by Annie Graham, ’14
Adrienne Keene is an ‘07 Stanford graduate who visited Muwekma-Tah-Ruk to speak on Monday night. Currently in her third year at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, she used her spare time or sheer determination to start a project alongside her life as a student: she writes a blog called Native Appropriations, concerned with (mis)representations of Indigenous peoples. Her work proves the potential of blogs to formulate individual ideas and change the minds of others. She is also a very upbeat and welcoming person — I got to sit down and ask her a few questions before her presentation.
Annie Graham: Would you say you were an activist at Stanford as an undergraduate?
Adrienne Keene: When I was a student, my activism was a little bit more limited. Stanford was the first place that I was exposed to issues of social justice and activism, in the sort of the “on the ground, protest signs” form. When I was an undergrad and was the co-chair of the Stanford American Indian Organization, we had a couple of instances of frat houses using the Indian mascot for various things. So that was the first time I was kind of involved in activism pushing back against it.
One thing I really appreciated about the Stanford administration, at least when I was a student here, is that they really supported the Native students on the mascot issue. So, whenever something popped up — and it happened fairly often, The Stanford Review was also using an Indian image for a while — the administration would have our back fairly quickly… the president would issue a statement saying the mascot was discontinued in 1971 and is not to be used for any reason anymore.
AG: What happened in grad school that made you become more of an activist? Continue reading