race

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The U.S. Census Bureau has announced it's ending the 2020 count a month early, a move that's likely to have a big impact on Indigenous communities in the West.

 


Savannah Maher


This summer, the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers sparked a wave of protests across the country. The first Wyoming community to join that national movement wasn't Laramie or Cheyenne, or even Jackson Hole. It was Riverton.

The U.S. Census is underway, and many communities of color across the nation are vulnerable to being undercounted this year.

According to a new analysis from Headwaters Economics, more than 700,000 people of color are at risk of being undercounted in the Mountain West alone.

ACLU Wyoming

The ACLU of Wyoming is hosting a virtual forum this weekend, providing space for a discussion about police brutality. The call-in forum encourages communities of color and victims of police brutality to share their stories.

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As Black Lives Matter rallies continue across the country, some counter protesters and militia members are giving new life to an old racist myth – that white Irish people were enslaved in the Americas just like Africans and Indigenous people.

 


Protests are unfolding across the country over the death of Elijah McClain at the hands of police in Aurora, Colo. Now, frustration is also building over local law enforcement’s use of force this past weekend at a vigil in Aurora honoring him — frustration that was visible at a city council meeting Tuesday night dedicated to the response. 

Dearfield, Colorado, is one of the last standing towns started by Black homesteaders in the Great Plains. Now, property in the ghost town has changed hands, ensuring that key sites will be protected.

Protests against racism and police brutality continue in Colorado, but there are many faces and voices that are missing. Here, four Colorado women who are Black activists and scholars share their thoughts on what this moment means to them. They’ve opted out of protests, due to health complications or because they’re participating in other ways. Scroll down for their full bios. 

Conor Mullen


Protesting racism and police brutality is nothing new. But large, sustained turnouts, especially in small, mostly white towns, is something we've not seen before. For many of these protesters, it's their first time demonstrating - ever.

Catherine Wheeler

Buffalo, Wyoming is a small Western town with fewer than 5,000 residents. The historic Occidental Hotel still stands on Main Street. Murals of horses paint the sides of old brick buildings. Buffalo's most widely attended event is a four-day long festival that celebrates a fictional sheriff in town based on Buffalo and Johnson County.

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This Friday is Juneteenth, a national holiday in most states celebrating the end of slavery. There are planned protests around the Mountain West to keep attention on racial injustice and police brutality, including one on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. 

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There's growing concern about violence at anti-racism protests after an armed man shot a protester at a demonstration on Monday in Albuquerque, with a number of activists across the Mountain West saying they have been harassed.

Across the nation, Black babies have some of the highest rates of infant mortalities and birth outcomes such as low birthweight, according to a new report by nonprofit Zero to Three.

 


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With protesters taking to the streets nationwide to demand justice for George Floyd and confront police brutality and systemic racism, Mountain West News Bureau reporters are gathering perspectives of people of color from around the region.

Cities and counties across the country are declaring that racism is a public health crisis, including at least one city in the Mountain West.

Kamila Kudelska

As the protests erupt throughout the nation and state over police brutality, some law enforcement officials have come out speaking against George Floyd's killing at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. Cody Police Chief Chuck Baker released a joint statement with the Powell Police and Park County Sheriff departments describing themselves appalled by the use of force.

Chief Baker spoke at a rally in Cody saying he was there to listen. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska sat down with the Cody police chief to hear what he learned from being present at the rally.

Savannah Maher

It's been three weeks since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. Floyd's killing has sparked unrest across America, including in parts of Wyoming that aren't used to seeing protests. From Laramie and Casper to Gillette, Riverton, and even small towns like Dubois and Pinedale, people in our state are speaking out against racism and police violence against Black people. At many of these vigils, marches and demonstrations, Black Wyomingites are leading the way.

 

Cooper McKim

It's a hot, sunny day as Black Lives Matter protesters stand at a busy intersection in Laramie. It's during one of the daily protests in town that began in early June.

At a hearing last weekend about a Colorado bill on vaccination, Dr. Reginald Washington had originally planned to make several urgent points in support of the bill. 

First, that diseases like measles are resurging, and they’re serious. (He’d know. He’s treated patients with complications from measles and pertussis.) Second, due to COVID-19, children are missing well-child visits and skipping vaccinations, putting them at risk of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. 

Nimi McConigley

Even though women in Wyoming were allowed to vote, run for office and get involved in politics back in 1870, it took much longer after that for women of color to get elected.

The first Black woman to get elected to office in Wyoming was Elizabeth Byrd. She started out in the Wyoming House of Representatives, in 1981. That's close to a century later after women were first granted the right to vote and run for office.

What took so long?

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Justin and his buddies look like they're from a special ops team – they're wearing flak jackets and carrying assault weapons. But they aren't military and they aren't police. 

"I see myself as a concerned citizen who happens to be armed," he says.

 


Three Nevadans face terrorism-related charges after allegedly plotting to incite violence at recent protests in Las Vegas over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed while in police custody.

Editor's note: NPR will be continuing this conversation about Being Black in America online and on air.

As protests continue around the country against systemic racism and police brutality, black Americans describe fear, anger and a weariness about tragic killings that are becoming all too familiar.

All laboratories will now be required to include detailed demographic data when they report the results of coronavirus tests to the federal government, including the age, sex, race and ethnicity of the person tested, the Trump administration announced Thursday.

The new requirement, which will go into effect Aug. 1, is designed to help provide long-sought, crucial information needed to monitor and fight the pandemic nationally.

Laramie County Library Source

The Wyoming State Museum's traveling exhibit on black homesteaders, "Empire: A Community of African-Americans on the Wyoming Plains" is on display now at the Laramie County Library in Cheyenne. Founded in 1908, Empire was a black community about ten miles northeast of Torrington, and about a mile past the Nebraskan border. 

Savannah Maher

Temperatures dipped below 10 degrees in Riverton on Monday, Jan 20. But that didn't stop more than 100 people from participating in the city's 17th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day "Walk for Unity."

Students and faculty leaders at the University of Montana are calling for the removal of swastika-like symbols from a historic building, sparking a debate over its use across the West. 

McCormick Junior High

In March, racist and homophobic flyers were passed out by students at McCormick Junior High School to members of the school's Gay Straight Alliance club. It was the latest, but far from the only instance of bullying to take place at the Cheyenne school. And it put the school under a spotlight.

Bishop Museum

Back in 1908, Hawaiian Cowboys competed in the Cheyenne Frontier Days. In the new book, Aloha Rodeo: The Three Cowboys, the World's Greatest Rodeo, and the Hidden History of the American West, co-author David Wolman explores how and why Hawaiian Cowboys came to compete in the rodeo. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska asked Wolman if the two cowboy cultures were different in any way.

"We Kind Of Live In The Middle"

Jul 19, 2019
Charles Fournier


Though they have felt like outsiders at times, Allen Pino and Catalina Pedroza—who are both pursuing careers as educators—feel a strong sense of loyalty to Wyoming. For WPR's "Belonging" series, they sat down to discuss racial identity and how Wyoming stereotypes can be at odds with a vision of a state full of potential.

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