Support networks help encourage Latina students in science, tech careers

Walking into her intro to computer science theory class as a freshman at the University of Texas at El Paso, Montserrat Molina felt out of place. The room was full of men, except for three other women besides herself.“I felt very scared. I was very intimidated,” said Molina, who was majoring in computer science.Molina said the experience was eye opening. It was the first time she felt like a minority and that she didn’t belong. But she stuck it out and continued to follow her degree planMolina’s experience is not an isolated one and many young women choose not to pursue college studies in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Journalism internship endowment honors former UTEP student Annette Rainville

Editors note: This article was originally published on September 14, 2014 in the special Centennial Issue of The Prospector. Annette Rainville, who was a reporter and editor at The Prospector, graduated from UTEP with a bachelor’s degree in print media in spring 2004. During her long process of going to school and working to raise her twin boys, Anthony and Ryan, and daughter Audrey, Rainville was also fighting her initial battle with leukemia. She was in remission and went to work as an intern with the Scripps Howard News Bureau in Washington, D.C. in fall 2004. She worked alongside reporter Lisa Hoffman, who was the bureau’s main reporter on the war in Iraq.

The newcomers guide to a borderland Christmas

Holidays around the country are celebrated with unique traditions, special to their region. And the holidays in the borderland also have their own festive recipe. Sharing a border with Mexico, El Paso is a melting pot of cultura with a dash of America and a dash of Mexico.In a city where the population is predominantly Mexican-American, the spices of two different cultures make the borderland holidays a celebration like no other. If you are new to El Paso, here’s all you need to know to celebrate borderland style. The Holiday prep

The festivities of the holiday season kick off early in the borderland.

Photojournalist has unique view of border life as a non-Spanish-speaking child of immigrants

Briana Sanchez frowns at the images on her computer screen. 

“I need to add some happier photos in here,” she says. Sanchez, lead photojournalist at the El Paso Times, knows better than anyone the difficult times that the border has been through in the last two years. After spending eight years away, first in college in Georgia and Arizona and then working at newspapers in the Midwest, Sanchez returned home to El Paso in the spring of 2019. 

“As soon as I moved back here, we had those patriots at the border, protecting the border on their own volition,” she says. “And then we had the ‘We Build the Wall’ people. And then we had the mass shooting.

Photojournalist has unique view of border life as a non-Spanish-speaking child of immigrants

Briana Sanchez frowns at the images on her computer screen. 

“I need to add some happier photos in here,” she says. Sanchez, lead photojournalist at the El Paso Times, knows better than anyone the difficult times that the border has been through in the last two years. After spending eight years away, first in college in Georgia and Arizona and then working at newspapers in the Midwest, Sanchez returned home to El Paso in the spring of 2019. 

“As soon as I moved back here, we had those patriots at the border, protecting the border on their own volition,” she says. “And then we had the ‘We Build the Wall’ people. And then we had the mass shooting.

From borderlands of Brownsville and Tucson, Chicanx artist explores themes of barriers, belonging

Artist Alejandro Macias was born, raised and lived for more than three decades in Brownsville, Texas, communicating the borderlands experience through visual art as a second-generation Mexican American. 

In 2019, he moved hundreds of miles west to the borderlands city, Tucson, in Arizona, to continue working on his art and to teach at The University of Arizona in the School of Art. His work, which in part is inspired by Chicanx activist work, draws on artists who transformed the human figure, artistically.  His art reflects his and others’ lived experience, striving to find a sense of belonging in the borderlands region. His work also reflects social-political climates of the times. 

Macias’ paintings focus on identity, the Mexican American experience within U.S. society, migration, his own family history and the many other families struggling and who have witnessed barriers in the borderlands. He uses images of himself in some work as representative of others with visuals often related to physical and metaphorical barriers in the Mexico-U.S. borderland region, which embodies two nations, two cultures with different identities that often merge together. 

