diversity

University of Wyoming

It’s been a rough couple of years for the University of Wyoming where budget cutting, layoffs, and reorganization have been themes. Lately, the focus has been on less stressful ventures like enhancing STEM teaching, diversity, and a variety of initiatives.

One issue for University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols is to try to address that lack of faculty and staff pay raises. She tells Bob Beck that those raises should be here by July.

Anna Rader

The University of Wyoming has a job opening for a Native American Program Advisor. The hope is for the person to help bring up native enrollment numbers which are at an all-time low.

Since her arrival, UW President Laurie Nichols has made Native American enrollment a priority. James Trosper is the director of the Native American Education and Research Center. He said her message of inclusion is already starting to resonate and more Native Americans applied for tribal scholarships this year than last.

PBS

Wyoming is one of 45 states that officially celebrates Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the freedom of African-American slaves in the United States.

Even though President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, abolishing slavery, in 1862, it was three years later on June 19th, 1865 when slaves in Texas received word of their freedom. Celebrations of this day became known as Juneteenth.

In 2003 the state legislature passed a bill dedicating the third Saturday of every June to honor this historic moment.

Miles Bryan

A group of UW student protestors called “BreakthrUWYO” staged a walkout of a discussion on diversity put on by the school and attended by UW president Dick McGinity Tuesday night.

 

Leigh Paterson / Inside Energy

Over the last few years, Wyoming's African American population has grown faster than in any other state. According to census data, between 2010 and 2013, the number of black residents doubled. In some counties, especially those with a lot of energy development or tourism, that increase was more like 300, 500 or even 800 percent. Other rural Western states, all with unemployment rates well below the national average, are experiencing a similar trend.

Mike Higgins / http://bicyclecorps.blogspot.com/

The Train Depot in Laramie will host a talk on the only African-American bicycle corps of the U.S. Army on Saturday, May 2.

The group was formed in Missoula, Montana in the 1890s. Wyoming elementary school teacher Mike Higgins has researched the group for years. He says the corps was the idea of an officer named James Moss, who was looking to make a name for himself. Moss latched onto the idea that bikes could be used in combat.

Courtesy photo

Nina McConigley is the author of Cowboys and East Indians, and a recent winner of the PEN Open Book award. She joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to discuss the award and said the news of her win took a little time to reach her.

The face of Wyoming is changing, slowly but steadily, according to Wyoming’s Principal Economist Wenlin Liu, who says the state will continue to see ethnic diversity as people move here to work. There has been a 17-percent increase in all ethnic groups between 2010 and 2013. Meanwhile, white population growth was only a little over one percent.

Liu says minority populations are also keeping the median age lower than the national average by as much as a year.

The University of Wyoming Muslim Student Association is inviting the public to experience Muslim people and culture first-hand during Islam Awareness Week, April 8-13.

One of the organizers is an education student from Morocco. Adil Bentahar has lived in the U.S. for four years, and he says many Americans know very little about his religion, Islam. “When I watch the news, I see that much of what is being communicated does not describe me as I am.”