The the Editor: The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Manhattan (UUFM) is proud to announce a recently adopted resolution that supports removing Native American mascots from our community schools. As a religious congregation, we feel called to publicly support stances that align with our values and to maintain an active role in the decision-making processes that guide the direction of our community.
As Unitarian Universalists, one of our seven principles is “to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” We believe that evidence shows that Native American mascots do not uphold the worth and dignity of Native people and therefore should be removed.
We realize this can be a polarizing issue and approach this topic with respect for the opposing view. In fact, another of our principles is “to affirm and promote the right of conscience and the use of democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” As such, we are charged to acknowledge and respect the opposing view and various stances. There was great care in our discussion of this resolution to allow for due process and create opportunity for traditions and honor to remain in place. The resolution was presented, amended and adopted at a congregational meeting Feb. 5. The resolution reads as follows: “The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Manhattan (UUFM) supports removing Native American (‘Indian’) mascots from our community schools. UUFM feels the evidence that such mascots harm youth, including the documented fact that they lead our youth to hold over-simplified and erroneous ideas about present-day native people, presents a moral dilemma that can only be resolved by phasing out the use of Native American mascots in our community’s schools. UUFM understands that this transition may take time, but nonetheless asserts that the decision must be made to end the use of Native American mascots in our community schools.”
As Unitarian Universalists, we believe this stance best aligns with the values that guide us. Ultimately, the purpose of this resolution is to proclaim that we, the UUFM, believe removal of the Native American mascots from our community schools is a necessary step in the journey to uphold our living tradition. Matt Campbell UUFM Board Chair 481 Zeandale Road