Throughout her years of playing soccer, A’Liah Moore often found herself either the only African American player on a team or one of very few. Thanks to becoming more vocal on issues of race and racism, thanks to her participation in the NAACP, she now sees herself as someone who can address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Heading into her final season as a forward at Monmouth University in New Jersey, Moore feels comfortable speaking with her teammates on how current events impact her.

Moore, 22, is currently a graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in communications and interactive digital media. Her career goal is to work in DEI. This summer, she did an internship at Monmouth Medical Center, which taught her some tools on how to bring people together from different cultures and backgrounds.

“Having a perspective and understanding of each other and having empathy for people who don’t necessarily look like you,” said Moore. “I found something that I’m very passionate about. It started with communications, taking public speaking classes and with my video editing production, the internship included my talents and abilities, helping out with their hospital videos and putting it on their social media platforms.”

Growing up, Moore had to adapt to being a distinct minority on her soccer teams. She was uncomfortable in some situations—even encountering aggressive behaviors. Not wanting others to have similar negative experiences, Moore desires to be part of the solution, which includes speaking up.

“My teammates have no idea what’s going on [with me] internally and mentally,” said Moore, who after the death of George Floyd asked to discuss with teammates what she and one other African American player were feeling. “Sharing our hardship and why this matters and how this affects us. What was so amazing was our teammates were willing to listen. They gave us a voice. They also got to share how they felt. It brought our team together. That’s what’s going to make a difference in this world is people having those uncomfortable conversations.”

Monmouth women’s soccer opens its season on Friday against Lehigh. There is a new head coach, and Moore is looking forward to working with the new leadership.

“Soccer challenges you mentally, physically, emotionally, and I love a challenge,” she said. “During the tough times, it’s going to make you stronger and better. … I’m excited to make my last mark here at Monmouth.”

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