Happening Today at 11:00 A.M.: Critics of Washington Football Mascot to Gather at Event Coinciding with NFL Fall League Meeting

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U.S. lawmakers, Native American leaders, public health professionals and student activists will gather Oct. 7 at 11:00 a.m. at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown in Washington to discuss the growing Change the Mascot movement just days after President Obama spoke out about the Washington NFL team's continued use of a racial slur as its name.*

Supporters of the growing Change the Mascot movement will meet at 11:00 a.m. today in our nation's capital to discuss why Washington’s NFL team should end the use of a racial slur as its mascot. The event is timed to coincide with the NFL’s Fall League Meeting, which is also taking place in Washington.

The event also comes on the heels of historic comments from President Obama on the issue.* The public conference being held by the Oneida Indian Nation will feature congressional lawmakers and other leaders who have joined its "Change the Mascot" campaign.

The Oneida Indian Nation, which is a sponsor of the NFL, is convening the meeting only weeks after its "Change the Mascot" national radio advertising campaign prompted NFL officials to urge that the league and its teams listen to those who are offended by Washington’s team name and mascot.**

The conference is a chance for NFL officials, policymakers, and other concerned citizens to hear from federal legislators, community leaders and experts about the campaign. Among those speaking will be:

  •          Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation Representative
  •          U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (Washington, D.C.)
  •          U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (Minnesota), Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus
  •          Kevin Gover, Director of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian
  •          Dr. Michael Friedman, a noted clinical psychologist who has done extensive research on the psychological effects of stigma and discrimination
  •          Dr. David Borgstrom, President of the Cooperstown (NY) Central School District Board of Education
  •          Two students from Cooperstown (NY) Central School District who led the effort to change the school's mascot from "redskins" to "hawkeyes"

WHAT: U.S. Lawmakers, Cultural Leaders, Public Health Professionals, Students, the Oneida Indian Nation to Discuss "Change the Mascot" Campaign during NFL Fall League Meeting

WHERE: Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, 3100 South Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 2007. The conference will take place in the Fahrenheit Ballroom

WHEN: Today, 11:00 a.m. Eastern, Monday, October 7

RSVP: Brett Stagnitti – Oneida Nation Public Affairs Manager 315-829-8310

*OBAMA OPEN TO NAME CHANGE FOR WASHINGTON REDSKINS, 10/5/13, hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_REDSKINS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
**Goodell: NFL should listen to 'Redskins' protests, 9/11/13, pro32.ap.org/article/goodell-nfl-should-listen-redskins-protests

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Joel Barkin
Oneida Indian Nation
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