Nov. 6, 2015

Uncovering Diversity and Inclusion in the Boise Valley

by Marissa Lovell

There is a common perception of Idaho that is misconstrued. Looking solely at figures, the state’s population is overwhelmingly white. Less than 12 percent of the state’s population is Hispanic or Latino and less than one percent is African American. Yet, when you begin to deconstruct this uniform picture of Idaho with a quantitative and qualitative approach, you will uncover an evolving story of diversity and inclusion. That was the goal of “Diversity as a Business Driver,” a summit sponsored by Boise State’s College of Business and Economics’ Responsible Business Initiative (RBI), the City of Boise and Wells Fargo.

Read More
Oct. 30, 2015

Business, Community to Discuss ‘Diversity as a Business Driver’

by Boise State University

The College of Business and Economics’ Responsible Business Initiative (RBI), the City of Boise and Wells Fargo are collaborating to bring a diversity summit to Boise businesses and organizations on Nov. 4.

Read More
Mar. 27, 2015

Hackfort Diversity Pipeline Panel

by Wendy Fox, Boise State University

At the packed Hackfort2, pioneering women in tech discussed their experiences and efforts to increase diversity in the technology community. 

Read More
Nov. 11, 2015

Talking Diversity at Boise’s Trailhead

A roundtable discussion was recently held at Trailhead in downtown Boise to discuss why diversity is becoming so important in the Boise Valley. The  members discussed why the Boise Valley and Idaho need to work towards creating a environment more welcoming to people of a variety of backgrounds. The discussion panelists included Byrd, AppDetex Founder Faisal Shah and Operations Director Dr. Krissa Wrigley, Dr. Harry Lazarte, and Boise State student and organizer Andres Lazarte, who said he hopes to hold similar summits in Boise on a quarterly basis. They hope to make Idaho the example of diversity for the rest of the country to follow. 

Mar. 14, 2016

Crop Diversity Increases in Canyon County

A turnip seed field south of Lake Lowell is next to a mint field, which is not far from a potato field — and a recently planted field of sorghum and millet.

Farmers in Canyon County grow a lot of crops besides just potatoes.

From 2007 to 2014, the number of crops grown in Canyon County went up 43 percent, according to the CropScape map produced by the National Agriculture Statistics Service. With more than 40 different kinds of crops grown, Canyon County leads the state in crop diversity.

Nov. 19, 2015

University of Idaho Associate VP Recognized as a Leader in Diversity

Michael Satz, the Associate Vice President of University of Idaho was recently recognized in the National Jurist for promoting and encouraging diversity on campus. The article found on page 27 describes the high level of involvement that Satz has had with diversity on the campus including being the chair of the College of Laws Diversity and Human Rights committee and the co-founder of the Diversity Mentors Group. 

Mar. 27, 2018

Boise’s Treefort Shows The Possibilities Of Diversity And Representation At Music Festivals

Maybe the best part of the music bill that Treefort put together this year is that it didn’t feel like an attempt at inclusiveness. And that’s the thing, festivals can easily have broad representation with the sense that they compromised any aspect of their festival’s identity. The top-billed artists — George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Andrew W.K., Princess Nokia, Pussy Riot, Rapsody, Cults, Zola Jesus, Oddisee & Good Company, and Lido Pimienta — offered up just a single white male in their midst. It’s actually a rare occurrence that a festival features more women than men at the top of their poster, but there wasn’t just diversity in genders and race, there was also a fascinating diversity of sound. Rap, funk, punk, rock, and other artists who are less easy to classify were all featured prominently. In all, it is a lower-key representation of what is possible with festivals show some imagination, legwork, and a commitment to being the change that needs to occur.

Jul. 28, 2015

Supporting Diversity is an Investment in the Boise of Tomorrow

by Mayor David Bieter, City of Boise

In the coming days, one of Boise’s defining events, Jaialdi, will be in full swing.

It’s a celebration of a heritage and culture that is embraced by the larger community. Every five years, it makes Boise a focal point of the global Basque community. Today, few seem to question that events like Jaialdi contribute to our sense of place, of what it means to be from Boise, and our community’s cultural richness.

But, it wasn’t always so.

