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Black Lives Matter Utah Founder Talks Racism, Police Brutality and What Needs to Happen Next

SALT LAKE CITY — Lex Scott is the founder of the Utah chapter of Black Lives Matter. She was born in Denver, Colorado, but moved with her family to Holladay when she was a year old. She went to local schools, graduated from Olympus High School, “and then since attended Weber State University, Utah State University, Charleston Southern University, University of Colorado at Denver and then ended at the University of Utah,” she said.

She appeared before the editorial boards of the Deseret News and KSL Monday to offer her perspective on Black Lives Matter, racism, the media and how she can’t bear to receive another call from a mother who has lost a child to police abuse. The conversation has been edited for clarity and length.

Deseret News editorial board: Our goal today, really, is to listen to you. We really want to hear what you have to say, to educate us, to criticize us, if you wish. But to help see if we can move forward and help the Deseret News, help our readership, help be a part of the conversation for solutions.

Lex Scott: I started in this movement six years ago after I watched Eric Garner be choked to death on film, and I started an organization called the United Front Civil Rights Organization. That is a national civil rights organization. People kept asking me to start a Black Lives Matter chapter. And so I would hold little Black Lives Matter meetings starting in 2014. No one would show up. We did our official chapter launch three years ago and have been going forward ever since.

The first year was the hardest year. But since we’ve been started, we hold a summer camp for Black children. Every year, we rent out 20 acres of land in Logan, Utah, with heated showers, bathrooms, lakes with boats, cabins for the kids, a gymnasium for the kids. We teach them STEM activities, karate, know your rights when dealing with police. This will be our third year holding summer camp. We also hold a ski camp for kids, for Black kids, to learn how to ski at Snowbird. We bought a school bus to turn into a mobile Black History Museum to take back and forth to schools. Now, in the past two weeks, people have flooded the chapter with thousands upon thousands of dollars, so we actually can finish our Black History Museum now.

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