Addressing Racist History
Petition to Mayor of Lee's Summit
Change Todd George (KKK) Parkway to Lucile Bluford (civil rights activist) Parkway
Todd George Parkway is a central street in Lee's Summit, Missouri. It is nearly impossible to go more than a few days without traveling on this street that unites Lee's Summit together. Our city, of more than 100,000 people, have either learned to turn a blind eye to, or are genuinely ignorant to the reality of Todd George's history; while he does have connections to the history of Lee's Summit, he was also an active member of the Klu Klux Klan. Lee's Summit is an increasingly diverse city, with 15% of the population identifying as not white. We are also less than an hour's drive from the incredibly diverse Kansas City. We live in a community which prides itself on our education and our unity. Todd George being such a central street in our community does not reflect those values. Each citizen of Lee's Summit deserves the right to feel represented and safe in their city; a city who still actively honors a member of the KKK does not accomplish this. This is why I propose we change Todd George Parkway to Lucile Bluford Parkway. Lucile Bluford was valedictorian of then segregated Lincoln High School in the class of 1928. She was a gifted writer and hoped to be a journalist. She was accepted to Mizzou school of Journalism, but was rejected upon enrollment due to her race. She graduated from KU in journalism, and went on to be a fundamental writer in The Kansas City Call- an African American owned news company. She attempted 11 times to enter MU's graduate journalism program; with the help of the NAACP she filed several lawsuits against the University. She lost her case in the Supreme Court in 1941. The University of Missour, Columbia eventually honored Bluford with an honorary doctorate degree in 1989. Lucile Bluford, a successful black woman and Civil Rights activist, with historical ties to Kansas City, has earned the right to be represented by the unifying street of what is currently Todd George Parkway. She was persistent, educated, passionate, and fought for racial educational equality. Please sign and share this petition with citizens of Lee's Summit so we can eradicate the legacy of the KKK member who is still represents one of the most prominent streets in Lee's Summit, Missouri! I will send this petition to the Mayor of Lee's Summit, Bill Baird, when the petition reaches 10,000 signatures.
Petition to the school board, The Principal, Parents, Alumni, PTO
Change the Algood Middle School mascot
Algood Middle School’s mascot, the Redskins, is a Native American caricature that has been controversial for decades. In fact, it is the most demeaning representation of the indigenous Native American identity. The word “Redskin” has never had a positive connotation. The use of the nickname has been condemned by the National Congress of American Indians, to which virtually all tribes belong.The R-word is the moral equivalent of the N-word. It packs the same level of bigotry and insensitivity for Native Americans as any other racial slur. Additionally, it refers to the horrifying practice of skinning Native People. Since the 1990s, the movement to remove racially derogatory mascots and team names has gained momentum. Many college athletic departments moved away from Native American names. In 2015, California passed a law prohibiting high schools from using Redskins as a team name. The decree had a downstream effect: Many schools that used other names with connections to Native Americans switched, too. At the end of 2017, 49 schools used that nickname, down from 93 schools in 1989. On 7/13/2020, the Washington Redskins announced that the team would drop its name and adopt a new one. Mascots and names of local schools have been changed in the past, and for less offensive reasons. For example, the Northeast Trojans are now the Eagles, allegedly because a (white) father did not want his son’s school to be associated with a condom brand. Parkview’s Rockets are now the Pandas. Sycamore were the Scorpions and now they are the Stars. Prescott, when it was the building close to TTU, was initially Prescott Middle School, abbreviated to P.M.S., thus the addition of Central, making it P.C.M.S; now we know the school as Prescott South. In an effort to put an end to stereotyping and racism, we ask that Algood Middle School remove Redskins as the school’s mascot and all associated images. Changing the Algood Elementary School’s mascot - the Braves - which, though not as offensive as Redskins, is also perceived as disrespectful by the Native Indian community, should also be considered. Imagine this: If the situation were reversed and the current (mostly white) population of Algood had been killed or forced out, would the white minority appreciate it if the new inhabitants called their school team The Crackers? We ask the School board, the principal and the PTO to consider these name changes and lead by example in our community.
