Tag Archives: logos

National Parks Service lifts restrictions on naming rights, clears way for commercialism

After months of reviewing public comments, the National Park Service announced director Jonathan Jarvis signed and finalized “Director’s Order #21,” a policy allowing federal parks to seek donations from corporate vendors, allowing the parks service to partner with alcohol companies, dropping the policy that parks must be free of commercialism and lifting restrictions on naming rights in parks.

This is a statement from Kristen Strader, campaign coordinator for Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert Program:

It is disgraceful that the parks service plans to sell our national parks to the highest bidder despite overwhelming public opposition to increased commercialism in our national parks. More than 215,000 petition signers and hundreds of commenters opposed this policy.

Now that this policy has been finalized, park visitors soon could be greeted with various forms of advertisements, like a sign reading “brought to you by McDonald’s” within a new visitor’s center at Yosemite, or “Budweiser” in script on a park bench at Acadia.

The NPS did make one right move by removing a provision from the policy that would have allowed corporate logos to be placed on exhibits and waysides.

In a society where we are constantly inundated with advertisements everywhere we go, national parks offered a unique and beautiful escape. Even in schools, students endure a constant barrage of billboards, social media advertising and marketing. Until now, national parks have remained relatively commercial-free, which is why they were such a valuable respite.

The finalization of Director’s Order #21 signals a dangerous shift toward opening our parks up to an unprecedented amount of commercial influence.

Consumers eager to pay 30 percent more for ‘fair trade’ products

Products labeled with a Fair Trade logo cause prospective buyers to dig deeper into their pockets.

In an experiment conducted at the University of Bonn, participants were willing to pay on average 30 percent more for ethically produced goods, compared to their conventionally produced counterparts.

The neuroscientists analyzed the neural pathways involved in processing products with a Fair Trade emblem. They identified a potential mechanism that explains why Fair Trade products are evaluated more positively. For instance, activity in the brain’s reward center increases and thereby alters willingness to pay computations.

Since its launch in 2003, the Fair Trade logo has hardly changed.

Currently, it is found on a great variety of products, including coffee, bananas, creams, wine bottles and more.

Critically, the emblem influences subjective evaluations of products, as researchers at the Center for Economics and Neuroscience at the University of Bonn demonstrated in their latest study. While test subjects lay in a brain scanner, they bid on various food products. Each of these products was available in two versions — Fair Trade or conventionally produced. The results were clear: On average, participants were willing to pay around 30 percent more for products produced according to Fair Trade standards, compared to their conventionally produced counterparts.

As the study was conducted in a brain scanner at the LIFE&BRAIN Center in Bonn, researchers could also show that products labeled with this emblem led to increased activity in specific brain regions. For example, they observed increased activation in regions important for reward processing as well as frontal regions that process abstract product attributes — whether or not a product carries a Fair Trade logo, and the meaning of such a label.

Part of the frontal lobe ultimately calculates the willingness to pay in an area known as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex which refers to the area’s location.

“The higher the activity in the vmPFC, the more money subjects were willing to pay,” said professor Bernd Weber, neuroscientist at the University of Bonn. The scanner data suggests that the vmPFC integrates information from other brain areas and uses this information to calculate an overall value. Based on information from various regions, it reaches a decision: Would I pay 50 cents for the Fair Trade banana? Or just 30 cents?

The Fair Trade logo leads to even more widespread effects. The food labeled with Fair Trade logos also tasted better to consumers.

In a second experiment, participants sampled two pieces of chocolate, declared as coming from either Fair Trade or conventional production. Participants then rated the product’s palatability. The piece of chocolate labeled with a Fair Trade emblem received superior taste evaluations. “Pure imagination,” said the study’s lead author, Laura Enax. “Both pieces of chocolate are actually identical.”

— Posted by

Not your mascot | Student-led push leads Madison to ban Native American sports team imagery

Students returning to class for the 2015-16 term in Madison K-12 schools won’t be sporting Chicago Blackhawks jerseys or Atlanta Braves T-shirts. And not because they lack interest in the fastest game on Earth or they rally behind the Brewers, though that’s likely.

The Madison School Board has enacted a prohibition on clothing and other items tagged with sports team names, logos or mascots portraying a “negative stereotype” of Native Americans. The policy does not prohibit all Native American imagery on attire and other possessions — just sports team items.

