Conversations about diversity, inclusion and racial inequity at Furman University were gaining traction on campus before the 2020 murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. But Floyd’s murder brought new urgency to the dialogue at Furman and other universities across South Carolina.
Greenville News reporters Zoe Nicholson and Ariel Gilreath reached out to recent graduate and former president of the Furman NAACP chapter Qwameek Bethea ’21 for his take on the progress Furman has made toward racial equity and how to affect institutional change. “You change the culture by making sure you have the right people in place and making sure people feel welcome and that they’re represented,” Bethea said. “Making sure students feel like they’re welcomed and they have somebody they can talk to and they’re cared about.”
A philosophy and politics and international affairs double major with a minor in African diaspora studies, Bethea was presented the Rosa Bodkin award in 2020. The annual award recognizes a student who demonstrates a commitment to advancing Furman’s culture of diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism.