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Reporting from the St. George area focused on local government, public lands and the environment, indigenous issues and faith and spirituality.

One Year Later: Black Lives Matter Southern Utah Looks To Correct Misinformation And Expand

A photo of a protest.
David Fuchs
Troy Anderson, founder of Black Lives Matter Southern Utah, at a rally over the summer in St. George.

The one year anniversary of the founding of Black Lives Matter Southern Utah is this month. The new group was just getting started as the pandemic hit and racial justice protests swept across the country.

For founder Troy Anderson, correcting misinformation about Black Lives Matter Southern Utah has been one of his main jobs over the past year. He said he had to fend off wild rumors and break down what the chapter stands for and that it isn’t part of the national organization.

“We're dealing with a lot of fear, when you have Black Lives Matter in a place like Southern Utah, that brings fear,” Anderson said. “And with fear comes anger and mistrust and all those other things.”

He said a lot of the outreach has been to city leaders in the region.

“We are a chapter that embraces humanity that has love for fellow human beings,” he said. “We believe in unity without uniformity. You know, we believe that we can disagree on things and still work towards the common good of the community.”

The group has also made a lot of progress, said Justice Slayton. As a member, she organized a Juneteenth event and helped start a Black History Month scholarship.

“I personally want to make sure that our programs that we started last year in 2020 are solidified,” Slayton said. “I want whoever joins the chapter and continues this after Troy isn't here or after I am not here to have a blueprint to follow.”

As for year two, Slayton said she’s hoping to recruit more people and meet more consistently.

Lexi is KUER's Southwest Bureau reporter
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