African American

Students practiced live tweeting during the keynote address by the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson at the U on Jan. 24, 2013.

Students practiced live tweeting during the keynote address by the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson at the U on Jan. 24, 2013. Back row, from left: Lorien Harker, Renee Estrada, Alysha Nemeschy, Alexa Wells. Front row, from left: Danealle Plascencia, Christie Taylor, Trevor Rapp.

Nationwide protests in 2020 — sparked by the May 25 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and fueled by the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on Blacks as well as pervasive racial injustice — powerfully and painfully illustrated that “systemic racism is embedded deep and wide across American society.”

Protests also were held in Salt Lake City in the wake of Floyd’s death and the shooting-death of a local man.

In the light of these local and national conversations about the long overdue racial reckoning, journalism students will cover the Black/African American community in the Salt Lake Valley during spring semester 2021.

Please check back in the spring to read their stories, which will be linked from this page.


Journalism students covered Salt Lake City’s African American community during spring semester 2013.

Their reporting coincided with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the campus visit of the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Student-journalists were: Talon Chappell; Renee Estrada; Lorien Harker; Alysha Nemeschy; Danealle Plascencia; Trevor Rapp; Gustabo Rodriguez; Christie Taylor; and Alexa Wells.

They reported on a variety of topics, businesses, people and issues in the community, including: the Mahider Ethiopian Restaurant and Market in Salt Lake City; transracial adoptions; Thelina Smith, the reigning Miss Black Utah USA; and overcoming racial restrictions in the Mormon Church.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson used call-and-response to inspire the audience. "I am ... somebody," the crowd yelled.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson used call-and-response to inspire the audience. “I am … somebody,” the crowd yelled.

Find links to their stories and read their blogs and bios by clicking on a name above, or by selecting Blogs & Bios from the drop-down box, at left. Stories also can be located by clicking on a Tag or selecting a topic such as Education from the Categories box.