IIPSJ IP and Civil Rights Conference | 2012

IIPSJ's IP and Civil Rights Conference was held on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at the Howard University School of Law.  Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. was the keynote speaker.  The conference brochure in pdf form is available for download.  The conference was cosponsored by IIPSJ and the Black Leadership Forum (BLF).

From left to right: IIPSJ Director Lateef Mtima; Rev. Jesse Jackson; Prof. Roger Groves (Fla. Coastal School of Law); IIPSJ Assoc. Dir. Steven Jamar at IIPSJ IP and Civil Rights Conference - May 17, 2012.

Further Commentary on the Washington NFL Football Team Trademark

As we settle into 2015, we thought you might be interested in a commentary regarding the continuing debate surrounding the name of the Washington NFL football team, Missing the Point: The Real Impact of Native Mascots and Team Names on American Indian and Alaska Native Youth, written by Eirk Stegman, Associate Director of the Half in Ten Education Fund at the Center for American Progress, and Victoria Phillips, who teaches intellectual property and communications law at American University Washington College of Law and is the Director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic. Stegman and Phillips discuss the psychological impact of the team’s controversial appellation, noting that “…too much of the debate misses the point. It is not just about a name, a logo, a business, or a matter of intent. Racist and derogatory team names have real and harmful effects on [American Indian and Alaska Native] people every day, particularly young people.” Among other things, the authors note that “AI/AN students across the country attend K-12 and postsecondary schools that still maintain racist and derogatory mascots.

Research shows that these team names and mascots can establish an unwelcome and hostile learning environment for AI/AN students. It also reveals that the presence of AI/AN mascots directly results in lower self-esteem and mental health for AI/AN adolescents and young adults. And just as importantly, studies show that these mascots undermine the educational experience of all students, particularly those with little or no contact with indigenous and AI/AN people. In other words, these stereotypical representations are too often understood as factual representations and thus “contribute to the development of cultural biases and prejudices.”

To read the full commentary, follow the link at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/report/2014/07/22/94214/missing-the-point/