Building a More Inclusive Environment

by Etienne Aduya '15

Etienne Aduya

After living in New Jersey for a few years after graduation and working in an environmental job that I hated, in 2018 I moved to the Tampa Bay, Florida area to be with my partner. I job hunted, reaching out to Williams alumni for connections. I must say, the alumni came through. With referrals, emails, phone calls, etc., many alumni helped me in my search. The combination of the Williams alumni directory along with LinkedIn is a powerful tool. I ended up landing a job in the vacation rental industry, working in revenue-management, which I love. Ephs help each other to reach their potential and professional goals.

In 2017 I wrote my coming out story on, having been a football player at Williams. The events that happened in 2020—death of George Floyd, politics, COVID-19, etc.— woke me up in terms of doing my part to help make a difference. I joined the LGBTQ+ sports movement, and I share my story whenever I can. This motivated me to reach out to the Williams head football coach and athletics department to see how I can have an impact with current students and players. As I shared in my  conversations with department staff, I don’t want any athlete to feel how I felt when I played. 

I am also involved with A3 (Alumni Against Anti-Blackness)—an organization dedicated to sharing experiences and challenging the anti-Black and racism in our environments. It’s such a great and important cause, and I’m looking forward to building awareness  helping any way I can. During my time at Williams, I didn’t feel included as a gay person or Black person. So that’s one thing I would change at Williams, and I hope that they are creating a more inclusive environment. Being an alum means helping to change the world and make it a better place for those that come after you. 

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