Indigenous people continue to fight for these names and imagery to be removed for a simple reason: Native mascots dehumanize Indigenous people by employing disparaging stereotypes of Native Americans that cause real harm. There is plenty of hope for this movement, recent victories in professional sports saw the Washington Football Team changed their identity after 83 years. In addition to Washington, the Cleveland Indians have committed to dropping their name after the conclusion of the 2021 season. In 2019, the organization started removing the name “Indians” from jerseys and apparel and dropped the infamous “Chief Wahoo” logo.
These two moves have served as examples for other teams such as the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Blackhawks to review their brand. While it is very easy to point out the large-scale examples of racist imagery, there is a staggering amount of U.S. schools, both big and small, using these same images and names. Currently, there are 1,232 high schools in the United States with Native American team names and/or icons. Project Twelve Thirty-Two looks to reach out to these schools, districts, and local officials to encourage change. Through extensive research and design, the project looks to present new ideas that are relevant to the school.