The decision apparently is a first for a K-12 school district in the United States.

Students proposed the prohibition and, over the summer, expect to work with school officials on the details of administering the policy, including creating a list of outlawed imagery and names. 

“The existence of these mascots destroys our self-esteem. The existence of these mascots shows us how people really think of us,” Gabriel Saiz, a Madison West High School student, told the Madison school board earlier this year, according to the AP. Saiz, a member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, worked with others involved in the Native American Student Association to draft the policy.

In addition to amending the district’s dress code rules, Madison schools will ask visiting athletic teams to leave behind Native American mascots and logos. If a visiting team flouts the policy, the game could be canceled.

Meanwhile, a student who violates the dress code would be required to take off the item or turn the clothing inside out.

Leaders working to eliminate the mascots, logos and names under Change the Mascot! and Not Your Mascot banners praised the Wisconsin students and school officials, who acted at about the time other government boards and institutions advanced the cause.

In Oklahoma City in late May, the Capitol High School announced the decision to become the Red Wolves, abandoning the Redsk*ns.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Board of Education rejected an amendment intended to weaken a requirement that public schools with Native American mascots choose new nicknames by 2017. 

“We express our admiration and appreciation to these educational boards, administrators, students and other advocates for helping eliminate the use of the dictionary-defined R-word racial slur from our schools,” said Jackie Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, and Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation representative, in a joint statement. Both are leaders of the Change the Mascot campaign. “These schools recognize the need for a change and are a shining example of the American ideals of mutual respect and equality.”

The effort also got a boost in June from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who said the pro football team in Washington, D.C., should change its name, and from California lawmakers, who advanced the California Racial Mascots Act.

The California bill would make the state the first in the nation to ban the use of “redsk*ns” as a team nickname in public schools. California state Assemblyman Luis Alejo introduced the measure with the support of tribal leaders, student activists and health professionals.

“California has the largest number of Native Americans in the country. It’s time we as a state take a stand against racial slurs used by our public schools,” Alejo said. “This is part of a national movement and now is the time for us here in California to end the use of this derogatory term in our public schools.”

He added, “The R-word was once used to describe Native Americans’ scalps sold for a bounty and current use of the term is widely recognized as a racial slur that promotes discrimination against Native Americans.”

Before approving the measure 7-1 on June 17, the California Senate Education Committee heard testimony from Halbritter, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation Tribal secretary James Kinter, student activist Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown and psychologist Michael Friedman. They addressed the harmful impact of the racial slur on the self-esteem and self-identity of young Native Americans and other negative consequences of continuing to use Native American mascots and logos.

Duncan, meanwhile, expressed his praise for a school district in New York state that retired the use of “redsk*ins” as a nickname.

In a pair of tweets, Duncan thanked Lancaster Central School District “for challenging the status quo & saying Native American stereotypes are inappropriate in sports” and “It makes no sense to me why the Washington pro football team won’t do the same and stop perpetuating racial stereotypes.”

The Change the Mascot effort has focused on the Washington NFL team more than any other because the team is located in the nation’s capital, has a long record of racist policies — the team was the last in the NFL to integrate — and team owner Dan Snyder seems indifferent to Native American concerns.

“Across the country there is a growing chorus of students who are stepping forward to say enough is enough when it comes to the usage of the offensive R-word slur,” said Pata and Halbritter. “Washington team owner Dan Snyder, in particular, could learn a lot about basic decency, equality and respect from these young people.”

The push to end the use of American Indian stereotypes as mascots, logos and symbols dates back decades.

The campaign has been a priority for nearly 50 years for the National Congress of American Indians, which has passed a number of resolutions on the issue and worked with hundreds of tribal governments and more than 100 civil rights, educational, athletic and scientific groups to advance the cause.

The NAACP passed its resolution calling on professional sports teams and public schools to “change the mascot” in 1999 and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued its “Statement on the Use of Native American Images and Nicknames as Sports Symbols” in 2001.

Both the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association called for retiring American Indian mascots and imagery. The APA, in its resolution, cited negative effects on the mental health and psychological behavior of American Indian people and the ASA said, “Social science scholarship has demonstrated that the continued use of Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport harm Native American people in psychological, educational and social ways.”

