stand with standing rock
Petition to VCU Office of the President, VCU Office of the Vice President
VCU: Break Ties with Wells Fargo #NoDAPL
To the Office of the President, the Office of the Vice President, the Campus Card Services, and all other concerned parties: Thank you for your invaluable service to the VCU community and students. The message of support and care for student safety from President Rao in the aftermath of several executive orders from President Trump has bolstered our confidence in VCU and the message of inclusivity and welcome that has been fostered here through the work of the Division of Inclusive Excellence. In that light, we wish to bring a troubling matter to your attention. VCU has an ongoing partnership with Wells Fargo to provide students with an ID card that also serves as a debit card. This is a wonderful program and has proved beneficial to so many, but in the past year a matter of ethical concern has come up, which leads us to now propose a suspension of this partnership or a transfer to an alternative bank. The reason we propose such a drastic change is that Wells Fargo has been a financial supporter of the Dakota Access Pipeline and as of February 2017 has not withdrawn financial support. The Dakota Access Pipeline is proposed to go through Lakota Treaty territory, a violation of U.S. federal treaties and a violation of U.S.-Sioux Nation borders, before crossing under the Missouri River and risking the water supply of thousands upon thousands of people and environments. According to the website of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), on December 4th, 2016, they denied easement for the Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe, the area under dispute by the Sioux and the corporations invested, and have not come yet to a final decision regarding the completion of the project. In a memorandum on January 24th, 2017, President Trump put pressure on the USACE to allow the continuation of two highly controversial and potentially dangerous Pipeline projects, including Dakota Access. “Each year in the United States, oil pipelines spill an average of 11-million gallons. The Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines threaten the fishable, swimmable, drinkable water for millions and the viability of North American farmland” stated Waterkeeper Alliance General Counsel and Legal Director Daniel E. Estrin in a response to the memorandums from the White House. Given the criminal nature of the Pipeline in regards to the border conflict, as well as the founded fears of negative environmental impact, we are concerned that a continued partnership between VCU and one of the financial providers for this project would reflect poorly on the integrity and environmental ethicality of the VCU community. There are numerous possibilities in the city of Richmond for partnerships with banks that are not financially invested in the Pipeline, such as Union First Market or Southern National Bancorp. It may even be possible to simply suspend the partnership until Wells Fargo withdraws their financial investment in the Pipeline. We appreciate the hard work you all have put into making this program available, and we regret that events have happened as they have, but we remain confident that you will understand the concerns raised and will act in a manner that reaffirms the business integrity, communal responsibility, environmental ethicality, and inclusivity that makes VCU an institution of repute. Thank you once again for your tireless service to the community. We hope to see action taken soon.
Petition to Rachel Nilsson, Robert Herjavec, Rags to Raches, Nordstrom
Please Retire The Chief Design From Your Romper Collection.
As a mother of two young children being raised in today's society, I would like to formally ask Rags to Raches to retire the "Chief Romper". We need to raise our children to respect other people's culture. And in order to respect the Native Americans who see this object as sacred and have repeatedly requested that their sacred object not be used in the fashion industry, it should no longer be sold. "Cultural appropriation is “A term used to describe the taking over of creative or artistic forms, themes, or practices by one cultural group from another. It is in general used to describe Western appropriations of non‐Western or non‐white forms, and carries connotations of exploitation and dominance. The concept has come into literary and visual art criticism by analogy with the acquisition of artefacts (the Elgin marbles, Benin bronzes, Lakota war shirts, etc.) by Western museums. The term emerged during the last twenty years of the 20th cent. as part of the vocabulary of the post‐colonial critique of Western expansionism” (Oxford Reference). It can also be simply defined as the act of “borrowing” or outright stealing an element from an entire culture and utilizing it for a purpose it was not originally created for (specifically those items of religious/spiritual importance). Cultural appropriation has many negative effects on cultures. Minorities have long been the victims of violence and injustice and as a result, those cultures have become rightfully sensitive to content that utilizes their culture and beliefs. In some cases the sharing of cultures is acceptable and positive however, it is the intent behind the desire to participate that is the deciding factor. When a person who is not a member of a culture decides to utilize an element of a culture without permission, it then becomes appropriation. That person is exercising their privilege over the spiritual/religious significance of a culture and desecrating the sacred item at issue. Most of these cultures have been in existence for thousands of years and the traditions within those cultures are still practiced today. The cultures which are being appropriated are not an ancient part of history, they are traditions which are honored and protected to this day. Appropriating cultures means disrespecting their struggle as a mass, and also belittling the hardships of the individuals." From the Coachella Petition regarding the same issue. As cultural appropriation is quite a vast topic, and is sadly impacting multiple cultures I am including some articles on the topic to encourage further research by your staff at Rags to Raches. http://apihtawikosisan.com/hall-of-shame/an-open-letter-to-non-natives-in-headdresses/ http://www.native-languages.org/headdresses.htm http://apihtawikosisan.com/2012/01/the-dos-donts-maybes-i-dont-knows-of-cultural-appropriation/ http://www.indians.org/articles/native-american-headdress.html https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2014/jul/30/why-the-fashion-headdress-must-be-stopped http://nativeappropriations.com/2010/04/but-why-cant-i-wear-a-hipster-headdress.html Problems with this romper include The type of headdress depicted is specific to men’s ceremonial dress. Reproduces stereotypes Commodifies without contributing The sale of these rompers does not benefit Indigenous people in any way even though the company who makes them capitalized on the popularity of Indigenous imagery. Shows blatant disrespect for sacred elements These headdresses play a very important role in the spiritual life of the communities from which they originate. Please see http://www.sfu.ca/ipinch/sites/default/files/resources/teaching_resources/think_before_you_appropriate_jan_2016.pdf
Petition to Wells Fargo
Demand Wells Fargo STOP funding the Dakota Access Pipeline!
Over 37 banks from around the world are helping to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline and Wells Fargo is at the top of the list! If they pull out, then other banks will start to follow. Norwegian Bank, DNB, is already considering pulling their money out of the pipeline and looking at ways to find a solution to the conflict. Please sign this petition letting Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan know that you do not support them funding the Dakota Access Pipeline! Furthermore, if you have an account with Wells Fargo, please leave a comment when you sign the petition that you will pledge to close your Wells Fargo account if they continue to fund the DAPL.