OLLU shares statement from RRAC Commissioner, Presidents on issues of racism and equality

The Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC), OLLU President Dr. Diane E. Melby and other members schools’ presidents are sharing this statement to all RRAC administrators, coaches, student-athletes, parents, fans and alumni. 

STATEMENT

These are definitely unprecedented times for our world, our country and our conference. While the RRAC and our member institutions have been hyper-focused on providing a safe environment for student-athletes in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for a return to sports this fall, we have been confronted with the impact of racism and social injustice that have heightened our awareness of inequities that exist in our nation. 

The tasks that we face as a conference and those that our college administrators tackle on a daily basis require our attention, but we can’t ignore larger issues in our society and, particularly, as they affect people of color. The history of the RRAC only dates back to 1998, but our conference has always proudly represented a diverse and inclusive group of schools with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI / OLLU’s distinction) and minority-serving institutions. Even if we haven’t proclaimed that outwardly, it has always been a vital part of who we are. 

It is important for the RRAC to fully affirm that black lives matter. Our schools share the important mission of giving student-athletes the opportunity to succeed, both in the classroom and in their respective sport. We are thankful to the RRAC membership for their deep commitment to supporting further expansion of opportunity and inclusion. They are dedicated to creating safe and secure environments for our student-athletes, who are people of color so they are equipped to thrive in their college years and beyond.