WLU Athletics celebrates NCAA Diversity and Inclusion Week


Haley Blakemore

The ASRC building, where many student athletes practice and compete.

The West Liberty University (WLU) athletic department celebrated the fourth annual NCAA Diversity and Inclusion Social Media Campaign with a three-day program. For each day of the program, the athletic department posted short articles and videos on Hilltopper Sports to celebrate diversity and inclusion within the athletic department. This program took place from Oct. 19 through Oct. 21.

According to the NCAA, “The Diversity and Inclusion Social Media Campaign is meant to be a week of awareness, education and engagement showing the importance of inclusive environments in college sports.”

Day one of the program was entitled “My Voice My Platform”. On this day, the athletic department celebrated student-athletes of color and featured a WLU Women’s Basketball player, Arriana Manzay, and Hilltopper wrestler Christian Rivera.

“I am a first-generation college student and I identify as black. I love working with my teammates and working with the coaches and how comfortable they made me feel coming from thousands of miles away from home to be here at West Lib. West Liberty has provided me with the opportunity of providing for my family, getting my bachelor’s degree, and I’m actually applying for double degrees so going back home I would be able to make a difference for my family,” said Manzay.

The second day of the program was entitled “Championing Change”. Student-athletes from various sports and a variety of backgrounds highlighted various ways to be a champion for diversity and inclusion. Cassie Seth, associate head women’s basketball coach and WLU’s Athletics Diversity and Inclusion designee (ADID), discussed the importance of encouraging inclusivity by saying: “I challenge us all to continue the conversation on diversity, equity and inclusion so they become part of our daily routine. Be the positive people are inspired by. Here at West Liberty, we are all Hilltoppers.”

The last day of the diversity and inclusion campaign was entitled “Belonging Is…” The athletic department recognized WLU’s women’s tennis team, composed of 10 players from nine different countries and representing five continents. According to Hilltopper Sports, “the West Liberty University women’s tennis team demonstrates the power of diversity, inclusion and acceptance to bring people together in a nurturing environment.”

For more information about the NCAA Diversity and Inclusion social media campaign, visit NCAA.org. Visit Hilltopper Sports to see how West Liberty University participated in this program.