BYU Anti-Racism Club works to educate students on racial inequality

Echo Gray and Melinda Heluo represented their club at a booth in the Wilkinson Student Center ballroom. The Anti-Racism Club works to educate BYU students about racial inequality through events, seminars and more. (Courtesy of Echo Gray)

The Anti-Racism Club works to educate BYU students about racial inequality through events, seminars and more.

Since its inception in 2020, the club has organized educational events with speakers who talk about race, as well as partnering with other clubs on campus. 

Anti-Racism Club president Emily Peterson said the club has grown in the past semester. 

“Currently, our email list has grown to over 555 recipients. I believe our email list last semester was closer to around 300-400,” Peterson said. 

The BYU Anti-Racism Club began in 2020. It works to educate BYU students about racial inequality through events, seminars and more.. (Courtesy of Echo Gray)

Anti-Racism Club vice president Echo Gray joined the club at the beginning of 2021. She said that new people attend meetings every week and that she hopes to one day see BYU President Kevin J Worthen attend a meeting.

“President Worthen is on our email list and it would be a dream come true if he came to a meeting,” Gray said. 

According to Peterson, the club plans to add more hands-on advocacy activities to go along with their educational events.  

“We are also looking forward to some meetings we are currently planning that will allow students to take action about issues on campus that they are interested in,” Peterson said. 

The BYU Anti-Racism Club has many upcoming events. Students can find more information by following their Instagram or subscribing to their email. (@byuantiracism on Instagram)

Melinda Heluo, a club officer, said she found that the Anti-Racism Club members and attendees create a warm environment. 

“I love the welcoming atmosphere established by club members during events. It truly is a safe space. Everyone I have met so far is kind and welcoming with an earnestness to learn,” Heluo said.

Gray said she is hoping to see changes on campus through leadership, policy changes and students. 

“Students have a huge influence on life on this campus, but we can’t do it alone,” Gray said.

Heluo said she looks forward to meeting more people that are in a variety of majors and learning from their insights. 

“I am excited to meet new people and have important discussions about ways we can be more anti-racist and compassionate,” Heluo said.

Gray said once more people on campus learn to be vulnerable and address their own biases, they can move forward to become a more Christlike and anti-racist campus.

“It’s an uncomfortable process to look at the racism inside yourself,” Gray said. “I know because I’ve done it, we all have to do it.”

Peterson said she believes that if students commit to educating themselves through various resources and not just relying on people of color on campus to learn more, it can make BYU a safer space for all students. 

“Overall, I think a lot of students really do genuinely want to be better and do better and I’m grateful to provide a space where people can share their experiences and just keep learning how to speak up and support, even if we aren’t perfect,” Peterson said.

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