New RSO aims to question the idea of race, empower students
Florida Gulf Coast University will be seeing a brand new registered student organization this year, No Race/No Hate. As the name implies, this new nonprofit organization will be spreading awareness and promoting advocacy of racial equality.
No Race/No Hate came to be when founder and alumnus Sherona Edwards took Interracial and Intercultural Communications, a course at FGCU taught by Professor Kathy Norris.
“One thing that really stuck with me was when she stated to the class, ‘For the past 15 years, scientists have actually proven that races do exist,” Edwards said. This statement opened her eyes to just how much of a problem racism could be, so she aimed to make a difference in spreading awareness of the already existing issue.
“No Race/No Hate aims to empower members through cultural immersion programming, promoting cultural competency, acceptance, and appreciation for our inevitable diversity,” she said.
Joining in on her dream of spreading knowledge and awareness is a team of individuals hand-picked by Edwards. Leading the team in her stead will be RSO President Vanessa Fernandez, Vice President Kendall James, Secretary Talissa Soto and Treasurer Angela Navarro.
“We aim to break common stigmas that compel us to subconsciously judge others, while creating an atmosphere for students to learn about how we can actively better our society,” Fernandez said. “We hope to have students add their own lives to the discussion, as well. By sharing experiences, we can grow together as a student population.”
They have big plans to accelerate their cause – they’re looking for any kind of member. To join, students can go to the Eagle Link, the campus compendium of RSOs. Events planned for later in the year include fundraisers to help promote their name and will offer service learning opportunities, as well as an end-of-the-year panel featuring students and staff from FGCU. It will cover all sorts of racial and equality issues – experiences with racism, interracial relationships and ways to conquer discrimination of any sort.
But No Race/No Hate isn’t just a name and mission, it really means, “Students from all walks of life merging together to bridge the gap and create unity,” Edwards said.
It’s a place for students who are struggling with racial discrimination to go to for help – even those who are discriminating.
For aid and questions, check out the Eagle Link to contact No Race/No Hate members. Pumped to make a difference and get involved? No Race/No Hate isn’t on social media just yet, so look for the RSO on campus starting this fall.
The first meeting will be held on Sept. 9. The location and time will be announced at the Involvement Fair during the FGCU Week of Welcome.