Petition to Caldwell/West Caldwell Board of Education
Change James Caldwell High School "Chiefs" Mascot and Logo
With the newly energized movement against racism in this country, it is urgent that we end any racist practices within our own schools and communities. The James Caldwell High School “Chiefs” mascot is a racist mascot at the expense of Native American people. We are calling on the Caldwell/West Caldwell Board of Education to change the team name, logo, and its Native American association. No matter the initial intent in creating this mascot, the connotations and relation to the exploitation of Native Americans has already been established. Many Native American individuals, tribes, organizations and more have spoken out against the practice of Native Americans as mascots, and the JCHS mascot in particular. Native American mascots are extremely harmful for multiple reasons. These mascot images often perpetuate stereotypes of Natives as warlike or violent and reinforce deeply harmful depictions that are rooted in a history of oppression. Native mascots play a role in dehumanizing Native Americans and not depicting them as a fully dignified group of people. Native Mascots give opportunities for sacred aspects of culture to be appropriated and exploited. There have also been significant studies proving that Native mascots are directly harmful to Native American youth by negatively impacting students’ ideas of personal and community worth. In a community that strives to provide a place of possibilities for all, it is imperative that our actions are reflective of our communal values. As students sit in classrooms and learn about the genocide and ongoing oppression of Native Americans, it becomes hypocritical and wrong to then look down at one's clothing only to see that exploitation continuing, all while simply trying to show pride in ones school and community. Caldwell/ West Caldwell should be making an effort to be on the right side of history, starting with changing our mascot. Below is a link with several resources and educational articles from Native American organizations further illustrating the necessity to change the mascot, as their voices on this issue are most important, which also includes our website changethechiefs.com. https://linktr.ee/chiefsmascot
Petition to Roanoke City Council
Remove the Robert E. Lee monument in Roanoke City and replace it with a lynching memorial
It is past time for us to remove a monument that memorializes the Confederate general, Robert E. Lee. Roanoke City should show its citizens of color that this is not a history that we want to commemorate. As collective awareness grows that these sort of monuments were constructed to send an anti-civil rights message to the community, it has become clear that we need to send a new message today. We propose that this monument be replaced with a memorial to the Black victims of lynching in Roanoke in the late 1800s. "William Lavender and Thomas Smith were two black men who were lynched on separate occasions by white mobs in Roanoke. Both men were accused of assaults on white women that were never proved. Neither man stood trial. They were simply captured, beaten, hanged and murdered." - The Roanoke Times. This piece of our history has been unrecognized and we must reckon with it. This is one simple step we can all take towards building a community in which every citizen can begin to feel equally valued, regardless of their skin color.
Petition to San Angelo Independent School District
Rename San Angelo's "Robert E Lee" Middle School
As a parent of minority children it is important that all San Angelo area children feel welcome and inclusive at their local public schools provided through the SAISD. The school built in 1949 has donned the name of the Confederate Commander who fought for slavery during the American Civil War. Robert E. Lee believed African Americans were subordinate to his own racial identity and had slaves himself. More than 70 years later many students continue to walk through those doors, entering their teenage years only to learn about the atrocities of the American Civil War in history class. Recent events have shed light on the racial disparities black men and women continue to face on a daily basis years after the American Civil War and Civil Rights Movement. It is disrespectful and insensitive to force children to attend a public school named after a man responsible for promoting and fighting against these African American Men and Women. This man was treasonous and promoted hateful and oppressive ideology that should not be celebrated or confused with patriotism. The SAISD should reconsider the name of the Middle School to reflect something more positive, peaceful and inclusive.
