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Kent State University Athletes Promote Social Justice

photo of student athletes
Nasha Manitkul-Davis is a gymnast, and president of KSU's Student Athlete Advisory Committee. She helped re-paint The Rock with teammate, Toshi Richard of Cleveland Heights.

College athletes at Kent State are joining those in the professional ranks promoting social justice. The University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has adopted a slogan for this year: “Together We Change.”

Committee President Nasha Manitkul-Davis is a KSU gymnast who is of Black, white and Asian ancestry. Over the weekend, she painted the slogan on the landmark Rock at the front of Kent’s campus.

“As student athletes, we are given more opportunities to spread unity. And I feel like we have to use that. And if we don’t, then nothing will change as fast.”

Manitkul-Davis worked with teammate Toshi Richard to paint the rock, and they both acknowledge that it could always be painted over soon. As of Sunday evening, the message was still there.

Kent State supports the “Together We Change” message. On Friday, it quickly painted over a previous message on the rock which read, “White Lives Matter.” University officials called the graffiti “insulting” to the black community and “unconstructive.”

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. While a Kent State student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.