Elizabeth Komara


Elizabeth Komara, a senior at Our Lady of Mercy High School, in Farmington, New York, isn't just turning a light on racial equity and inclusion: she is a force for change at Mercy and in her community. Elizabeth led the research, planning, fundraising, and implementation of an Interfaith Space room where students of diverse religious backgrounds can now visit and pray in privacy and comfort. As Elizabeth says: "Change is always hard, especially in institutions that are based on tradition. The fear of angering people and losing their support because of something new, even if it is the right thing, holds many people back." But she persevered, and today maintains the room she created with a variety of religious writings, objects, and symbols for student use. Already, nearly 100 students have utilized that sacred space. As she learned, enacting change requires tireless commitment, with political, administrative, and even theological challenges. But she was undeterred in pursuing the creation of Mercy's first-ever Asian Student's Association, and now serves as the club's president. Along with fostering a safe and empowering space for Asian students, the club collaborates with the Black and Hispanic Student Unions to create events that bond all students across cultures and races. Elizabeth also helped launch the "People of Color Council" to strengthen Mercy’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Elizabeth is committed to working for a more just, inclusive, and unified world through creating sustainable and meaningful changes.