Black Cultural Center Bomb Threat


Current Status:
In Review

The Racist & Bias Incident Response Team has been notified and is working with the appropriate departments to identify the person(s) responsible.

Students, faculty, staff and visitors who believe they have been the target of bias, intolerance or discrimination may report an incident to the public incident report form (bias and intolerance) or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (sexual misconduct and discrimination).

Current Status:
In Review

The Racist & Bias Incident Response Team is actively monitoring the situation and getting updates from appropriate departments on campus as they try to identify the person(s) responsible and will provide any updates as appropriate.

Students, faculty, staff and visitors who believe they have been the target of bias, intolerance or discrimination may report an incident to the public incident report form (bias and intolerance) or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (sexual misconduct and discrimination).

What happened

Early Tuesday morning (Jan. 11, 2022), a crisis center call line in Hollywood, California, received a call alleging a bomb was placed in the Black Cultural Center in the Fort Douglas area of the University of Utah campus. The individual on the call claimed to be 17 years old and a neo-Nazi, and claimed to have planted bombs at several buildings at colleges and universities around the country, including the BCC.

University Police officers immediately responded at 4:25 a.m. with bomb-sniffing dogs and searched the building. Officers confirmed that the building was unoccupied, no bomb was found and the building was secured.

At least eight historically Black colleges were targeted with bomb threats last Tuesday. In those cases too, the threats were unfounded, but community members there and here are understandably shaken by the incidents.

What is being done

University Police are investigating, and the issue has also been reported to the FBI. Based on the details and circumstances of this particular instance, it does not seem likely that the individual who called in the threat is a member of the U community. However, if through the course of some review or investigation any university community members are identified as having been involved, the Office of the Dean of Students, Human Resources, or other appropriate leader will take action within university policy separate from any criminal sanctions. Should the criminal investigation identify involved individuals, they may be held accountable through the separate criminal justice process.

What to do

Seek support. Although there were no explosive devices found, bomb threats themselves can cause trauma, make folx fear for their safety, and recall a history of racist bombings in this country. The University Counseling Center, MH1 (Mental Health First Responders for students living in Housing & Residential Education), and counselors in Athletics are on standby ready to assist members of our community who are struggling, processing, or otherwise would like support related to this incident, now or in the future. 

If you are interested in learning more about the variety of resources the U offers to support diversity and inclusion, please visit the Office of the Dean of Students in the Union Building, Room 270, deanofstudents@utah.edu, 801-581-7066, or Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Park Building, Room 208, or https://diversity.utah.edu/our-team/. To make a report of a racist or bias incident, visit the public reporting form

The U condemns hate and is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion

This act, specifically targeted against our Black community, in a space meant as a safe haven, is rooted in the hateful act of striking fear among students and community members. These targeted acts leave our Black students, staff and faculty feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, angry, and continuously on edge. While we work to ensure that they are able to find a place of safety and belonging as a part of our campus community, we know that is not enough. 

We will continue to name the racist acts, investigate and hold the perpetrators of these hateful acts accountable when they are identified.  Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is currently working with a wide array of campus partners, including experts in the field of responding to racist and bias incidents and racism, to make recommendations to President Randall regarding actions to take to continue the work of the enormous cultural shift required in this moment. We cannot tolerate what is intolerable.  Additionally, we will continue to proactively implement efforts that uplift and celebrate our communities as we witness an increasing number of racist acts on our campus and across the nation. This is the time to draw together and call out these acts when we see them.

Questions & Concerns

For any questions or concerns in regard to this bias incident, please contact Brian Jay Nicholls, Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer, at RBIresponse@utah.edu.

For additional reporting information, please feel free to visit here.

Response process
Support Resources

If you are currently in a situation where immediate medical, police or other emergency services are needed, call 911 or University Emergency Communications at 801-585-2677 (801-585-COPS). To file a complaint regarding discrimination or sexual harassment, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA) at 801-581-8365.

Support & resources
Report a Bias Incident

Any act of intolerance, motivated wholly or in part by bias or prejudice against an individual’s race, color, ethnicity, age, religion, size, disability, national origin, language, gender, veteran status, identity expression, sexual orientation or age—regardless of severity—can be reported using this form.

Submit a report