Stephanie Fryberg is cited in USA Today and this WJLA article about the move by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to drop teams that are named after American Indian stereotypes from consideration for awards.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: We honored sports teams with racist mascots. Not anymore.
In honoring Washington and Kansas City’s football teams, we became part of the problem. Our organization won't honor racism
There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. There’s an even better chance you’ve never heard of the RWJF Sports Award, which we bestow each year on organizations that contribute to health by strengthening and serving communities through sport.
But as readers of USA TODAY, you’re no doubt familiar with the controversies and divisions surrounding sports teams that use Native American symbols — whether as mascots, in chants or in memorabilia — for their own purposes. The pro football teams in Washington and Kansas City instantly come to mind.
Our foundation, tucked away in the outskirts of Princeton, N.J., has over the past year unwittingly become part of the problem by using the RWJF Sports Award to honor teams that denigrate American Indian people. We didn’t consider the fact that the team names, mascots and misappropriation and mocking of sacred symbols like headdresses do real damage to the health of people across the country.
Health and racism
Though one might not think of racism and discrimination as factors in health, the clear science tells us otherwise. They impact the physical, emotional and psychological health of people, especially children.
More specifically, research shows deep psychological consequences caused by the perpetuation of American Indian stereotypes — whether they are deemed “offensive” or not. As University of Washington researcher Stephanie Fryberg and colleagues found, “American Indian mascots are harmful because they remind American Indians of the limited ways others see them and, in this way, constrain how they can see themselves.”
Read the entire article here.
Read the WJLA article here.