My name is Toni Buffalo. I am a Lakota person of faith and a member of the United Church of Christ.
I’m inspired by the news that the Confederate Flag in South Carolina is coming down – if we can get rid of one historic symbol of racism, surely we can do another.
I started a petition to tell the Cleveland Indians to change their racist name and eliminate their current mascot, Chief Wahoo. To me, this is personal – as a Native American woman, a mother, a grandmother and an educator I see the impact of their harmful imagery on our Native youth and students. My dream is for our young people to stop being torn down by such imagery – we are not mascots.
I’m in Ohio this week for the United Church of Christ’s big biennial General Synod in Cleveland – the home of our denomination, and the racist Indians mascot. June 30th we’ll be delivering the signatures from my petition to demand that CEO Paul Dolan changes the Cleveland team name and mascot.
Our faith tradition teaches us that we are all created in God’s image. Holding on to racist images and inappropriate names only serves to injure our common humanity and to disfigure God’s image in all of us.
For our Native American brothers and sisters, when our culture is boiled down to a stereotypical team name or a racist team mascot that falsely represent 2.9 million people and 566 federally recognized tribes, the result is our young people suffer and cannot reach their full potential as God’s children.
To create a world for our youth that is healed of prejudice, we must work together to dismantle the racist imagery and names in our society.
Now is the time to act and demand that Cleveland Indians CEO Paul Dolan acknowledges the great harm he and his organization are causing. Together with you at our side we will not tire until Paul Dolan and those that support him understand the urgency of our request and change the racist name and racist mascot of the Cleveland “Indians” Organization.
Member of the Lakota Nation and the United Church of Christ
Watch a pastor teach some senators on why its important to look beyond the confederate flag.
Message of gratitude for the thousands that offered their prayers for Charleston. We delivered them to the community at vigil for one of the families.
This Sunday—the first Sunday after the Charleston shooting—join an online prayer-in at 11am Eastern on Twitter and Facebook. Wherever you are – in worship, in a coffee shop, on the street, use #PrayForCharleston and #PropheticGrief.
What happened in Charleston last night tore a hole in our hearts – at least 9 people shot dead inside a historic African American church, including the pastor, in a racially motivated hate crime.All are invited to stand in solidarity during this trying time.
Within days of starting my petition, over 2,400 people of faith signed on to tell Philadelphia Insurance that it's wrong to deny claims for life-saving addiction service providers. And we had a big step forward: Two government investigations have now been opened on the insurance company!
So from June 16-18, we will take part in a three-day fast to hold immigration enforcement accountable to the policies we fought so hard for to protect our neighbors and community members from deportation. Will you join with Arturo and Rosa in our fast?