Everyone for Equality: Campus organization reality after two years

By: JELAH ANDERSON
Nov 13, 2018


Rodney Williams, founder of Everyone for Equality.

 

Psychology major Rodney Williams is making his mark on Claflin University's campus.

The Florida native from Miami started an organization on campus called Everyone For Equality. Its goal? To be a safe place for students to be themselves.

Establishing a university-approved organization on campus was not an easy feat. The process, he said, took two years to finalize. At the organization's inception, Williams was only a sophomore and a tour ambassador for the university.

“I was giving a tour to a prospective,” he said during an interview with The Panther, “and he was asking about the representation here of the LGBTQ community at Claflin, which caught me off guard because I didn't know that was something prospective students looked at.”

Williams’ first order of business was to speak with Paula Payton, the tour coordinator and admissions counselor for Claflin. She worked closely with the university's president, Henry N. Tisdale, so Williams said it was necessary to have her ear.

He also had to assemble a team of advisers to guide his decisions.

“I tried to pick the who’s who on campus when it came to my advisers,” Williams said. He selected seven co-advisers for the organization.

Williams wanted to start the organization with five strategic goals:

-Voice

-Visibility

-Representation

-Advocacy

-Resources

One of the main goals for the project is to show more of the rainbow, Williams said. “Dr. Tisdale and I spoke about the Claflin Pride shirts and giving other marketing materials that students can buy to show visibility, to know that we have this community on campus and we support them.”

In addition to founding “Everyone for Equality,” Williams also helped create a centrally localized resource center on campus to help sexual assault and domestic abuse victims.

Now a senior looking forward to graduation, he hopes the organization will keep “blossoming” and eventually expand into the Orangeburg community.

Members of Everyone for Equality.

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