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July 14, 2020
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Valley Can Move Forward

Published Jan. 08, 2020

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I read with keen interest Karena Garrity’s Dec. 26 article “Warriors’ ‘Indian’ Imagery at Heart of New Debates.”

Although not a Valley grad myself, I am the proud dad of two Valley grads, classes of 2010 and 2012. We are raising two future Valley grads for the classes of 2033 and 2035. My two older children both played on Valley sports teams. Like many parents in our community, I am grateful for the academic, cultural, and athletic offerings that Valley provides. I witnessed firsthand the character building and life lessons that Valley educators and coaches offered to our children.

Across the arc of my 22 year career as a senior architect at Barnes & Noble Education (BNED), serving hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide, I have seen dozens of colleges and universities successfully evolve their logos, mascots, and branding guidelines away from visuals that had misappropriated indigenous peoples or perpetuated negative or offensive stereotypes. BNED has been an integral partner in these processes, as we serve as strategic brand ambassadors serving higher education in our bricks-and-mortar and virtual campus stores. Our campus partners developed their new branding guidelines in an inclusive, transparent process that engaged their entire communities (students, alumni, educators, coaches, administrators, trustees, parents, fans, etc.) to reach successful outcomes.

In the able hands of Superintendent of Schools Brian White and Region 4 Board of Education Chair Kate Sandmann, working together with an engaged citizenry, I am confident that the Valley community can move forward on this issue.

Robert R. Lucero
Deep River