Montana Public Radio

Montana Racial Equity Project

Elsie Arntzen Montana's superintendent of public instruction.

Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen is pushing back against the federal education department for proposing a program that would teach educators how to incorporate racially and culturally diverse perspectives into their lesson plans. 

Multiple groups are petitioning the federal government to rename three Montana geographic features to replace the name of a Confederate Civil War leader to names that honor Montana Native Americans and the Chinese immigrants who built the state's mines.

The petition asks the U.S. Board of Geographic Names to rename Montana’s Jeff Davis Peak and Jeff Davis Creek in Beaverhead County and Jeff Davis Gulch in Lewis and Clark County.

Jefferson Davis was the president of the Confederated States during the Civil War and a proponent of slavery.

(L-R) Shaley Hall, London Marq and  Ja'Ton Simpson spoke during a Black Lives Matter rally in Missoula, June 14, 2020.
Sofia Stuar-Rasi / Montana Public Radio

A rally in Missoula Sunday drew hundreds to decry the presence of armed vigilantes at racial justice demonstrations. The gathering was spurred after one person was allegedly harassed and attacked by a group of armed individuals during a protest held at the county courthouse over a week ago.

Organizers in Bozeman are calling for more support for Black students at Montana’s largest university and for businesses to commit to anti-racist policies. One organization is gearing up to offer workshops on understanding race.


Demonstrators continue to gather in cities across Montana in response to the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Judith Heilman, executive director of the Montana Racial Equity Project says, "the Montana Racial Equity Project is all about education and informing people. And then motivating them to activate. To interrupt."
Mara Silvers

As it approaches its one-year anniversary, a Bozeman-based nonprofit is challenging people to talk about an elephant in the room: racism in Montana.

Over 200 people came to the Bozeman Public Library last week for the Montana Racial Equity Project’s first ever Race in Montana Community Forum.