with 2,194 supporters!
Kathryn Burress started this petition to Cincinnati Country Day Board of Trustees

Cincinnati Country Day School (est. 1926), currently has the mascot "Indians" for all of its sports teams. In light of the recent murder of George Floyd that sparked protests for equality around the nation, Cincinnati Country Day's Head of School Anthony Jaccaci sent out an email touting Country Day's commitment to "confronting issues of injustice, intolerance, and racism." The intent of this email was pure, but to send such an email when Country Day still bears the racist mascot of "Indians", feels performative and disingenuous at best. 

If you are unfamiliar with the history of the Village of Indian Hill, the area in which Country Day resides, allow me to share an excerpt from an article I wrote on the topic nearly five years ago. "Long before it was called Indian Hill, the bountiful area was inhabited by the Shawnee, Miami, and Delaware Tribes. In 1794, the Shawnees were defeated by General Anthony Wayne and forced to surrender most of their Ohio land. Tecumseh rallied his fellow Shawnees in 1811, but failed to reclaim the lands ceded. By 1833, the U.S. Government had forced the Shawnees to give up all Ohio land, including the land that makes up Indian Hill today." Indian Hill, and subsequently Cincinnati Country Day's mascot, are named after the very people that were evicted from their home because colonists decided that they wanted the land. 

Anthony Jaccaci stated that at Cincinnati Country Day, they "wish for a community where all feel welcomed and equal regardless of background." Would a Native American student feel welcomed at Country Day? Furthermore, could any students of color truly feel welcomed at Country Day knowing that the school continues to bear such a mascot, thus implying that certain forms of racism are okay? Here is an article about the psychological effects of similar mascots. Here is a speech from Dahkota Brown, founder of Native Education Raising Dedicated Students, and appointee to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education on the topic.

In my four years of university, I never felt that I could wear one of my dozens of Country Day t-shirts and sweatshirts to school or around my city, as it would seem that I approve of Cincinnati Country Day's mascot. I never can fully feel proud to say that I went to Cincinnati Country Day School, a school that incorporates a subtle piece of racism into its daily culture. 

The racial disparity in America is currently receiving more attention than it ever has in most of our lifetimes. While our current focus is and should be on the discrimination against black people in America, that does not make other forms of discrimination acceptable. Please, change this mascot. Be a school that truly makes all students feel welcome and comfortable. Be a school that students, alumni, and faculty can truly be proud of. 
 

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