ELVERSON, PA — A Native American businesswoman from Berks County is speaking out against the Twin Valley “Raiders”. Amanda Funk is an M.A. graduate of Kutztown University, the Founder and Executive Director of The Widoktadwen Center for Native Knowledge, and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She was asked to address the district after a lack of action from administrators.
“I’ve addressed the school board over 20 times since initiating this movement in 2020,” says Arden Wolfe, 17, Founder of “Retire the Raider”. “I thought by inviting a legitimate tribal member, it might help our community understand that people are not mascots.”
Also slated to be in attendance at the February 22nd, 6:30 PM meeting will be State Representative Chris Rabb (D – 200th District), Arla Patch, Founder of Coalition of Natives and Allies, and students from nearby schools who have successfully changed their mascots. Rep. Rabb is drafting legislation to eliminate Native American mascots in Pennsylvania. Patch is working with Indigenous people and allies who value cultural diversity and respect for all people.
For almost two years, the Twin Valley School Board has ignored thousands of signatures on a petition to remove the mascot that has circulated around the world. They are in the process of revising Policy 006 – Local Board Procedures which would include limiting public comment at meetings if the topic is deemed repetitive.
Superintendent Patrick Winters has gone on record stating, “To attempt to give it [the mascot] its due diligence and time while we are in the midst of a pandemic is irresponsible.” Wolfe sees it differently. “The superintendent has repeatedly blamed his lack of action of COVID, ” says Wolfe. “But if the Washington Commanders can do it, so can we.”
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