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Proud To Be Black At Nevada

Posted on Monday, July 13, 2020
The Department of Diversity of Inclusion’s “The Proud to be ____ at Nevada” project is a student-led campaign to recognize and lift up the voices of underrepresented students at Nevada. Every month we will highlight a certain minority group on our campus, starting with Black students in July. Throughout the month ASUN social media will post a picture and short story caption featuring students from the highlighted group. Halfway through the month, we’ll host a virtual Zoom town hall discussing the identity of the highlighted group. And at the end of the month, we’ll do a blog post with the student features compiled, along with other info (resources, statistics, history, recent achievements, etc.) about said group.

Resources & Information

Contacts at Nevada


Institutional Barriers to Education for Black students (

  • Less Access to Advanced Placement and/or College-Ready Courses
    • Only 57% of black students have access to the full range of math and science courses necessary for college readiness 
      • Compare to: 81% of Asian-American students, 71% white students 
  • Black students are vastly underrepresented in honors/Advanced placement courses 
    • Black and Latinx students represent 38 percent of students in schools that offer Advanced Placement courses
  • Clark County School District Student Equity and Access Commission 
    • ⅓ of middle and high schools offer geometry honors courses 
      • Most are in suburban areas 
    • Black students account for only 6% of Gifted and Talented Education programs 
  • Lack of Black Representation in School Personnel
    • 2% of teaching workforce are black male teachers 
    • 10% of public school principles are black 
      • Compare to: 80% white 

Research Starters (*not a complete list)

  • Intersectionality
  • Juneteenth
  • The 13th Amendment
  • Afro-Latinx Culture
  • Black v.s African American
  • Colorism and texturism
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • The Stonewall Uprising
  • Black Wall Street
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • School to Prison pipeline
  • Brown vs. Board
  • Plessy vs. Ferguson
  • Black Transgender Women
  • Black Panthers
  • Marsha P. Johnson
  • Frederick Douglas
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Anna Julia Cooper
  • W.E.B Dubois
  • Colin Kaepernick

Valuable resources and articles (*not a complete list)

Nevada Student Spotlights:

July 27, 2020 Feature: Taylor Johnson

Year & Major:

Junior, Journalism

Campus affiliations/accomplishments/passions:
Nevada Sagebrush, Resident Assistant
Leurde First Amendment Award International and National Politics

What does your identity mean to you?
Being Black means being proud of the achievements, resilience, and creativity your family, friends, and ancestors have made in order to end the status quo brought upon us. Racism has innovated itself through time and we continually adapt and try to end it.

What has your experience at Nevada been like & how it has been shaped by your identity?
My experience at this university is mixed. I have met wonderful people and have been educated by some of the best professionals and peers at the Reynolds School of Journalism. I grew as a person and learned a lot about myself with their help and guidance. On the other hand, I’ve experienced harassment, continuous microaggressions, and those imposing their implicit bias on me. Those experiences have left an imprint of this campus with me that I will always remember. Regardless of the bad things I’ve faced, they’ve motivated me to become a better journalist and better inform the campus.

July 20, 2020 Feature: Donny Brooks

Year & Major:
Sophomore, Biomedical Engineering
Campus affiliations/accomplishments/passions:
Glee Club Member, Prospective Member of Phi Mu Alpha Fraternity
What does your identity mean to you?
I am very lucky to say that my being black does not usually affect my day to day life. To me, my identity is my interests, my wants, and my goals. I’ve never felt hindered by the circumstances surrounding my birth, and I’m very grateful for that. Being a member of both the black and LGBT+ communities, two historically marginalized and oppressed peoples, I am very fortunate to be able to say that these aspects make up what, rather than who, I am. I was taught from a young age the danger that my identity poses to me, and as such, I have to look out for and defend myself; but, I generally don’t feel different from anyone else. I try in my daily life to pay back the world for this fortune that I’ve been granted, by treating people with respect and love. I want to try to ensure that everyone I meet can feel the same acceptance that has been granted to me.
What has your experience at Nevada been like & how it has been shaped by your identity?
At the University of Nevada, I feel respected by the people I come across. My professors don’t see me as less capable because of my race, and my fellow students don’t see me as less lovable because of my orientation. I can simply live my life just like everyone around me. I know that this is not assured for many of my black and queer brothers and sisters, so I commend the university and everyone who attends for their care in fostering the kind of environment where I can feel this safe, equal, and valuable. At the university, I can focus on developing the identity that I chose. I can be proud of the way I was born, so I also have the opportunity to be proud of the way I choose to be every day.

July 13, 2020 Feature: SaMoura Horsley

Year & Major:
2021 | Anthropology & English

Campus affiliations/accomplishments/passions:
President & Co-founder of Wolf Speaks (Spoken Word Poetry Club), Member of A.B.L.E. Women, Volunteered for Pack Provisions food pantry

Passions: Poetry, Activism (black rights, LGBTQ+ rights, woman’s right etc.)

What does your identity mean to you?
My Black Pride
I have pride for I am Black
Even when others imply I shouldn’t
Even when there eyes follow me all the way to the checkout stand Even when racist lines slip from the tongues of snakes
I have pride.

Because I know that my pride
can never be taken or given by any other race
My pride did not come with birth.
It tooks years of learning,
Like learning my history did not start at the beginning of slavery Even though people and textbooks try to convey it that way

So now, I celebrate the Queens and Kings,
cultures of the African diaspora and the soil of the motherland.

My pride took years of experience gain, Wearing this skin as a flag
standing for perseverance and faith

My black has never cracked no matter how many times the people behind the wips have tried to break our spirit My black had always refused to be silent
So, I stand and have pride for those who had stood before me.

My Black knows better anyone,
that change has never came easy
It comes with blood and tears and judgement.

Others don’t know what is it like to wear this skin
Be reminded daily of what people think of it.
I wear this skin symbolizing everything we have lost and everything we are demanding back.

I have pride
And when others question why I have it
I respond: If you only knew what this skin is made of.

What has your experience at Nevada been like & how it has been shaped by your identity?
I think going to a Predominantly White Institution such as the University of Nevada, Reno has made me hyper-aware of the racism that occurs. I am from Reno, Nevada so it did not take me by surprise as it did for some of my friends who had grown up in a more accepting environment. While attending Nevada I have experienced racism, backhanded compliments that are truly microaggressions, and taken note of all the tokenism that occurs on our campus. The thing I have longed for the most is for the University to realize that diversity is not just measured in numbers, or in how many people of color they can slap on the walls, or on pamphlets, or the website, or on murals. Achieving diversity means actually caring about students, giving them the resources they need, and making sure they feel safe on campus. Nevada has also been a place where I have grown. My freshman year I made it a goal to leave this campus better than I found it. I interned for the ASUN diversity and inclusion department, I created space for students to speak their truth through spoken word poetry, and I am currently involved in bringing meaningful public art to campus. Throughout my academic career, I have gone out of my way to take classes with Professors of color and learned so much from them, I have also got the opportunity to meet so many amazing black women in clubs and have created what I consider to be a sisterhood.