Multicultural Mormonism

Religious Cohesion in a New Era of Diversity

March 29th - 31st, 2017
Classroom Building, Room 511
Utah Valley University



Like the early Christians, Mormons are admonished to “go into all the world to preach the gospel.” This requires the American-born religion to “translate” its faith and practices into many different cultural contexts. This has led to debates about how to distinguish between core doctrines and rituals and the particularities of Utah-based Mormon culture. How does a religious body promote cohesion and unity while at the same time allowing for inclusivity and diversity? To what extent is it possible for multiple cultures to work authentically in a single religious community? Can these identities thrive within a common “gospel culture” and maintain their unique languages and customs? To what extent are they vulnerable to cultural assimilation and alienation?

This conference will explore multicultural and intercultural interactions within Mormonism, focusing on issues surrounding ethnicity, race, and class; and with an eye toward the future of Mormonism as a global religion. 


Keynote Speakers

  • Armando Solorzano
    Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies & Family and Consumer Studies
    University of Utah

    Author of We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe, Recuerdo, Celebración, Y Esperanza: Latinos in Utah
  • Ignacio Garcia
    Lemuel Hardison Redd, Jr. Professor of Western & Latino History
    Brigham Young University
    Author of Chicano While Mormon: Activism, War, and Keeping
    the Faith

  • Gina Colvin
    School of Education Studies & Leadership,
    University of Canterbury, New Zealand
    Host of 'A Thoughtful Faith' podcast
    Author of KiwiMormon blog

Conference Participants

  • Moroni Benally
    Vice President for Government Affairs and Public Relations,
    Diné College 

  • Agustín "Tino" Diaz 
    Program Director, Educational Opportunity Center,
    Utah Valley University

  • Matthew Garrett
    Professor of History, 
    Bakersfield College
    Author of Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program 1947-2000 

  • Anapesi Ka'ili
    Director and Principal,
    Mana Academy, UT 
    Specializes in Pacific Island history, native languages and cultural identities

  • Daniel Hernandez
    PhD Candidate in Anthropology, 
    University of Auckland, New Zealand 

  • Paul Reeve
    Professor of History,
    University of Utah 
    Author of Religion of a Different Color: Race & the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness 

  • Janan Graham-Russell
    Writer and Womanist scholar
    Contributor to The Atlantic,  Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings, and A Book of Mormons. 
  • Darron Smith
    Department of Sociology,
    University of Memphis
    Author of When Race Religion & Sports Collide: Black Athletes at BYU and Beyond

  • Moana Uluave Hafoka
    Community Liaison,
    Salt Lake City Mayor's Office
    Gates Millennium Scholar

Co-Sponsors & Partners

  • Religious Studies Program, Utah Valley University
  • College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Utah Valley University