race

George Curtis Levi

During the formation of the United States, many landmarks were named after white settlers. Local Native activists believe changing these names will be a first step in reckoning with a racist history.

A rare but serious COVID-19-related condition has disproportionately affected Hispanic and Latino children in the Mountain West.

That group makes up nearly a third of Utah's 74 who were diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C. At the same time, only 14% of Utah’s population is Hispanic or Latino, according to the Census Bureau.

Similar disparities recently showed up in Idaho, where Hispanic and Latino kids accounted for nearly a quarter of its 26 recorded cases.

People of color still lack the resources they need to make informed decisions about getting vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Kamila Kudelska

A new exhibit at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West focuses on Black cowboys and rodeos: Eight Seconds: Black Cowboys In America. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska spoke with photographer Ivan McClellan about his work, and the first Black rodeo he went to in Oklahoma.

Wyoming Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education is proposing a new set of priorities that would incentivize changes to the way history and civics is taught. The federal government is encouraging K-12 schools to include diverse perspectives in history and civics and to take notice of systemic racism in America's history.

Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with State Superintendent Jillian Balow about the proposal, which Balow sharply criticized.

Kamila Kudelska

Eight Seconds is the work of photographer Ivan McClellan. He was raised in Kansas City, Kansas and is a Black man. But McClellan wasn't exposed to Black rodeos and Black cowboys until 2015, when he went to the first one in Oklahoma.

Elaine Maestas remembers her sister, Elisha Lucero, going out of her way to help people.

“Even if it was like the last of her money, the last 20 dollars, and she knew you needed gas to get to work, didn't matter if you were a friend, a family member or somebody that she just met, she would help you out,” Maestas said.

How far has America come in enacting meaningful police reform since George Floyd’s death nearly one year ago? That question faces renewed scrutiny with the rare verdict against ex-police officer Derek Chauvin. On Tuesday a Minnesota jury found Chauvin guilty of murdering Floyd after he pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for roughly nine minutes — captured in a video that spurred a global awakening.

Nearly 1,000 miles from Minnesota, criminal justice experts say Colorado has set a bold example for the entire nation when it comes to impactful police reform.

Ted Brummond, UW Photo Services.

A descendant of those imprisoned at Heart Mountain has dedicated her life to the remembrance of what happened to her great grandparents. Now, she will be awarded the Shepard Symposium Community Member Award for her dedication.

Elvert Barnes via CC BY-SA 2.0


The past year has shown evidence of an increase in Anti-Asian violence in major cities. All of that escalated when six Asian women were murdered in the March Atlanta spa shooting. But has that anti-Asian sentiment permeated into smaller, rural areas in the U.S.? And what does it look like?

The short answer is: Yes, it has permeated into smaller, rural towns. However, it's been present even before COVID-19 hit. The pandemic just exacerbated it.

Sarah Marino

The American West is a complex landscape where many cultures and ethnic groups live together.

At least one extremism expert is sounding the alarm about far-right actors using the mass shooting at a Boulder King Soopers to sow division and propagate misinformation.

Eric Ward, executive director of Western States Center, which focuses on extremism movements, hate crimes, and ways to strengthen democracy, says far-right figures have weaponized the tragedy after reports emerged that the suspect is Muslim.

Amid a sharp rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, some Asian Americans living in the Mountain West say they are not surprised by the recent mass shootings at Atlanta-area spas that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent.

Authorities have not ruled the incident as a hate crime yet, but many observers feel otherwise.

The suspect, a white man, blamed his “sex addiction.”

The Mountain West saw a dramatic increase in white supremacist propaganda last year, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League. 

Gonzalo Guzman

Felix Mercado was born in Worland in 1940. His parents, originally from Mexico, had traveled around the United States, eventually settling in Worland as sugar beet farmers where he and his older brothers grew up.

Luke Anderson

2020 will be known as a devastating year. More than 300,000 people in America died due to complications from the novel coronavirus. But it was the single death of a black man in Minneapolis that sparked nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality.

It also sparked us to dig into the numbers of people killed in our region during interactions with law enforcement. In this bonus episode, we found something startling. The Mountain West News Bureau's Maggie Mullen hosts.

wysac.uwyo.edu


Nicole Wagon knew something was wrong days before she would get the news.

University of Wyoming Black Studies Center

Racist "Zoom bombings" have attacked virtual meetings on college campuses in Wyoming and Utah this month.

Screenshot / University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming's Black Studies Center and UW President Ed Seidel held a town hall meeting on February 24 to address the recent racist Zoom-bombing attack that occurred during a live virtual panel on February 15.

Latino and Black people are generally more vulnerable to COVID-19, yet they remain far less likely to have received a vaccine, according to the latest demographic data from the CDC.

Frank D. Lospalluto/Flickr

While there's an insect named after Lady Gaga, and a lichen named after former President Barack Obama, a lot of the time species get named after scientists - especially white men.

The number of hate and extremist groups declined last year, but that doesn’t mean the threat from these groups is diminishing.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual report “The Year in Hate and Extremism” counted 838 active hate groups in 2020, an 11% decline from the previous year. Despite a decrease in the number of hate groups, the report notes that overall they are still at “historic highs.”

Ling Li


Lunar New Year begins on February 12, 2021. And usually, the holiday involves huge festivities with fireworks, dancing, and family reunions. But as the pandemic continues into this year, the celebration will look and feel different this new year. Wyoming Public Radio's Naina Rao reports this story.

Credit: Greg Sanders / Inciweb

Whether you get the help you need after a wildfire may depend on how wealthy or White your neighborhood is, a new paper suggests.

There are a lot of questions about why the pro-Trump mob was able to breach the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. One pertains to the National Guard: Where were they?


University of Wyoming (UW) College of Law Professor Darrell Jackson, UW Art Museum Director Nicole Crawford and former UW law student have co-written a book chapter focusing on race theory.

Elizabeth Ridgely

Food insecurity is being without access to affordable, healthy food. Historic racism and long drives to a grocery store impede Native people on the Wind River Reservation from access to healthy food.

Juntos

Experts say that immigrants can help bolster a community's declining population, but many small towns, which are common in the West, struggle to attract them. Gateways For Growth (G4G) is a national program that tries to help these towns become welcoming to immigrant populations.

Amid America’s racial reckoning spurred by the killing of George Floyd, a number of controversial historical monuments were torn down by protesters or removed by authorities this year, including some in the Mountain West.

Vanessa Chavarriaga


Vanessa Chavarriaga loves to be outside, whether it's floating down a river in the desert or ice skating on a frozen alpine lake. And when she posts photos of her adventures, she includes information about where exactly she was.

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