Western Michigan athletics has developed the “We Must Unite” task force to discuss inclusion and diversity on and off campus.
The task force will have 23 student-athletes on it, with eight WMU coaches joining the group along with five other members within the athletic department.
The goals of the group consist of creating an inclusive space for everyone no matter race, sexual orientation or religion, as well as listening to others and relating, giving help for education, fighting for equality and being active members in the Kalamazoo community.
"It's been a terrific privilege to be included in our Diversity Task Force at WMU, especially in such an important season of change," said WMU Volleyball head coach Colleen Munson. "Our initial discussions have been encouraging, challenging, and a great opportunity for us to listen and learn. I’m hopeful that out of this will come meaningful and effective change for us as individuals, teams, and members of the WMU community."
The group helps as a platform for students to have discussions about topics that have been uncomfortable as a way to help students and the community band together.
The 23 athletes on the task force include; Drew Devine and junior Logan Hudson (baseball), Ralph Holley, Christian Singleton, Ra’Sean Davie, Trae Allen, and Sean Tyler (football), Sarah Shirley, Tess Abbott and Stacie Harrison (gymnastics), Jack Randall and Zac Faveri (men’s tennis), Emily Koperdak (softball), Taylor Eaton, Kennedy Campeau, and Jasmine McLemore (track and field), Rachel Bontrager, Janell Williams, and Charley Andrews (volleyball), Reilly Jacobson, Kiana Cencula, Taylor Williams, and Lauren Ross (women’s basketball), Hannah Sargent and Victoria Kyriakopoulos (women’s soccer), Taylor Smith and Elizabeth Trupp (women’s tennis), and Rebecca McNamee (cross country).
The WMU Athletics Diversity Taskforce includes track and field head coach Makiba Batten, women’s soccer head coach Sammy Boateng, baseball head coach Billy Gernon, strength & conditioning coach Tim Herrmann, Gymnastics head coach Penny Jernigan, Softball head coach Kathy Leitke, Volleyball head coach Colleen Munson, Senior Associate Athletic Director Keanah Smith, WMU athletics faculty representative Luchara Wallace, Executive Assistant Amy Washington, Women's Basketball assistant coach Cetera Washington, Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Services Ashley Williams and Assistant athletic trainer Theresa Chacon.