Emali Mackinnon


More than a Black female athlete

Black Faculty and Staff Awards honored University of Utah employees for social justice


Before joining this class I had no idea what a “beat” was or meant. I thought this course called Voices of Utah was going to be about something completely different. I never knew how much it would impact me in such great ways before joining this course. 

Having the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone not only talking to/interviewing new people but talking about social injustice with affected communities has been extremely eye-opening. I have learned so much about social injustice and listened to personal stories that touched my heart. I knew this class would force me to have those hard but important conversations that needed to be talked about and heard. I feel so grateful to have met such amazing people, who felt comfortable enough to share those personal stories with me. They educated me and I could not be more thankful. 

My expectations for this beat initially were low, only because I was stressed and nervous to be interviewing people, let alone addressing topics that can be difficult at times. But my perspective changed quickly and I became excited and eager to come up with questions to ask to educate myself and get the most out of this unique experience. This beat has helped me develop professional skills when interviewing. It has taught me to be confident when I speak and that no question is a dumb question. It has also allowed me to make connections with people on a deeper level quickly. I was happy about that mostly because I haven’t had a lot of human contact since COVID-19 hit. 

After this course, I will continue with my community involvement because I want to be a part of the change. I know more information and have gained knowledge on the social Injustice around us and I want to help as much as I can to make our community better. 


I am currently 21 and a junior at the University of Utah. I will graduate in Spring 2022 with a degree in Communication with an emphasis in journalism. My goal is to become a sports broadcaster for ESPN and be a field reporter.

I am passionate about my career choice because I have been involved with sports all my life. From the age of 4 until 20 I played competitive soccer and even played at the collegiate level for three years. I used to play for the University of Utah women’s soccer team from 2018 to 2020. Sports has shaped me into the woman I am today and taught me very important life skills. Being a student-athlete at a Division I school is no easy task. From having weight lifting practice at 6 a.m. to having another practice at 2 p.m. and doing school in between is something that takes time management, organization and perseverance to accomplish.

Besides being involved with sports, I also really enjoy time with my friends and family. I love to hang out and be outside with the people I love because it refreshes me when I’m overwhelmed and makes me happy. I am extremely excited for my future and  hopeful that one day I’ll be on TV reporting on the U.S. women’s national teams games. 

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