How police work for women in El Paso has changed over the years, but still has a ways to go in recruiting

The history of women on El Paso’s police force dates back to 1913, but much has changed over the years. “Women were seen more as social workers than police officers because it was a very male-dominated occupation,” said Egbert Zavala, an associate professor in the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Texas at El Paso. Early police work by women mostly involved looking for runaway girls, making calls on community residents, patrolling the streets and arresting prostitutes. “There was this idea, back in the day, that males had to deal with dangerous criminals,” Zavala said. https://youtu.be/EOnjuEVQzH4

According to records with the El Paso County Historical Society, the first policewomen in El Paso appointed in 1913 were Mrs. C.A. Hooper, Mrs. L.P. Jones, and Juliet Barlow.

Artists reflect Segundo Barrio pride in south El Paso mural

EL PASO — Three artists who grew up in the Segundo Barrio collaborated to create the mural “Quinto Sol- The Rebirth,” in south El Paso. Francisco Delgado, Francisco Camacho, and Bobby Lerma united to paint the mural to inspire children from the neighborhood with memorable artwork. “I believe that it was destined to be on that wall. Everything felt in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, with people who have a good heart, with people that care about the community, and with people who have a strong incomparable love to the neighborhood,” Lerma said. Delgado calls himself a “bordeño,” an artist whose artwork is a mashup of being a Chicano and a “fronterizo.”

Vulnerable transgender asylum seekers create shelter together in Juárez

On a warm February afternoon, Susana Coreas stands outside the door of Casa de Colores in Ciudad Juárez holding a phone in one hand and a 50 peso bill in the other.

As she hands the money to two women leaving the building, Coreas pauses her phone call and greets the visitor at her door.

“Adelante, esta es su casa,” she says. Go ahead, this is your home.

Culture Shift: Looking at Identity in the Borderland Bubble

In this episode of Our Border Life we talk about those moments when people realize they’re in a culture shift – that something fundamentally has changed about their identity. Specifically, the growing awareness of the multi-layered identities among people living in the U.S-Mexico borderland region of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. https://soundcloud.com/borderzine-reporting-across-fronteras/looking-at-identity-through-the-borderland-bubble

We meet with Gustavo Reveles, who was born in El Paso and spent the first 15 years of his life living on both sides of the border. In a conversation with a friend, Martin Bartlett, Reveles talks about how he didn’t realize he lived in a culture bubble until he moved away for a job after college.  

 

“You grew up thinking you’re both Mexican and American.

Indigenous Mexicans survive pandemic by drawing on tradition in the absence of government action

By Jeffrey H. Cohen, The Ohio State University

While the coronavirus hammers Mexico, some Indigenous communities in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca are finding creative ways to cope. Oaxaca, one of Mexico’s poorest and most ethnically diverse states, is home to numerous Indigenous communities, including the Zapotec people. I have spent many years in the central valleys of Oaxaca conducting anthropological research in rural Zapotec villages, documenting the people’s lives, migration patterns and food culture. Oaxaca. TUBS/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY
Now, my summer research in Oaxaca canceled due to the pandemic, I am learning from afar how the Zapotec are confronting the coronavirus given such complicating factors as chronic poverty, inadequate health care, limited internet, language barriers and a lack of running water.

Brands may support anti-racism movement, but advertising still needs to decolonise

Carl W Jones, University of Westminster

Brands such as Nike and Adidas to PG Tips and Space NK have been expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by issuing statements and adverts of support – from Nike playing with their memorable tagline of “Just Do It” by asking consumers “for once, Don’t Do It” to the #Solidaritea hashtag taken up by many tea brands. Many of these messages have been accompanied by promises to take a hard look at each company’s history and current working practises to see what changes can be made to address structural racism. The idea that we need to decolonise various areas of society is finally growing. But the idea itself is, of course, nothing new. Calls and attempts to decolonise curriculums, public transport systems, museum collections, healthcare systems and so on have been around for a while, but finally many appear to be taking it a bit more seriously.

