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If At The End Of His Speech You Still Think That Mascot ‘Honors’ Him, You’re Still Missing The Point

There's been a long-standing debate surrounding sports teams with names and mascots derived from Native American people. Some argue that these names are "paying tribute" or "honoring" Native Americans, but this moving speech from 15-year-old Dahkota Brown sheds much-needed perspective on on how these team names affect students like himself.

If At The End Of His Speech You Still Think That Mascot ‘Honors’ Him, You’re Still Missing The Point

Still not convinced? Check out the Center for American Progress' recently released report, "Missing the Point: The Real Impact of Native Mascots and Team Names on American Indian and Alaska Native Youth" for a detailed breakdown of why this conversation is so very important.

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Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

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This article originally appeared on 07.11.17


Madalyn Parker wanted to take a couple days off work. She didn't have the flu, nor did she have plans to be on a beach somewhere, sipping mojitos under a palm tree.

Parker, a web developer from Michigan, wanted a few days away from work to focus on her mental health.

Photo courtesy of Madalyn Parker.

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