The student life office hired April Napier as the new director of the office of multicultural affairs following the resignation of Prentice Ashford.
Napier spent the past six years in diversity and multicultural initiatives. She was the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Undergraduate Student Government at Ohio State University, creating and administering Cultural Competency training for faculty and staff at Ohio State.
Napier left a mark on OSU, and she said she brings the same passion and expertise to OMA.
“I am passionate about amplifying the talents, passions and voices of those who are sometimes ignored or silenced,” Napier said. “I am excited for our community to see exactly how much light we really have on this campus if we would just turn the lights on.”
Napier said many students have difficulty getting plugged in. An important aspect of the various student organizations on campus is to ensure every student is able to find a place to belong. OMA is no different.
“OMA serves as a safe space for students who are struggling to find a space to fit in ethnically and racially,” Napier said. “It serves to empower those who normally feel less empowered, give a voice to those who are normally considered voiceless and resources to others who may not understand the daily lifestyle of someone different from them. It is a home to those who are away from home and who don’t always feel welcomed in their experiences on campus. In OMA, you will be assured the love, patience and empowerment of Christ filtering through our spaces.”
Napier recognizes that running an organization and being an integral part of a complex body of people does not come without challenges. But being part of OMA presents a unique set of challenges.
“I think the greatest challenge is a possible disconnect from OMA students and the ACU population as a whole,” Napier said. “There may be a different understanding of what OMA’s purpose is for campus, and we seek to stay committed to the Word and the Spirit to guide us in how to thrive collectively in our community.”
By committing to the Word and Spirit, Napier said she hopes the body of believers on campus will better understand the purpose of OMA. Similarly to how the body of Christ has many different parts, performing different functions, the student organizations on campus serve their respective purposes. Napier is dedicated to serving her purpose in OMA and leading OMA in serving its purpose on campus.
“One strength of OMA is diversity,” Napier said. “There are so many ideas that can come together in one space, embrace their difference, but still enjoy each other as one. In our society, it is often difficult to allow diverse mindsets in the same space. Another strength is love. Everyone loves on each other so much, you can’t help but feel at home.”
Napier said she plans to maximize the strengths with her passion and voice, hoping to lead the way for others to do the same.
Napier brings a vibrant, Christ-centered attitude to her position, embodying some key qualities that ACU promises to be. She said she prefers to speak with her actions rather than her words.
“Just prepare your hearts, minds and spirits.”