National Coaltion on Racism in Sports and Media
April 5-7 2003


MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW!! Our 5th Annual Conference on Racism and Negative Stereotyping , traditionally held during the weekend of opening day of the Cleveland ball team, will be April 5 - 7, 2003, at the Cleveland Airport Marriott, 4277 West 150th Street, Cleveland, OH. Our featured speaker will be Dr. Richard Grounds from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Richard was a Professor at the Univerisity of Oklahoma until recently, when he began a full time career of retrieving and reviving the so called "lost language" of his so called "extinct" tribe of Yuchees (this was one of many tribes claimed to be extinct by the Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs). He is a fluent speaker and skilled at language preservation. Identity is of utmost importance to him and so he became totally involved in this work. and, from his work and research he knows racism and colonialism well. Speaking to issues of racist imagery in the popular culture as a continuation of the colonialism theme of genocide, he skillfully brings his audience through the historical ramifications that are threaded into the use of logos and imagery of Native Peoples Today.

We have also invited an individual who is an activist on the sacred site issues, specifically that of the Mt. Graham site in Arizona that is currently being exploited and abused for the sake of placing huge telescope observatories and not allowing his people to use their sacred mountain for their prayers and ceremonies.

Once again, Interaction with our leadership group from the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media will be a featured event. Vernon Belcourt, Char Teters, Clyde Belcourt, Juanita Helphrey and others will be a part of this conversation. Clyde will also be our Spiritual Leader and Advisor throughout the conference, as he did last year.

This year we have shortened our program to just one full day, but this does not mean it won't be jam packed with activity and fun! Nellie Hall will join Clyde this year with her wonderful songs and will be with us also to sing and drum at our Saturday night. social. She is from the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana and is the sister of Juanita Helphrey. She is currently on a circuit of singers, storytellers, dancers and drummers that provide the traditional and beautiful side of the story of the journey of Lewis and Clark.

Char Teters has a special art exhibit at Notre Dame College that you all need to see, so we hope you use that extra time Saturday to visit her exhIbit and talk with her. We will include that notice in our registration mailing.

We will begin with registration and our social night at the Pilgrim United Church of Christ, as we've done the past couple of years on Saturday night, at 6 p.m. (the 5th of April). This includes our annual feast and giveaway. Sunday the conference will open at the Marriott at 8 a.m. with continuing registration and at 9 a.m. with the Spiritual ceremonies by Clyde and Nellie. The guest speaker on sacred sites will finish the morning, our featured speaker will take up the afternoon and the interactive panel will be in the evening, with our closing time around 10 p.m.

Monday, of course, we will gather at the usual place for our march across the bridge to the ballpark to begin our protest.