Suzan Shown Harjo to Discuss Redskins at Drexel Conference


The Drexel Sport Management Student Union and the Department of Sport Management will host the annual Sport for Social Change Conference on Thursday and Friday, November 13-14, 2014. The conference will feature discussions on social justice in sport, athlete’s rights, the future of the NCAA, the misappropriation of American Indian imagery in sport and youth participation in sport.

The conference is being organized by the Drexel University Sport Management Student Union, the undergraduate student organization and the Department of Sport Management.

The conference opens on Thursday evening with “A Conversation with Sonny Vaccaro: Reflections on Life after O’Bannon v. the NCAA”. The session will be moderated by Tom Farrey, reporter for ESPN and director of the Aspen Institute Sport and Society Program. Vaccaro is president of Vaccaro Sports Partnerships and founding chairman of The Roundball Classic and ABCD Camp and formerly a marketing executive with Adidas, Nike and Reebok.

Day two of the conference will include further discussions with Sonny Vaccaro on the NCAA and the sport industry more generally, and Tom Farrey on the topic of physical literacy. In addition, Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee), poet, writer, lecturer, curator and policy advocate for American Indian rights will discuss “The Washington R-Word: Racial Politics, Legal Challenges and Social Harms”. A panel on the sustainability movement and food in sports organizations will also be included.

The event is free and open to the public. 

People wishing to attend are asked to pre-register here.

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sonnyskyhawk's picture
Submitted by sonnyskyhawk on
If there was anybody more suited and able to speak about this issue, I don't know them. Suzan has been at the forefront for many years and kept the fires burning on this important discussion. She is an articulate speaker and does not mince words when needed. There have been many of us who have contributed peripherally through our own organizations, and American Indians in Film & Television, has been one of those. The image that Hollywood has projected and misappropriated has been our primary concern, and we will continue to educate others on what we feel has been an injustice to our people. We are no one's mascot, or have we ever given permission to be used as such.