The University of Wyoming's Black Studies Center (UWBCS) remains dedicated to culturally
responsive teaching, rural community-focused engagement, and evidence-based research
to add to the University of Wyoming’s tapestry. America's current social atmosphere
of political populism and blatant racism has emboldened a critical mass of individuals
and organizations to engage in racist, assaultive, divisive, and sometimes violent
acts under the guise of “Making America Great Again” and misguided patriotism. The
ZOOM bombing that disrupted the Black History Month event on February 15, 2021, serves
as a reminder and epitomizes the attitudes originating from America's long-standing
and entrenched racial history and the white privilege, white supremacy, and systemic
discrimination that continue to be its legacy. It serves as a reminder that although
we like to think otherwise, we are not immune from this legacy and its current and
very real harmful consequences and effects even in Wyoming. This cyber terrorist act
provides an avenue to critique the long-standing tradition of defending America's
white supremacy values, then and now. As a community, we have a responsibility to
condemn these racist actions and those that perform them in vain of our mission and
to ensure that they act in vain, as we stand firm in our commitment to expand the
range of knowledge available to the community. As a research center singularly devoted
to liberation, we have an indispensable responsibility to continue with our efforts
in contributing and correcting mainstream narratives that revolve around Black History.
Outward manifestations of white privilege permeate the daily rhythms at the University
of Wyoming, highlighted by those who contend Black Lives Matter, yet do not act as
though they do. In the initial responses from UW administrators, there was no mention
of the words race, racist, or racism, which helped minimize this event's profound
effect on the UW populace. We stand no hope in progressing as a community if we are
incapable of, or unwilling to, label racism and bigotry of any form with accurate
and specific descriptions. As a collective, the UWBSC anticipated direct retaliation
for challenging the fundamental pillars of white power. This experience reassured
that what the UWBSC offers is necessary, timely, and timeless. As we must, we will
move forward with our programmatic endeavors to continue our fight against racism
and ignorance with fervor. This futile attempt is not a threat to the efficacy and
purpose of the UWBSC but a clear reflection of the culture of which we are all victims.
The need for the UWBSC and the work it does has been exemplified by this horrific
racist attack. This cowardly act will not interrupt our allegiance to the majestic
call to raise the whole of humanity to higher excellence. Onward and upward.
The Black Studies Center
The Black Studies Center spotlights the truth that advancing the precise histories
of black people contribute to the University of Wyoming's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The University of Wyoming’s Black Studies Center (UWBSC) uses culturally responsive
teaching, rural community-focused engagement, and evidence-based research to attract
high-quality students to the University of Wyoming, who will actively contribute to
the development of Black Studies. By engendering a more robust understanding of Black
Studies, the UWBSC seeks to enhance the visibility and relevance of Black Studies
and its capacity to directly impact contemporary social issues that plague America
and the greater global community.
The UWBSC employs multidisciplinary approaches to facilitate increased student collaboration
with administrators, faculty, and staff in order to support research and related learning
opportunities dedicated to creating innovative scholarship, pedagogy, service, and
outreach opportunities that widen and challenge the mainstream historical narrative
and provide the opportunity for students to not only learn but actively participate
in ongoing social justice discourse. Importantly, the UW Black Studies Center strives
to become a model that places Black Studies in rural areas at the forefront of the
conceptualizations of race.
The goals of the University of Wyoming Black Studies Center include, but are not limited
On October 13, 2020, the University of Wyoming’s Black Studies Center (UWBSC) hosted a live virtual welcome and webinar event that introduced UWBSC's mission statement, goals, and Utility of the Black
Studies Center to the University of Wyoming and the greater global community. Members
of the UWBSC's advisory board, faculty council, and external steering committee provided
thoughts on the opening of the UWBSC.
To rewatch this and all of our other past events, check out our digital archive.
Please see our Black Studies Center Initiatives for more details!