UTEP journalism student adapts to reporting from home

EL PASO – When health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic moved UT El Paso courses online in March, multimedia journalism major Exodis Ward wasn’t sure what to do for her next video story assignment. People were isolated at home. The city and school required social distancing protocols be followed. How could she cover a story without being in the same room as her sources? “It’s not very often that I draw a blank, so I pitched a very literal idea: How are reporters reporting from home?

Restaurant wall painting of Puerto Rico inspired images

What El Pasoans need to know about Puerto Ricans

El Paso is dominated by residents of Mexican descent, so other Latino groups aren’t always reflected in the mainstream culture of the city. In this video, Borderzine reporter Michelle Rosado breaks down the differences and similarities of Mexican and Puerto Rican cultures in the borderland. https://youtu.be/mZSwbETnghQ

 

Tribune en español, an alternative after Hoy’s shut down in Chicago

By Hallie Newnam, Special to Borderzine.com

CHICAGO – After 16 years, Hoy—the Spanish-language newspaper of the Tribune Publishing Company—has shut down. In mid-November, the Tribune announced that on Dec. 13, 2019 both Hoy’s print and online operations would end. However, the Tribune was reportedly “aggressively exploring other options” for its Hispanic audience. Many loyal followers of the publication were frustrated and confused about the newspaper’s abrupt end.

Children of color already make up the majority of kids in many US states

By Rogelio Sáenz, The University of Texas at San Antonio and Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Texas A&M University

Demographers project that whites will become a minority in the U.S. in around 2045, dropping below 50% of the population. That’s a quarter-century from now – still a long way away, right? Not if you focus on children. White children right now are on the eve of becoming a numerical minority. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that, by the middle of 2020, nonwhites will account for the majority of the nation’s 74 million children.

A sacred light in the darkness: Winter solstice illuminations at Spanish missions

By Rubén G. Mendoza, California State University, Monterey Bay

On Saturday, Dec. 21, nations in the Northern Hemisphere will mark the winter solstice – the shortest day and longest night of the year. For thousands of years people have marked this event with rituals and celebrations to signal the rebirth of the sun and its victory over darkness. At hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of missions stretching from northern California to Peru, the winter solstice sun triggers an extraordinarily rare and fascinating event – something that I discovered by accident and first documented in one California church more than 20 years ago. At dawn on Dec.

Adding ratings on source reliability helps limit spread of misinformation

By Antino Kim, Indiana University; Alan R. Dennis, Indiana University; Patricia L. Moravec, University of Texas at Austin, and Randall K. Minas, University of Hawaii

Online misinformation has significant real-life consequences, such as measles outbreaks and encouraging racist mass murderers. Online misinformation can have political consequences as well. The problem of disinformation and propaganda misleading social media users was serious in 2016, continued unabated in 2018 and is expected to be even more severe in the coming 2020 election cycle in the U.S.

Most people think they can detect deception efforts online, but in our recent research, fewer than 20% of participants were actually able to correctly identify intentionally misleading content. The rest did no better than they would have if they flipped a coin to decide what was real and what wasn’t. 

Both psychological and neurological evidence shows that people are more likely to believe and pay attention to information that aligns with their political views – regardless of whether it’s true.

U.S.–Mexico border becomes multimedia journalism classroom for Cal State University students reporting from both sides

By Julio J. Bermejo
Dominic Torres wasn’t getting what he needed from the interview, and he knew it. Torres, a senior majoring in journalism at California State University, Fullerton, in Southern California, was on the outskirts of Tijuana, Baja California, in November at a residential shelter for child victims of sexual exploitation. He was there to interview “Lucy” (a pseudonym), a 21-year-old survivor of a childhood of abuse at the hands of her father. Her story was to be a central element of the multimedia news package on child sexual exploitation in the U.S.–Mexico border region Torres was assembling as part of his work in the university’s new course, “Specialized Reporting on Minorities of the Southern Border.” 

