IDAHO, USA — Between 2010 and 2020 Idaho was the second fastest growing state in the country behind only Utah. The 2020 U.S. Census shows Idaho added more than 270,000 people for a total of more than 1.8 million.
Although still a very small number in Idaho, the Black and African American population grew significantly, too, helping to bump up that overall number.
In the 2020 U.S. Census 1.5% of people in Idaho identified themselves as Black or African American. The real number on that is 27,645 people. However, that is up more than 11,700 since 2010, an increase of 73.4%.
As the number of Black and African American people grows in Idaho, a relatively new organization is providing resources and connections for the community.
The Idaho Black Community Alliance was founded in 2021.
On its website, the Idaho BCA is described as a nonprofit organization for the promotion and preservation of the African American culture and community in Idaho. It's a statewide organization whose vision statement reads: To inspire, collaborate and improve the quality of life within our communities and enhance educational and economic opportunities for youth and adults. It also engages with Black business owners and offers technical assistance and entrepreneurial training.
The Idaho BCA is the brainchild of founder and CEO Trish Walker, herself a fourth generation Idahoan.
"My childhood, I grew up off of N. 14th Street. I lived in an area of approximately five-block area of nothing but Black folks," Walker said. "So I had my community, and I knew that if I ever needed a resource or anyone to go to, I had the leaders in my community. I had my great grandparents and my grandparents. So I had such a strong community connection. Now when Black people move here or Black people live here, you don't see a lot of Black people. So you need to have that togetherness, that mirrored image. Sometimes you just need to have somebody that looks like you, so you can just feel like I belong. So it's creating that inclusivity. It's creating that belonging. That's what I loved about my upbringing in my childhood. So I wanted to bring that back. It's more intentional. On our website, we have to get together. We might have to have events. We'll still have that togetherness."
This edition of Viewpoint focuses on the mission of the Idaho Black Community Alliance, and how they are carrying it out. Viewpoint airs Sunday mornings at 9 o'clock on KTVB Idaho's NewsChannel 7.
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