Monday, October 13, 2014

S4SC: Political Advocate Suzan Shown Harjo to Speak at Drexel

Suzan Shown Harjo, a prominent Native American political advocate, will speak at the 2nd annual Sport for Social Change Conference presented by the Drexel Sport Management Student Union (SMTSU) on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, the SMTSU announced Monday.

The title of Harjo’s lecture is “The Washington R-Word: Racial Politics, Legal Challenges & Social Harms,” which will touch on her 40-plus years of work fighting for the rights of Native Americans. She will deliver her lecture from 1-1:50 p.m. on Nov. 14.

Harjo is a poet, writer, lecturer, curator and policy advocate, who has helped Native Peoples recover more than one million acres of land and numerous sacred places. She has developed key federal Indian law since 1975, including the most important national policy advances in the modern era for the protection of Native American cultures and arts, including the 1996 Executive Order on Indian Sacred Sites, the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the 1989 National Museum of the American Indian Act and the 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act.

She is president and executive director of The Morning Star Institute, a national Native rights organization founded in 1984 for Native Peoples' traditional and cultural advocacy, arts promotion and research. A leader in cultural property protection and stereotype busting, Morning Star sponsors the Just Good Sports project, organizes the National Day of Prayer to Protect Native American Sacred Places and coordinated The 1992 Alliance (1990-1993). Harjo is one of seven prominent Native people who filed Harjo et al v. Pro Football, Inc., regarding the name of the Washington football team, before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Board in 1992. They won in 1999, when a three-judge panel unanimously decided to cancel federal protections for the team's name because it "may disparage Native Americans and may bring them into contempt or disrepute." The District Court reversed their victory in 2003 and the case is now before the US Court of Appeals.

Harjo's essay, "Fighting Name-Calling: Challenging 'Redskins' in Court," is published in Team Spirits: The Native American Mascots Controversy. She also wrote "Just Good Sports: The Impact of 'Native' References in Sports on Native Youth and What Some Decolonizers Have Done About It," a chapter in For Indigenous Eyes Only: A Decolonization Handbook.

The Sport for Social Change Conference will be held in the Academic Bistro (Sixth floor, Paul Peck Building) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is FREE and open to the public and Drexel community.
The SMTSU will announce the conference’s next speaker on Tuesday and another on Wednesday. Stay tuned!

Follow the Drexel SMTSU and #S4SC on Twitter for event updates.

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