A panel discussion of alumni, faculty, and students that explores the experiences of black students at BYU. The panel will consider what it is like for black students at BYU and talk about African-American support, the experiences of black Americans vs. African students, isolation, recruiting, and interactions with the white student population.
DALYN MONTGOMERY is the campus director of graduate and professional studies at the University of Redlands. He received a B.S. in communications from the University of Utah and a master’s in higher education at the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn he helped create the Center for Minority Serving Institutions while studying racial inequality in American society. Dalyn served as a missionary in Atlanta, a ward mission leader in South Carolina, and a bishop in Philadelphia. He is currently serving as an early morning seminary teacher.
MAYBELLINE McCOY is an activist, photo journalist and mentor. She graduated from Brigham Young University
with a bachelors in Latin American Studies and International Development. As a first generation Panamanian, Afro-Latina
immigrant, she has and continues to explore the intersections of racial ideology,
advocacy, and social justice both in lesser developed countries as well as within
under served communities in the United States. She has served as Country Director
in El Salvador for HELP International, interned for UNICEF in Panama documenting gentrification,
coordinated BYU's Multicultural Student Services' Black History Month events, as well
as held leadership positions in the LDS Genesis Group and BYU's Black Student Union.
Her scholarly interests include: racial disparities in education, critical race studies
and the African diaspora in the Americas. Maybelline and her husband currently reside
in the Washington DC Metro area and are taking strides to establish a BYU Black Alumni
Association as well as creating solid platforms for Black Latter-Day Saints to unite
and voice their own truths.
MARGARET BLAIR YOUNG has worked on African American history in the west for the past seventeen years. Though her focus has recently shifted to the African continent, she continues to support and help with encyclopedia articles on blacks in the west and helps with museum displays. She is currently helping with a display on blacks in Idaho, to be shown in the Idaho Falls museum. Margaret was awarded the “Best in State” for the body of her fiction. She was also honored with the Smith-Petit award for her contribution to Mormon literature by the Association for Mormon Letters, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Whitney Association, honoring excellence in Mormon story making. Margaret has authored scholarly articles, historical novels, and many encyclopedia articles (often with Darius Gray, her frequent co-author) on blacks in the west. She has also scripted or produced three documentaries on the subject, and is currently working on her first feature film, to be shot soon in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
DARIUS AIDAN GRAY, whose grandfather was born a slave in Missouri, joined the Mormon Church in 1964—before the priesthood and temple restrictions were lifted. Trained in broadcast journalism, with degrees from the University of Utah and Columbia University, he worked for KSL radio and television during the late 60's and early 70's. More recently he co-hosted “Questions and Ancestors” a nationally aired program on genealogy. He also participated in the highly acclaimed, PBS family history series, "Ancestors,” produced by KBYU Television, and was involved in the KUED documentaries, "Utah's African‑American Voices" and “Utah’s Freedom Riders.” Perhaps his greatest genealogical accomplishment was as co-director of the 11 year project to organize and save to CD the "Freedman' Bank Records." This genealogy treasure contains the marriage, birth and family records of more than 480,000 freed slaves from the 1860's and has offered breakthroughs for countless African Americans seeking to trace their family roots. He is the coauthor of an award winning trilogy of novels about early Black Mormon pioneers entitled Standing On The Promises and is currently a contributor to the Huffington Post BlackVoices. He presided over the Genesis Group from 1997 to 2003, an organization founded under the direction of the LDS First Presidency in 1971 to support Latter-day Saints of African descent. Gray is the recipient of many honors and awards for his civic engagement, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Award. He has first-hand experience with what it is like to be the only African American student at Brigham Young University.
LESLIE HADFIELD has been teaching African history at BYU since 2010. Hadfield primarily studies South African contemporary social and political history. Her research interests include South African liberation movements and the experience of black nurses in the Eastern Cape. She has conducted extensive oral history interviews which are an important part of her work. Hadfield earned her PhD in African history at Michigan State University. She has lived in South Africa and speaks Xhosa. She has also studied Swahili in Tanzania and has a broad range of interests in African history throughout the continent. Hadfield is affiliated with the African Studies and International Development Studies programs at BYU.
LUIS BELCHIOR is an International Relations and Economic Development major at BYU where he served as Multicultural Student Representative and a member of the BYU Black Student Union. He grew up in Mozambique and was a featured speaker at the United Nations' "AIDS, Orphans, and Africa Caucus." He was featured in an award-winning documentary, "The Best Interest of the Child" which was shown at the United Nations. He teaches Portuguese at the LDS Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, and he loves playing soccer.
CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO CONFERENCE MAIN PAGE