Latter-day Saint Life

BYU Magazine highlights the Black student experience at BYU in latest cover story


Editor’s note: This article was originally published in October 2020.

Earlier this year, President Russell M. Nelson encouraged Latter-day Saints to “work tirelessly to build bridges of understanding rather than creating walls of segregation.”

The latest issue of Y Magazine is one of the ways BYU is seeking to build bridges of understanding. The Fall 2020 Issue explores the Black student experience at Brigham Young University, sharing what it’s like to be on a campus where just over 1% of students are Black. The staff invited Black BYU students, alumni, and employees to share their experience with race, both those that pulled them into “the circle of belonging” and those that caused them to feel “other” and “less than.”

“I remember my first week at my student ward, I went home and cried,” Rachel M. Weaver told BYU Magazine. “Nobody did or said anything mean to me. But there were no Brown people there, no Hispanic people, no Polynesian people, no Black people. I just wasn’t used to going to a congregation where I was the only person of color. I didn’t know how to act. I was like, ‘How do I be myself?’”

► You may also like: 5 things 2 Latter-day Saint moms with children of color want you to know

The respondents’ answers are grouped into topics: “Coming to BYU,” “Things People Say,” “Learning Together,” “Feeling Other,” “Seen and Heard,” “Navigating Religious Complexity,” “Under the Spotlight,” and “Seeking Zion.”

Read the full cover story at Y Magazine.

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