MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION

RESOLUTION ON MASCOTS AND SYMBOLS


In June 2001, the members of the Modern Language Association ratified the resolution below, which the MLA 's Delegate Assembly previously passed in December 2000.  The MLA Committee on the Literature of People of Color in the United States and Canada initiated the resolution.

The MLA includes over 30,000 members in the fields of English, foreign languages, and linguistics. Most members reside in the United States and Canada
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RESOLUTION

Whereas the MLA strongly supports the teaching and scholarship of literatures by people of color in the United States and Canada,

Whereas the MLA encourages faculty members in colleges and universities to be sensitive to the cultures of people of color,

Whereas representations of native peoples and their cultural traditions are frequently used as mascots and symbols by sports teams at universities, colleges, and high schools as well as by commercial teams,

Whereas educational institutions' use of these mascots and symbols can undermine their mission to educate students about the histories, cultures, and achievements of people of color,

Therefore, be it resolved that the MLA condemns the use of representations of native peoples and other racial and ethnic groups and their cultural traditions as sports mascots or symbols.



American Indian Sports Team Mascots extends its thanks to A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff, co-chair, MLA Committee on the Literature of People of Color in the United States and Canada (2000-2001), and professor emerita of English, University of Illinois at Chicago, for providing this resolution.   E-mail: lruoff@uic.edu

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