Petition to Brian Capistran, GUHSD Superintendent, Pam Reicks, GUHSD Board President, Patti Hussey, GUHSD Board Clerk, Patty Kennedy, GUHSD Board Member, Susan Maland, GUHSD Board Member, Andrew Pulcipher, GUHSD Board Member, Jason Latham, Thunderbird HS Principal, John Pierzchala, Thunderbird HS Assistant Principal, Layne Peterson, Thunderbird HS Assistant Principal, Dawn Bjork, Thunderbird HS Assistant Principal
Change Thunderbird High School's Racist Mascot
Thunderbird High School of Phoenix, Arizona must change their mascot. Their current mascot- The Chiefs- is offensive to the culture of Native Americans. The native headdress, depicted in Thunderbird’s logo, is extremely sacred. It is unacceptable for a high school to diminish its value by mimicking the customs that an entire culture upholds. In the words of a Native American student who attends Thunderbird High School: “Being at the assemblies was usually fun and just a good time, but the second I saw white student council members wearing mock headpieces it made me uncomfortable. My friends and I just started discussing how quite frankly stupid they looked, and how it showed how little education they had on Native American culture. But what truly offended me was that the staff at my school allowed this. The mascot being a literal culture is just a free passage way for the students to mock our culture when they know only little to nothing about the sacredness of the headpieces and chants.” Students at Thunderbird are generally unaware of the racism that their mascot encompasses. This is most likely a result of their school system’s failure to teach about Native American history and tradition. We ask that Thunderbird High School ends its insensitivity towards Native Americans. The first step: changing its logo and mascot. There are thousands of students across the country taking action to change their offensive mascots. Keller High School in Keller, Texas currently has the mascot- The Indians. In a 2017 petition to change this mascot, the Society of Native Nations stated: “There are several reasons why the Indigenous people of this land should not be made into caricatures or mascots but most importantly, ‘I am not your mascot’. ‘We are not your mascot’ ‘No people, race, culture, religion or spirituality should not be a mascot’. Native Americans are Human Beings that are alive today, whose Ancestors survived genocide and died to protect our traditional way of life.” In fact, Thunderbird High School and all other schools in the Glendale Union High School District are built on O'odham, Akimel O'odham, and Hohokam land. Given that our schools have only flourished at the expense of Native American ground, the least Thunderbird can do is to quit flaunting racist imagery across campus. Our ultimate goal is to create a community of informed and tolerant students. This will never be possible if Thunderbird maintains its derogatory habits. To Superintendent Capistran, District President Reicks, Principal Latham, and all other members of the Glendale Union High School District board and Thunderbird High School administration: Show honor and respect toward the Indigenous people of this country. Stop normalizing cultural appropriation. Teach Arizona’s youth the importance of diversity and respect. End Thunderbird’s display of intolerance. Change the mascot. Sign this petition to demand that Glendale Union High School District removes the current mascot of Thunderbird High School- The Chiefs. It is a simple, attainable step in the direction towards a culturally aware Thunderbird community. The outdated mascot, offensive logo, and mockery headpieces worn at assemblies, all need to go. Thank you for signing. Sources: https://www.change.org/p/change-keller-high-school-mascot https://native-land.ca/
Petition to Cincinnati Country Day Board of Trustees
Have Cincinnati Country Day School change its mascot
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.
Petition to Asa Hutchinson
Remove the Confederate Statue from Sebastian County Courthouse
**any contribution through change.org and this petition goes directly to the site, not to our cause**Diversity is Prosperity. The Fort Smith Confederate Monument is a sculpture erected in 1903 at the Sebastian County Courthouse in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) by the Varina Jefferson Davis Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy(UDC) to commemorate local men who served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. This structure is post-war, and was erected as a political statement in the time of Jim Crow. As citizens of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and the U.S., that want to see our cities grow and prosper, we should be open and welcoming to all people. This statue is a clear and present ode to the values of the Confederacy that we do not share. We can choose this moment to remove this divisive structure and send the message that we do not in any way, support racial and societal divides. https://talkbusiness.net/2020/06/no-organized-or-collaborative-discussion-about-future-of-confederate-statue-at-sebastian-county-courthouse/ https://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/entries/fort-smith-confederate-monument-13729/