Under the leadership of Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, Wisconsin lawmakers sought to advance the cause in 2009 with the passage of Act 250. The law — the first of its kind in the United States — took effect in 2010 and allowed for a nonpartisan Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction review if a district resident complained that a mascot, logo or name was offensive.

Wisconsin lawmakers, under the leadership of Republican Gov. Scott Walker, changed the statute, making it more difficult to remove mascots by moving oversight to the state Department of Administration and requiring the complainant to collect the signatures of school district residents 18 and older and equivalent to 10 percent of the district’s student population.

Walker signed the measure into law in December 2013. He wrote to tribal leaders who had urged a veto and claimed he was defending free speech rights. “If the state bans speech that is offensive to some, where does it stop?” Walker wrote. “A person or persons’ right to speak does not end just because what they say or how they say it is offensive.”

Native American activists in the state called Walker’s decision egregious.

“We believe the recent decision to override the progress made with the state in regard to the school mascots to be a mockery of the indigenous people in the state and around America,” Mole Lake Sokaogon chairman Chris McGeshik said in March, delivering the State of the Tribes address to the Wisconsin Legislature.

Did you know?

> Marquette University changed its sports team name from the Warriors to the Golden Eagles and ended all use of American Indian names and imagery in 1994. The school’s president said, “We live in a different era than when the Warriors nickname was selected in 1954.” The university abandoned “Willie Wampum” as its mascot in 1971.

> Dozens of Wisconsin public K-12 schools — from Amery to Wonewoc-Center — have eliminated American Indian references to race-based “Indian” nicknames and logos. But 31 schools continue to use “Indian” nicknames and logos, according to the Wisconsin Indian Education Association “Indian” Mascot and Logo Taskforce.

> Nationwide, the number of schools — universities and K-12 — with Native American mascots has declined from more than 3,000 to fewer than 1,000.

> In 2013, President Barack Obama pledged his support to the “change the mascot” push and said the Washington, D.C., NFL team name is offensive and raises “real and legitimate concerns.”

> Groups calling for an end to Native American mascots include: the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Education Association Council, Wisconsin Indian Education Association, WIEA Mascot and Logo Task Force, Wisconsin State Human Relations Association and Youth Indian Mascot and Logo Taskforce of Wisconsin.

— L.N.

The AP contributed to this report.

Madison school district bans American Indian team logos

Sports fans may have to leave their Blackhawks, Indians or Redskins gear at home if they plan on entering a Madison public school next year.

Starting this fall, public school students in Wisconsin’s capital city cannot wear shirts, hats or other items that display the name, logo or mascot of any team that portrays a “negative stereotype” of American Indians. Those who do must change or face suspension or expulsion.

The existence of these mascots destroys our self-esteem. The existence of these mascots shows us how people really think of us,” Gabriel Saiz, a junior at Madison West High, told the city school board in May shortly before it voted unanimously to adopt the policy.

The district’s dress code says a list of prohibited logos and mascots would be made available before the beginning of the school year.

The move comes some two years after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a law that made it harder for the state’s public schools to drop tribal nicknames. The measure was prompted by officials in a handful of Wisconsin cities who refused to part with mascots such as the Chieftains and the Indians after the state Department of Public instruction ordered them to drop the monikers. Previous state law allowed the state agency to launch a hearing into each race-based nickname with a single complaint. Current law requires a petition to trigger the hearing.

Larry Dupuis, legal director for American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, said he was not pleased with the Madison school district’s move. He said it limits students’ free speech and seems counterproductive by stifling conversation about American Indian portrayals.

“This kind of Band-Aid doesn’t fix these sorts of underlying problems,” Dupuis said. “What a horrible thing to tell kids that we can’t discuss these ideas, that we should avert our eyes to this.”

Brian Howard, a spokesman for the National Congress of American Indians, welcomed the ban, which he said was the first he’d heard of in a public school. He said a private school, Sandy Spring Friends School in Maryland, approved a much more limited ban in February against only the word “Redskins,” the mascot of the Washington, D.C. NFL team. The school doesn’t require uniforms.

“If people are asked to turn their shirts inside out, that’s going to get people talking,” Howard said. “They’re going to ask, `Why?’ They’re always going to inquire about it.”

