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'Union United for Change': Union community advocates for mascot change

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Posted at 9:10 AM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-13 10:21:24-04

Union School District community members are coming together to advocate for a change of the school's mascot.

Around 1,000 Union alumni, parents, students and staff created a group called 'Union United for Change' to advocate for changing the school's mascot, which is currently the Union 'Redskins'.

This comes after Washington announced they are officially retiring the Redskins team name and logo.

According to an official press release, the current Union mascot is associated with the bounties for scalped heads of tribal people.

Union United for Change said the school last looked into changing the mascot in 2002.

As soon as we heard that there was potential for the district to reevaluate its mascot, we jumped into action. We love our school and it is time for the Union values we grew up on to be reflected in the images and namesake that represents us and it is time that we live by the values we espouse.
Shagah Zakerion, one of the group’s leaders

Shagah Zakerion, who graduated from Union High School in 2006, said Union United for Change formed to show the school, its leaders and school board members they have a large group to support them in the hard work it will take to create this change.

“No slur should be used to denigrate and suppress native people and it certainly should not be used to represent a public school located in Oklahoma, home to 39 federally recognized tribes,” Zakerion said.

The Union School Board is set to meet on Monday, July 13 to vote for the forming of the committee to reconsider changing the mascot.

The coalition set up a Facebook page and an online petition for those interested.

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