Liberty students form Diversity Club to combat social inequity

Ciena Sakamoto , Staff Writer

In the wake of the recent protests about systemic racism, sophomore Diversity Club co-founder Naomi Hancock felt that Liberty students needed to be involved in conversations about equity and social change. So she decided to take action.

“I started Diversity Club because I want Liberty to be a safer and more equitable place for students regardless of their race, sexuality, religious identity, or any other factors,” Hancock said. 

Alongside senior co-founders Silvia Carias-Centeno and Charlene Agbayekhai and junior co-founder Solena Metiva, Hancock formed and began to co-preside over Liberty’s first Diversity Club in hopes of having much-needed conversations about local issues. 

Although the official club name is still in the works, the group serves to increase awareness and inclusivity in the student body. The club supports students through conversations about social change and aims to create a safe space for everyone. One of the club’s main goals is to hear from as many different voices as possible to have productive discussions about what it means to be equitable. 

“Diversity Club is important because it gives students an opportunity to get involved in the larger system of equality. Students are able to talk about all issues, big or small, and how to face them head-on,” Diversity Club advisor Joan King said. 

At their first club meeting on October 28, over a dozen students discussed stories about their personal experiences and how stronger connections could be formed between Liberty admin and students. Since Diversity Club is a safe space for its student members, the meeting topics are kept confidential. 

“The truth is that when we feel safe with those around us, the best of us comes out,” Carias-Centeno said. “Of course this is only the start, but what is especially motivating is knowing that other students can be empowered in every classroom setting.” 

In order to create a better environment for Liberty’s students and staff, Hancock, Carias-Centeno, Agbayekhai, and Metiva believe that everyone needs to be involved in the conversations about equity. 

Diversity Club meets every Wednesday at 3:30 and is open to all. Everyone is encouraged to join to extend inclusion throughout all of Liberty and create the best experience possible for all students and staff.