San Bernardino, Calif. -- The organization called Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) presented a unique opportunity to a group of Cal State students.
The class of Communications 343, otherwise known as The Coyote Pack, had been accepted to the BTtoP National Conference: The Whole Student: Intersectionality and Well-Being, in Chicago, Illinois. The Coyote Pack was in for a surprise when they realized their class team were the one out of two group that was student led at the event.
“We were shocked, we thought it was going to be a bunch of students,” said Jasmin Novoa. “It was strictly a faculty conference so for us students being there was super important for them It was important for us to be there, especially being from San Bernardino, they were completely invested in us they were saying “Omg! Tell us, What's going on?”
While hundreds of professors, faculty, and staff dominated the conference they were the only students standing to speak in front of thousands of faculty level presentations.
The three day conference was held where dozens of speakers gave presentations about tasks, accomplishments, and long-term goals for their organizations. The platforms of the Coyote Pack were each shared in detail to form a bigger picture of what the organization and class try to represent: the use of journalism, podcast, digital media, and public relations to give voice to the voiceless caught in the intersections of oppression.
The presentation was framed by quotes and lessons learned from Professor Liliana Gallegos’ favorite author, Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa. Her texts have influenced the project that is Rainbow Journalism and the formation of The Coyote Pack, so it made sense to credit the inspiration for the formation of the organization.
Using these influential texts the team displayed their goals as an organization to a large audience. For this reason the conference was an influential event for the members of The Coyote Pack.
The significance of this event was tremendous on both an organizational and personal level to members of The Coyote Pack. As stated by video production team, “It was important because it was educational, something I thought I’d never be going to witness, especially in my college years.”
Videographer, Richie Orozco, learned the personal connection one must endure when it comes to the new ways of teaching, “I was taught that you need to get to know your audiences, or students. Learning their ways of learning.”
Chicago offered new insights of new generation speakers discussing Native and Mexican Latinx cultures and how they will influence modern academia.
Expectations were surpassed as Erika Chavez states, “They were better than I imagined. My point of view was to listen to the usual conferences almost like a lecture. Once we went to the main one I felt like there was a connection with the speaker Dr. Laura Rendon. She referred back to the contexts discussed in class about Anzaldua.”
Beyond the conference, on the last day, The Coyote Pack attended a sexual assault panel.
Yadira Avina states, “ The panel created identity, wellbeing, and student success to campus, sexual assault prevention efforts. It was the most important for us because we were more than just attending. We were the only students with the faculty so they used us as a panel for feedback.”
Novoa was shocked to understand the depth the faculty had to relay their teachings, “Imagine all the senate's from a state and then say ‘Oh wait! We learned this now let's go back to california and teach everybody this. That’s hard!
Reactions from all sides of the presentation overall were positive. In addition to the shock The Coyote Pack experienced, the audience was overall impressed with their presentation.
To Novoa there was one reaction that stood out the most, “There was this girl. . . I think she was from Wisconsin or some place up North. . . she felt like she was trying to gather people for our same cause. . .but she had to do it alone.”
This reaction raises the subject of the importance of groups like The Coyote Pack. Though their work may seem revolutionary, people all over are struggling for the same cause.
Those people were affected by the same problems and without the same support. Ultimately, the students of The Coyote Pack accomplished a goal of the organization in this way, reaching out to those who fight the same fight.