Republican State Rep. Andre Jacque said that not all American Indians reject the mascots. He pointed to Mishicot, a village in his district where local tribe spokesmen have approved of the public school district’s mascot – the Indian.

“Native American mascots have served as a point of pride for Native American students and fans,” Jacque said.

Thirty-one Wisconsin high schools use Indian mascots and logos, said Barbara Munson, an Oneida Indian who chairs the Wisconsin Indian Education Association’s mascots and logos task force.

Big leagues to go purple to support LGBT youth on Spirit Day

Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, National Basketball Association & Women’s National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Wrestling Entertainment will join millions of people in “going purple” for Spirit Day on Oct. 17.

That’s all the major professional sports leagues in the United States that are taking a stand against bullying and showing support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

“Going purple” will involve wearing purple, as well as turning logos and other social media badges purple.

Spirit Day is promoted by GLAAD, which recruits hundreds of celebrities, entertainment organizations, brands, landmarks, sports leagues, faith groups, school districts, colleges and universities for the campaign.

Spirit Day ambassadors include transgender athlete Kye Allums, out basketball players Jason Collins and Brittney Griner and out WWE superstar Darren Young.

Also, Athlete Ally and the You Can Play Project will participate as part of their work to end homophobia and transphobia in sports.

“By coming together to support LGBT youth, American sports leagues are sending a clear message to fans everywhere: homophobia has no place in the game,” said GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz. “Whether on the field, in the locker room, or cheering from the stands it’s clear that LGBT people are essential to the sports community.”

Wade Davis of the You Can Play Project said, “The You Can Play Project proudly recognizes Spirit Day as a time for everyone to stand in solidarity with LGBT youth to fight against bullying and other forms of discrimination and to celebrate their courage and strength.

Spanish-language talk show host Cristina Saralegui also will serve as aSpirit Day ambassador and viewers of “Access Hollywood,” “CNBC,” “Extra, Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “MSNBC,” “Telemundo,” “The Talk,” “The View,” “Watch What Happens Live,” the “Wendy Williams Show” and more will notice a lot of purple in the hosts’ clothing.

Others committed to Spirit Day include Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White, Tatyana Ali, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Kristen Bell, Nate Berkus, Sarah Brightman, Nick Cannon, Laverne Cox, Aviva Drescher, Dr. Drew, Melissa Etheridge, Nicola Foti, Steve Grand, Shenae Grimes & Josh Beech, Dot Marie Jones, Mary Lambert, Demi Lovato, Loni Love, Holly Madison, Lori Michaels, Isaac Mizrahi, Stephanie Nogueras, Suze Orman, Eric Petersen, Mary Povich, Sara Rue, Doreen Taylor, Jordan Todosey, Davey Wavey, Nick Wechsler, Betty Who and Zendaya.

Landmarks that will be colored purple include Las Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience, the LAX pylon lights, the New York Stock Exchange and Times Square, as well as billboards at American Eagle Outfitters, MTV, NASDAQ, and the Thomson Reuters building.

To celebrate the day, out country music star Steve Grand will play a free concert at Las Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience.

Participating brands include ABC Family, Atelier lb, American Airlines, American Apparel, American Eagle Outfitters, AT&T, BNP Paribas, Brown-Forman, B|W|R| Public Relations, Caesars, CBS, Chambord, The Coca-Cola Company, Comcast / NBCUniversal, Cresa, Delta Air Lines, Depository Trust & Clearing Company, Disney, Facebook, Hyatt, Iden Consultoria, Infiniti Graphics, Johnson & Johnson, Kaplan Thaler, Ketel One, Leo Burnett, Los Angeles International Airport, MSLGroup, MTV, PepsiCo, Publicis Groupe, Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, PwC, Razorfish, Rock On Rentals, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, SoCal Social Club, Starcom, Stokes Counseling Services, Telemundo, Thomson-Reuters Corporation, Tumblr, Toyota Financial Services, United Airlines, Verizon, Wells Fargo, Westfield Group, ZenithOptimedia, ZipCar will also participate in Spirit Day.

On the Web…


Download the Go Purple for #SpiritDay App from Mac’s App Store or for the Android from Google Play.

Show off your spirit on Spirit Day using the hashtag #SpiritDay and @glaad on Twitter.