Two former all-conference players will spreadhead a new EIVA committee intended to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
The EIVA announced Thursday that it established the EIVA Minority Council with former Princeton middle attacker Junior Oboh along with EIVA Hall of Famer and former NJIT pin hitter Tarik Rodgers serving as the committee co-chairs.
This is the first conference committee of its kind in the history of college men’s volleyball.
The committee will have a wide ranging number of goals such as mentoring EIVA minority college men’s volleyball players and advising EIVA coaches on ways to engage and remain active with minority issues on the campus level. It also will work to help increase educational and athletic development opportunities in minority communities and create pathways for minority players to become volleyball coaches.
“I strongly believe that this initiative will be vital in helping attract more minority players to the sport, as well as helping inform and educate the league on how to make the sport more inclusive to people from different walks of life,” Oboh said in a statement. “This council is a great step in the right direction of ensuring that historically underrepresented voices in men’s volleyball have a platform to convene, discuss, create and execute actionable steps in guaranteeing the league and sport is in a much better position than we found it.”
The EIVA Minority Council is slated to hold its inaugural meeting next week to finetone its objections. Every EIVA team and future EIVA school St. Francis Brooklyn will be represented on the committee by either an alumnus or a current player.
While not serving on the committee, Princeton coach Sam Shweisky played a critical role in establishing the EIVA Minority Council.
“When the EIVA coaches released our statement condemning racism and systemic oppression of the black community in our society, we knew we did not want to not let our activism end with merely a statement,” Shweisky said in a statement. “We brainstormed many ideas on ways we could help support the black athletes in our league and work to amplify their voices. But to do that we needed to coalesce a group of current and former EIVA student athletes of color. That is step one. From there the group will start to help dictate its own vision which we as coaches and administrators can then help to support.”
Along with starting this group, the EIVA announced it will sponsor the AVCA Diversity Award this year. This sponsorship will help a minority boys’ or men’s volleyball coach attend the AVCA National Convention in December.
EIVA Minority Council
Junior Oboh, Princeton (Co-chair)
Tarik Rodgers, NJIT (Co-chair)
Adriel Roberts, Charleston
Rajahl Moxey, Charleston
Chey Cooper, George Mason
Bryce Gatling, George Mason
Langston Payne, George Mason
Lance Rogers, George Mason
Alister Bent, Harvard
Jabarry Goodridge, NJIT
Wycliffe Gordon, NJIT
Raphael Orlando, NJIT
Ryan Thomas, NJIT
Eric Houston, Penn State
Jalen Penrose, Penn State
Mark Nixon, Princeton
Nick Hunt, Sacred Heart
Timothy McIntosh, Sacred Heart
Tyler Lee, Sacred Heart;
Joshua Blair, Saint Francis
Christian Prayer, St. Francis Brooklyn
Kyle Robinson, Southampton