Earlier this month, the Fresno Pacific University Department of Athletics announced the creation of Athletes of Color Alliance as a university-sponsored and student-led organization with official club status as of September 2020.
The club’s primary goal is to collaborate on issues on social justice within the campus and surrounding communities while providing a safe space for student-athletes of all racial backgrounds.
Members of the club elected senior D.J. Maxwell-Garcia (men’s track and field) as president, while junior Zara Anthony (women’s track and field) and junior Mikayla Kennedy (volleyball) will serve as the vice president and secretary respectively.
“The Athletes of Color Alliance came together because we wanted to give people the space they deserve to speak on what is going on in the world,” Maxwell says. “As someone who wants to be a catalyst for change, I believe we have to create a course of action. This is a necessary organization to provide the athletes of color at Fresno Pacific University with a larger, communal platform to speak on issues of racial injustice.”
NCAA leadership recently launched A4, a four-part virtual program to educate student-athletes on the power they have and how they can use it to effectively enact meaningful change. The mission of the series is to educate and empower student-athletes, coaches and athletics administrators through transformative experiences that develop effective leaders, cultivate an inclusive community and enhance the college sports landscape.
“Time and time again in recent history, we have seen athletes take the lead on pressing social issues, and I think our young people feel a real desire to honor the powerful example set for them,” says C.J. Haydock, club sponsor and head men’s basketball coach. “Working with them to move toward a more equitable world, to empower their voices and to provide a safe space for authentic dialogue and action is a development we can all be excited for in our community. I remain inspired every day by our young people’s grace, wisdom, tolerance and indefatigable spirit, and I look forward to following their lead as we try to repair the unjust world handed to them.”
Fresno Pacific University is the only accredited Christian university founded in California’s Central Valley. It is owned by the USMB Pacific District Conference and offers undergraduate, graduate and seminary programs that stress solid academic preparation and a strong ethical foundation to more than 4,100 traditional and adult students on the main campus in southeast Fresno and regional campuses in North Fresno, Visalia, Bakersfield and Merced as well as online.
Fresno Pacific University is California’s Central Valley’s only accredited Christian university, connecting every student’s untapped potential with unlimited opportunity for professional, personal and ethical growth. Nonprofit and independent, FPU offers more than 100 areas of study to about 4,000 traditional undergraduate, adult degree completion, graduate and seminary students at the main campus in Southeast Fresno and throughout the Valley at regional campuses in North Fresno, Visalia, Bakersfield and Merced as well as online.