Athletes of Color Coalition at Bowdoin College
It is the mission of the Athletes of Color Coalition (AoCC) to advocate for student-athletes of color at Bowdoin regardless of their sport, race, class, sexuality, or gender identities. Our group is open to all varsity and club minority athletes, providing a support system in which student-athletes of color can freely discuss their respective experiences on and off the playing field, on a predominately white campus, in a predominately white athletic league. The organization is designed to foster communication between the Bowdoin Athletic Department and its minority athletes as well as to create dialogue surrounding the experiences of athletes of color to the broader Bowdoin community.
History of AoCC
Athletes of Color Coalition at Bowdoin was founded by Hannah Cooke '18 in 2016 with the intention to create a safe space in which members could discuss their respective experiences as student-athletes of color at Bowdoin. She cultivated communication between the Bowdoin College Athletic Department and Bowdoin Athletes of Color, and for multiple years in a row, led the spring event Race in Athletics, in which student-athletes of color can share their personal experiences with the entirety of the Bowdoin Athletic Department. During her time at Bowdoin, Hannah was a member of the Bowdoin women’s basketball, squash, and track teams. Outside of the realm of athletics, Hannah was an Africana Studies and Government and Legal Studies double major with an Education Studies minor. She was also a facilitator of Bowdoin’s Intergroup Dialogue program, which fosters conversations about race in different groups across campus, particularly in sports teams. She is currently a history teacher at the Pomfret School, where she continues to serve her athletic and academic community as the interim co-director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, running an extracurricular social justice program, and works as an assistant coach of the basketball and track teams. By the time Hannah graduated in 2018, the members of the Bowdoin Athletes of Color represented the basketball, soccer, rugby, football, field hockey, lacrosse, sailing, softball, baseball, and squash teams. Her work in advocating for student-athletes of color and Bowdoin students alike leaves a legacy at Bowdoin beyond the Athletes of Color community.
Paula Petit-Molina '20
Paula Petit-Molina is the current President of the Athletes of Color Coalition. She served as the vice-president in 2017 and has served as the President of Athletes of Color Coalition since 2018. At Bowdoin, Paula is a member of the field hockey team. During her term, Paula has worked to expand the groups members, hoping to connect athletes of all different backgrounds across campus and continues to organize more on-campus events for Athletes of Color Coalition. Beyond the realm of athletics, she is an Anthropology major and pre-health student. She has worked as a field hockey coach with local club teams in Maine as well as at home in Colorado. She is also a Director of the Senior Class Gift Campaign, a senior-led group that fundraises academic scholarships for future Bowdoin students. You can also find her working at Farley Fieldhouse, at the Buck Fitness Center, writing for her column in the school newspaper, the Bowdoin Orient, or cheering on her friends at games. Paula is deeply passionate about the club and wants to continue to make Bowdoin welcome to everyone of different intersections of identity.
Lester Jackson '21
Lester Jackson is currently Vice President of the Athletes of Color Coalition. Lester has been active in multiple positions in Athletes of Color Coalition since 2017 and is excited to continue this year and the next. On campus, Lester is a member of the football team. In his position, Lester has worked to expand the community of Athletes of Color Coalition and increase programming this year. Beyond football, Lester is a Government and Legal Studies Major and pre-health student. Outside of Bowdoin, Lester has worked with Senator Johnny Isakson at his D.C. office, researching U.S. health policy, connecting his passion for Government and Legal Studies with his pre-health interests.
Kendall Rogers '21
Kendall Rogers is currently Vice President of the Athletes of Color Coalition. At Bowdoin, Kendall is a member of the men’s lacrosse team. In his term, Kendall has also worked to build relations with other affinity groups and leadership groups on campus and worked to help prepare athletes of color for life after Bowdoin. Beyond the realm of athletics, Kendall is a Religious Studies Major and a Government and Legal Studies minor. For the past year, Kendall has worked with an organization to increase the diversity in the sport of lacrosse, empowering them to succeed in both athletic and academic environments.
