UM Professor’s Documentary on Race in Montana to Air Statewide on MTPR

February 22, 2018

MISSOULA – Montana Public Radio will broadcast a University of Montana journalism professor’s documentary, “Facing Race,” as part of its observance of Black History Month.

UM School of Journalism Associate Professor Ray Fanning produced, reported and wrote the hourlong program, which airs at 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, on Montana Public Radio.

 “Some people have the impression that Montana has no racial issues because of its majority white population,” Fanning said. “But the issues are here, and they’re often invisible to the white majority.”

Minorities make up about 10 percent of the population, with Native Americans comprising the largest group – about 7 percent. But minorities are overly represented in the criminal justice system, where Native American women make up 34 percent of inmates at the state prison. The documentary looks at implicit bias and other factors that contribute to that imbalance.

The program samples racial attitudes from across the state through six-word essays generated by the Montana Race Card Project. It also explains how the idea of race developed in the first place, how it played out in the history of the Montana Territory and later evolved in the state.

One section explores the experiences of three African-American students who moved from California to attend UM. Another profiles anti-hate groups in Bozeman and Missoula that are actively working to end prejudice and discrimination through outreach and education.

Montana Public Radio is a service of UM. MTPR FM broadcast stations include 89.1 Missoula (KUFM), 91.5 Missoula, city (K218AI), 91.9 Hamilton (KUFN), 89.5 Polson (KPJH), 90.1 Kalispell, Whitefish, North Valley (KUKL), 90.5 Libby (KUFL), 91.7 Kalispell, city (K219BN), 101.3 Swan Lake (K267BJ), 91.3 Butte (KAPC), 91.7 Helena (KUHM), 91.7 Dillon (K219DN) and 89.9 Great Falls (KGPR).

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Contact: Ray Fanning, associate professor, UM School of Journalism, 406-243-4747, ray.fanning@umontana.edu.