This year the leadership group of the Minnesota State University, Mankato track and field team decided to use their voices to talk about diversity and inclusion in all parts of the campus community. In order to raise this awareness, they will be selling the Mav Equality T-shirts.
“Twenty-five percent of all sales will be donated to Opportunity Access Success Intercultural Success (OASIS) and the Office of Multicultural Center to support their department’s mission of retention and graduating students,” says MNSU Track and Field Head Coach, Mike Turgeon.
The idea of these shirts comes from the social unrest coming from Minneapolis this summer, and how we as a community can work toward equality for everyone and to show that we are all united as one.
These shirts are especially important to the track and field program as they support many diverse students on campus. According to Turgeon, “About 39% of our track and field team are diverse students, but it’s also unique, you know. You have students that come from severe poverty all the way to students who come from multimillion-dollar families. We also support our teammates and campus community who are part of the LGBT+ community, which was another reason as to why we created the shirts.”
Making sure every student feels included and has equal access to being successful is extremely important for a team this large, as it sets an example for other MNSU teams and groups to follow. Through the different programs and activities the track and field team take part in, Turgeon states, “This opportunity features to capture the differences among all of us and just in the different ethnicities, and some of the struggles that different groups come about.”
Recently, for Indigenous People Day, the team highlighted it’s three Native American students. The teammates and coaches watched an interview with activist MaryAnn Allen, where she discussed Native American history in the Mankato area and the hardships Native Americans experience.
“This speech helped us learn the things that you know as a track and field team that we could do for native voices and native people,” explained Turgeon.
To sophomore jumper Mariah Williams, the message behind these shirts is very important.
“For me, the message speaks to wanting true equality and solidarity for all and this is a way to start and get the message forward and moving for all to see and hopefully hear,” Williams said.
These shirts will be on sale in the field house, 9 a.m.-noon Friday, Oct. 30. If you want, you can also ship these shirts to home and they will be mailed that Friday. To purchase your T-shirts go to www.msumavericks.com/mavericksunited