The Athletes of Color Coalition (AoCC) organized a video screening and discussion in Morrell Gymnasium on Wednesday night in honor of No Hate November—a month dedicated to promoting inclusivity and respect on campus.
To compile the video, AoCC leadership requested video clips from student athletes, coaches and alumni detailing their experiences as a person of color within athletics. All Bowdoin athletes were invited to attend the video screening and subsequent discussion.
“We have a lot of different teams represented, so the video shows the [white athletes who] are part of these teams that these are the experiences of some of their best friends, maybe that they don’t necessarily talk about on a daily basis…. These are the hard conversations that are being had,” AoCC President Jordin Young ’24 said. “We also like to highlight that not every experience is a bad experience—most experiences are very good experiences.”
After attendees watched the video, they broke off into small groups to discuss the video and the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts of their own teams. AoCC executive team members led these discussions.
The event has become an annual tradition. Young estimated that two years ago approximately 250 people attended. Fewer attended last year, yielding a turnout of about 130.
“That 250 mark is definitely something that we would love to get back up to,” Young said.
Young later wrote an email to the Orient estimating that between 150 and 175 people attended this year’s event.
Last year was the first year other NESCAC schools were included in the video, and, this year, clips from Hamilton College were also included.
The general mission of the AoCC is to foster a community for athletes of color and create a dialogue surrounding their experiences on predominantly white teams.
“Our mission has always been to make sure that everybody has this safe space to come to if any problems arise—but also even if problems don’t arise, if you just want to stop by and talk, have a nice chat, we’re always there,” Young said.
This year, Presidents Young and Jai DuVal ’24 have emphasized creating a friendly, welcoming environment within the AoCC. The two hosted a dinner for the group in DuVal’s apartment last week with the goal of encouraging a strong family environment within the AoCC.
Treasurer Anyi Sun ’26 echoed Young’s hopes about creating a strong sense of community within the AoCC.
“I want us to be like another group or team … where if you walk past someone in the hallway, you say hi because you’re best friends,” Sun said.
Looking forward, the AoCC hopes to increase attendance at weekly meetings and get more athletes of color involved in the coalition.
“I think it’s important to market towards [first years] who are new and excited to meet people,” Sun said. “I’m sure there are athletes of color … that don’t feel like they’re going to see anyone they know in the group, but [we should] give those athletes the extra push to join.”
Young emphasized the importance of first-year participation not only to increase numbers, but also to gain fresh perspectives about possibilities for the future of the AoCC.
“I love talking to the [first years] because everyone comes in with differing perspectives. We asked all the club members, but the [first years] most specifically, what they envision this club to be, because that’s part of the process of constantly evolving,” Young said. “Seeing what the [first years] think will work best and what kind of support they need is probably the best part.”