Embrace Who You Are!

Junior Emmy Kopp is speaking about loving yourself at the KU Diversity Conference in 2023!!


Aquinas students attending the KU Diversity Conference.

Macy Vance, Copy Editor

Back in September, the new (as of last semester) Women of Color Club attended the KU Diversity Conference. There they learned how to embrace their identity and be proud of who they are. Aquinas is excited to have one of our own students speaking at this event next year! This inspirational junior is none other than one of the founders of the club, Emmy Kopp.

Along with seniors Cecilia Do, Kesi Gana, Dalyn Nguyen, and Jasmine Karanja, Emmy started the Women of Color Club to educate young people and to provide a place of support for young women of color. The club was formed after they all attended the virtual UMKC conference,which promoted women empowerment. They wanted to bring what they learned there to the Aquinas student body.

The club was founded last year in the spring semester, so they haven’t had too many meetings. A typical meeting will consist of going through a slideshow, talking about a current issue, helping each other learn, and loving yourself for all that you are. At their last meeting they wrote down all the negative comments they had received because of their appearance, and then they preceded to smash the plates. This action symbolizes letting go of the slander and not letting it define you. It’s part of the process to heal, and from there we can grow and combat the racist rhetoric that still exists in our world today. 

The Women of Color Club wants you to know that you do not have to be a woman or of color to come and support this group. Their purpose is to raise awareness and lift each other up, so if you can positively participate in this uplifting community, you are more than welcome. Kopp thinks they should alter the name of the club so that everyone knows that all are welcome. 

This year at the KU Diversity Conference, our students attended a wide variety of the many workshops offered. Kopp liked the session called “Equity and Inclusion” the most. She said, “This experience really opened my eyes that I can be proud in my own skin”. This session helped her love who she is and embrace her identity so that she can now share it with the world with confidence. 

How did Emmy Kopp end up becoming a speaker? Kopp was talking to one of the keynote speakers Robert Paige, and he asked her what she was doing to promote diversity at Saint Thomas Aquinas. Emmy impressed him with her inclusion of everyone, and her genuine desire to help educate Aquinas and promote a place where diversity is celebrated. This speaker saw Emmy’s great passion and kind heart, and Paige reached out to Mrs. Oliva, one of the Aquinas counselors and spearhead of the Women of Color Club. Mr. Paige’s business runs the conference, and he asked Kopp to speak at the conference next year. Mrs. Oliva pulled Emmy out of class and told her the news. Shocked, Kopp responded with an excited yes!

If you feel confident in your own skin, no one else matters.

— Emmy Kopp

With the conference still far in the future, her talk isn’t set in stone. Yet Emmy Kopp has a passion for young people being proud of who they are, so she will center her speech around embracing every part of you. Make sure to catch the empowering Emmy Kopp at the KU Diversity Conference in 2023!