New interest groups provide a safe space for students of color

Michaela Lumpert, Campus Carrier News Editor

Two new interest groups have started on campus as a way for students of color to hold conversations about problems they face on campus and in life. U.N.I.T.Y is the first interest group focused primarily toward women of color, and L.E.A.D is the second, focused primarily toward men of color.

The name of the interest group, U.N.I.T.Y is acronym that stands for unapologetic, Nubian, independent, thriving, young women.

L.E.A.D. is also an acronym that stands for leaders embodying advancement through diversity.

The idea for the interest groups arose when director of student diversities, Chon’tel Washington discovered the lack of a space for both men and women of color to share problems they face. She met with sophomore Chloe Radford and junior Diamond Newsome to discuss the opportunities of creating an outlet for these students.

Both Radford and Newsome agreed that this outlet was missing on campus, and they decided to pursue the process of creating a club to solve this problem.

With this in mind, U.N.I.T.Y was created, with Radford serving as president and Newsome helping out the interest group’s process to becoming a club.

“Our topics will be basically things that women of color have to deal with but can often even pertain to all women and even sometimes all people,” Newsome said.

In the future, they plan to cover topics including self-love, breaking down barriers and connecting with people.

“These are topics that everyone can relate to but it’s a problem that comes from being a minority,” Newsome said.

Freshman Malik LeBlanc is leading the men’s interest group, L.E.A.D., he and intends to become president once the interest group becomes a club. The intentions for both interest groups are the same, as LeBlanc explained.

“We started L.E.A.D. because we saw that there was a need on campus for a safe haven that allows people of color to mingle, and be productive citizens, and see what we can do to be seen and heard on campus,” LeBlanc said.

But unlike U.N.I.T.Y., L.E.A.D. started its first meeting by creating individual development plans for its members, and LeBlanc hopes to continue these plans, adding to them as the other members learn what is best for them and what they hope to achieve, not only in college, but also in life after college.

Both interest groups hope to continue their process of becoming a club. Currently, they both have biweekly meetings and plan to have more activities and events for students to attend.

By next semester, they expect to have a stronger presence on campus, reaching out to more students.

“The club is certainly open to individuals of backgrounds and races,” LeBlanc said. “We are open, we are here, and we value all people.”

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