Ayana Opong-Nyantekyi '23
Ayana Opong-Nyantekyi is the Co-Events Coordinator for the Athletes of Color Coalition. Despite beginning her term in the fall of 2019 as a first-year, she has helped to market Bowdoin AoCC as well as plan on-campus events for the group. Ayana is a sprinter on the Women’s Swimming & Diving Team. Outside competition, she is a swim instructor to college students and children in the community. In addition to Athletes of Color Coalition, Ayana is a first-year representative for the Black Student Union (BSU) on campus. She is currently undecided in her major, but she is deeply passionate about social justice and hopes to continue work in this field in both athletic and academic environments.
Kennedi Carter '23
Kennedi Carter is currently the Co-Event Coordinator of Athletes of Color Coalition, beginning her term shortly after joining in the fall of 2019. Kennedi is a first-year on the woman’s tennis team, orginally from New Orleans, Louisiana. Regarding academics, she plans on majoring in Government & Legal Studies and Africana Studies. Back home in New Orleans, she taught tennis and ran a non-profit organization for homeless teens and veterans in the New Orleans area. Being a member of AoCC has been invaluable to her first semester at Bowdoin College, helping her build a family outside her team. Through her work as the Event Coordinator, Kennedi has worked to expand knowledge about the group, working towards expanding the family that she has built, and hoping to extend the reach to everyone in an effort to make athletes of color feel like they belong on campus.
Cydnie Martin '21
Co-Social Media Coordinator
Cydnie (Cyd) Martin is currently the Co-Social Media Coordinator of the Athletes of Color Coalition, beginning in the fall of 2019. She has been a member of the Athletes of Color Coalition beginning her first semester of college in 2017. She works to highlight the extra-curricular activities of members of AoCC beyond athletics and enjoys connecting with the different groups she is a part of around campus. At Bowdoin, Cyd is a member of the field hockey team. Cyd is a Biochemistry and Francophone Studies double major, on the pre-med track. In addition to serving as the Communications Director for Bowdoin Student Government, she is a Peer Health Representative and enjoys working as a tutor for the McKeen Center, tutoring third grade students in math at the local Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School. In her free time, she enjoys weaving on her loom.
Manveer Sandhu '22
Co-Social Media Coordinator
Manveer (Mani) Sandhu is currently the Co-Social Media Coordinator of the Athletes of Color Coalition, beginning in the fall of 2019. Mani has been a member of the Athletes of Color Coalition since her first semester at Bowdoin in 2018. She works to promote diversity on campus, particularly emphasizing the unique experience of athletes of color at Bowdoin, in the classroom, in athletics, and otherwise. She is a Biology major and Sociology minor as well as a pre-med student. At Bowdoin, Mani is a member of the field hockey team, an Intergroup Dialogue Facilitator, and a McKeen Center Tutor. She also works as a field hockey coach in Maine and near her hometown in New York. Mani can also be found working at the Buck Fitness Center, laughing around campus, or drinking an iced coffee in Smith.
Preston Anderson '22
Coordinator of Special Projects
Preston Anderson is currently the Coordinator of Special Projects. He has been a member of the Athletes of Color Coalition since the spring of 2019. During his time with the Athletes of Color Coalition, he has focused on projects relevant to expanding the group, particularly communication between Bowdoin Athletes of Color and prospective Bowdoin students. It was his work that was instrumental in creation of the “Talk to an Athlete of Color” feature of this page. Preston is a member of the Bowdoin Varsity Sailing Team, originally from Highland Park, Illinois and grew up sailing on Lake Michigan. Outside of athletics, he is a History major and an Economics minor, and he serves as the NEISA Undergraduate Scheduling Coordinator.
- Talk to an Athlete of Color at Bowdoin
- Center for Multicultural Life
- Rachel Lord Center for Religious and Spiritual Life
- Sexuality, Women, and Gender Center
- Resources for DACA and Undocumented Students
- Explore Bowdoin Fly-In Program
- NCAA Office of Inclusion