See the stories: California State University Fullerton Reports From The Border
Yet, even though Lucy had agreed to the interview through the shelter director, who sat translating between her and Torres, who did not speak Spanish; even though the camera was trained only on her hands; and even with the promised use of the pseudonym and an offer to alter her voice in the footage, Lucy was reluctant to offer any details of her story. Torres slowly switched off the camera and hung his head in thought.

New Latinx generation embraces the code-switching identity once derided as ‘pocho’

EL PASO –For some young borderlanders, pocho is a word that unites two cultures. “El Paso and Juarez is its own culture. We are neither entirely American and we are neither entirely Mexican so pochismo would be somewhat some of our language,” said Antonio Villaseñor, 23, a University of Texas graduate student and editor of the online magazine Con Safos. With outlets like Buzzfeed and we are mitú featuring videos on Youtube describing the experience of being a pocho in the United States and new clothing lines like the L.A-based Pocho wear, the term is being embraced by a new generation of Mexican-Americans. “I see it as something positive.

Organización en Ciudad Juarez promueve el servicio a la comunidad a travez de experiencias internacionales

Cithlaly Bernal,21, ha vivido en Ciudad Juárez toda su vida, sin embargo, fue hasta después de su viaje a Costa Rica, donde trabajo con niños Nicaragüenses indocumentados, que comprendió la situación de los migrantes. “Aquí hablamos mucho de los migrantes Mexicanos que se van a Estados Unidos, pero yo pude ver este problema en otro país. Me impacto ver cómo a la gente se le hace tan fácil discriminar a otros porque los ve como inferiores” dijo Bernal. Bernal forma parte de La Asociación Internacional de Estudiantes de Ciencias Económicas y Comerciales (AIESEC), una organización no gubernamental, que busca promover el liderazgo en los jóvenes de entre 18 y 29 años de edad a través del desarrollo personal y las experiencias internacionales. Ciudad Juárez cuenta con un comité local de AIESEC desde el año 2000.

Border-based PolicyHack uses solutions approach to tackle complex problems

SANTA TERESA — Many things can be hacked, computers, smartphones, game consoles, and that usually creates problems but a recent hackathon focused on solutions. This hackathon doesn’t hack technology, but it hacks policies, which is what gives this event its name: PolicyHack. “I thought it was one of the best policy hacks we’ve ever done,” said Cris Turner, head of government affairs for the Americas at Dell and a judge for PolicyHack. Dell Inc. organizes policy hacks at sites around the world to bring together government officials, entrepreneurs, business and non-profit leaders, venture capitalists and students. The border event included people from both the U.S. and Mexico and three states, Texas, New Mexico, Chihuahua.

Sports mascots spark vehement arguments on both sides

The appropriation of Native American symbols as sports mascots is a divisive topic as sports fans enthusiastically support their teams, and others want the mascots replaced, a scholar on the topic said recently. For example, some Cleveland Indians fans embrace Chief Wahoo, the team’s mascot, and fight vehemently to keep their beloved emblem, said Wayne State University Associate Professor Kelly Young said during a recent presentation. Young emphasized his love for sports and how his time in Cleveland helped add to his research. “When I was there it was sort of the ground zero of anti-Chief Wahoo protest going on there,” Young said. For rabid fans, such symbols, are not seen as racist but as symbols of remembrances when they went to games with loved ones.

Lost in Translation: How Irish-Americans transformed the sacred legacy of St. Patrick’s Day into a drinking festival

James Farrelly, University of Dayton

In 1997, my students and I traveled to Croagh Patrick, a mountain in County Mayo, as part of a study abroad program course on Irish literature I was teaching for the University of Dayton. I wanted my students to visit the place where, each July, thousands of pilgrims pay homage to St. Patrick, who, according to lore, fasted and prayed on the summit for 40 days. While there, our tour guide relayed the story of how St. Patrick, as he lay on his death bed on March 17 in A.D. 461, supposedly asked those gathered around him to toast his heavenly journey with a “wee drop of whiskey” to ease their pain.