We now look back with admiration on the immigrants - Irish, Mexican, German, Basque, and Chinese - who left their homeland more than a century ago seeking opportunity and finding it here in Boise. We know that they were a key force in building this city into the wonderful place it is today. Yet, those same intrepid, industrious newcomers were just as often viewed with suspicion by their contemporaries because of the language they spoke, the religion they followed or the color of their skin.

Read More

Jan. 13, 2016

The Many Faces of Idaho

The exhibition will be called Stronger Shines the Light Inside and will showcase stunning images of refugees who have resettled in Idaho. Photographer Angie Smith secured a $10,000 grant from the Boise City Department of Arts and History to help fund the project. She says that she got the idea when she returned to Idaho and began noticing the changing demographics and how we are beginning to see people from every corner of the world making Idaho their home. 

Feb. 23, 2016

Black History in Idaho Expressed Through Basketball & Art

The words you are about to read somewhat fell into my lap and I'm glad it did, because I think that we can all learn something from the situation playing out in Boise, Idaho this month. Specifically centered on the Idaho Stampede, the NBA's d-league team, and an artist by the name of Patrick Hunter.

For some context, I lived and worked in Boise for three years as a news reporter with one of the affiliates. It was customary for me to immerse myself in the community and that's when I met Patrick. I can't even begin to tell you how many Stampede games I went to while I lived there. Nonetheless, what they have been doing for some time now is helping the Boise community, largely Caucasian learn from others who bring diversity to the area. It was in Boise when I realized just how diverse families could be. It was in Boise, that I learned that there are people in the world that no matter your skin color families could be black or white, African or American.

This year during a special February game, The Idaho Stampede and Patrick Hunter will be paying tribute to influential African-American or Blacks whichever you prefer. The tribute will include the faces of people like, President Barack Obama, Civil Rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr & Coretta Scott King, author & poet Maya Angelou, scientist George Washington Carver, author Frederick Douglass, and NBA great Earl Lloyd to name a few and their faces will be painted by Hunter on the teams jersey's.

Jun. 15, 2016

The World’s Refugees Find an Unlikely American Sanctuary: Idaho

Rita Thara lives in Boise, Idaho. She’s 27-year-old fashion designer who loves pizza and watches The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon before bed. She’s also a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Thara is among thousands of refugees living in Idaho, a state particularly welcoming to those fleeing violence, famine, or persecution in the Middle East, Africa, and beyond.1 Los Angeles photographer Angie Smith has spent more than a year meeting hundreds of them and making their portraits for the ongoing series Stronger Shines the Light Inside.

Idaho has taken in almost 30,000 refugees from more than 50 countries since 1975. About 1,000 arrive each year, and 70 percent of them end up in Boise, a city of just 214,000 people. They find jobs doing everything from washing dishes and driving Ubers to teaching in college and running businesses. “The perception of Idaho is that there’s no diversity,” Smith says. “Yet there are all these immigrants.

Dec. 28, 2017

Why People Really Want to Move to Idaho but are Fleeing its Neighbor, Wyoming

... Boise is booming. Most newcomers have settled in the capital and the cities and suburbs surrounding it, compounding the state’s urbanization advantage. They appear to be drawn by the city’s combination of size and low cost of living.

Idaho has the fourth-cheapest cost of living in the country, according to a 2017 index from the Council for Community and Economic Research. Only Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi are cheaper. Wyoming is 29th.

It’s the tired old parable of two siblings, separated at birth. One began with natural gifts and found little incentive to grow beyond them, and another was forced to play a weaker hand but became stronger and more resilient in the process. There’s probably a moral in there somewhere, but I’m guessing it’s just “you should probably move to Idaho.”

Nov. 30, 2016

Boise Police Department’s Refugee Liaison “A Model For Other Communities”

According to The Washington Post, Idaho takes in more than 68 refugees for every 100,000 residents, making it one of the most welcoming states for displaced people in the country. The Boise Police Department responded to the City of Trees' growing population of new Americans by creating a refugee liaison position in 2006.

Since 2012, that job has been held by Officer Dustin Robinson, who coordinates with service providers, educates refugees on their rights and responsibilities in America, and trains officers to deal with situations where refugees are involved.