Iowa track and field announces creation of ‘Speak Your Truth’ diversity committee

Thrower Laulauga Tausaga and sprinter Antonio Woodard will act as the co-chairs of the committee.


Jenna Galligan

Iowa thrower Laulauga Tausaga competes in the women’s shot put premiere during the fourth annual Larry Wieczorek Invitational at the University of Iowa Recreation Building on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. Tausaga’s 16.72m throw earned her sixth place, behind five throwers who surpassed the previous meet record of 17.13m.

Robert Read, Sports Editor

The Iowa track and field program announced Monday the creation of a diversity committee aimed at empowering a team culture while actively engaging in social justice initiatives on campus.

The “Speak Your Truth” committee consists of 10 track and field student-athletes tasked with executing the S.Y.T. vision and mission statements while collaborating with the University and Athletics Department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task forces.

Associate head coach Clive Roberts will oversee the S.Y.T. committee.

“The people in our program understand that we can create meaningful change, starting locally and growing within the athletic department and Iowa City community,” Iowa director of track and field Joey Woody said in a release. “We have a leadership group ready to act and fight systemic racism. We have a diverse group of individuals on our team that support the mission. We need to educate and learn to fight together, and for us it starts with understanding others’ truths.”

Laulauga Tausaga and Antonio Woodard will act as the co-chairs of the committee, and Wren Renquist will serve as the committee’s secretary.

Nia Britt, Serena Brown, Armando Bryson, Wayne Lawrence, Dan Soto, Tia Saunders, and Tionna Tobias will also serve on the committee.

The committee’s vision statement, mission statement, and pillars:


“Our vision is to protect and build a just future for marginalized communities with an emphasis on Black Lives, starting with the track and field team to provide a more empowering team culture.”


“Our mission is to actively engage in social justice work as advocates by spreading awareness on why Black Lives and marginalized communities need to be prioritized in all spaces on our campus. We aim to raise awareness for the need of mental and physical safety. We will strive to identify and solve unmet needs from those without opportunities while relentlessly working to bridge gaps, and while acknowledging our differences, those differences should create a more reliable team rather than tear us apart. We challenge ourselves to start conversations with others to hold ourselves as well as our community accountable.”


·       Educate

·       Protect

·       Advocate

·       Unity

·       Empower

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