Rice Owls of Color United: Empowering BIPOC Student-Athletes


Group of athletes posing with Owl hands together
Large group at an event talking with the Rice Owls banner in the background

Rice Owls of Color United (ROC-U) is an affinity group within the Rice Athletics Department that was originally created to provide a support network for student-athletes that are Black, indigenous or people of color (BIPOC). Today, ROC-U has evolved into a place where student-athletes can voice struggles, celebrate successes and also find a sense of belonging on and off the field.

In the past, ROC-U has hosted several events that have impacted the Rice community, including: Register With ROC-U, a collaborative effort with Rice Votes Collective to help student-athletes register to vote; Juneteenth Social, an educational event co-hosted with the SOAR Office; Black History Month Social, an event celebrating Black History Month with the Rice Athletics department and Rice community; and Alumni Fireside Chats, opportunities for current student-athletes and former Black Letterwinners to connect and share insights. 

Group of students standing outside together to pose for photo
Group of students posing for photo in front of Rice Owls banner

Other community service initiatives that ROC-U has spearheaded in the past include: hosting tailgates (open to all Rice students and highlights food offerings from local, Black-owned businesses), participating in the HISD College Career Readiness panels, organizing the Team Impact Christmas toy drive with Texas Children's Hospital, and cleaning up Hermann Park Centennial Gardens for the MLK Day community service trip.

Ultimately, Rice Owls of Color United (ROC-U) represents more than just an affinity group; it's a driving force for change, empowerment and unity. Through its dedication to advocacy, cultural enrichment and community engagement, ROC-U continues to make a positive impact on the Rice community and beyond.

Students sitting around a table gathered for an event
Photo of a hand holding the tropy award

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