Remove your shoes, open the door, ring the bell three times and walk toward the altar to pray. That’s what Hindu devotees do every time they enter the Southwest Hindu Temple on El Paso’s West Side. Colorful lights hang on the altar. India’s flag is on the right side and the U.S flag on the left. In the center of the temple is a brass tray “puja thali” with rice, turmeric, chandan and incense.
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.
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.
In the leadup to the Nov. 3 election and in its aftermath, there’s been a lot of talk about how Latinos aren’t a monolith, and the messiness of trying to lump so many different people into one group. It’s also something Brandy Ruiz has been thinking about. She’s a journalism student at the University of Texas at El Paso. What, she wondered, does it even mean to be Latino or Hispanic?
The Microsoft local journalism project will include a grant to the El Paso Community Foundation to support nonprofit news organizations, including El Paso Matters, KTEP public radio, the University of Texas at El Paso multimedia journalism program and La Verdad.
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Twelve journalism instructors from U.S. Hispanic Serving Institutions will travel to the U.S., Mexico border region to participate in the 10th annual Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy May 31 – June 6 at the University of Texas in El Paso. Thanks to a grant provided by the Dow Jones News Fund, Borderzine organizes this annual training program geared to support multimedia journalism instructors who teach in institutions with a large minority population. Here is a list of the 12 instructors who were chosen and their institutions:
Nancy Garcia, West Texas A&M University
Jacqueline Fellows, University of North Texas
Ana Lourdes Cardenas, San Francisco State University
Stephanie Bluestein, California State University Northridge
Joel Harris, California State University San Bernadino
Farideh Dada, San Jose City College
Fredrick Batiste, Houston Community College System
Adam Schrag, Fresno Pacific University
Tara Cuslidge-Staiano, San Joaquin Delta College
Jenna Duncan, Glendale Community College
Walter Baranger, California State Fullerton
Steve Collins, University of Central Florida
The week-long multimedia-journalism academy has a proven track record of helping journalism educators acquire a new skills in digital storytelling that they can use to help prepare prepare the next generation of Latino college journalists for a competitive media market. “The trainers at the academy understand what educators need to learn about new and emerging technologies to better prepare their students for the fast-changing future” said Linda Shockley, Deputy Director of Dow Jones News Fund. “This quality of instruction at absolutely no cost to participants and their universities is priceless.”
The goal of this experience is to learn and practice news reporting using a variety of digital equipment, software programs and platforms. Participating instructors are expected to translate this learning into training for their students, making them more competitive in the media industry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zeke Peña, an illustrator and cartoonist has spent most of his work as an artist living on “la frontera,” the border, reflecting the reality and issues faced by Chicano and Mexican-American generations. “I think about how the border identity is binary. It isn’t about this side or that side, it’s way more complicated. But that’s the beauty of it,” he says. Sitting in battered, squeaky wood chair in front of a drafting table that displays his work in his studio, the 35-year-old Peña looks the part of a committed artist with his black-rimmed glasses and his shoulder-length dark curly hair and black ball cap.
Existen diferentes términos que identifican a la comunidad hispana aquí en los Estados Unidos, términos que dictan un margen entre personas de diferentes ascendencias. El hecho de que se conmemora la herencia hispana hace que salgan a flote todas esas identidades. Expertos en el tema interpretan que hace falta un sentido de unidad entre la comunidad hispana en este país, ya que no se sostienen precisamente las mejores relaciones entre ellas.
“Yo creo que nos falta mucha unidad….Existen relaciones como de amor/odio entre los mexicanos y mexicoamericanos, en este caso. Lo mismo sucede con mexicanos y puertorriqueños, colombianos y salvadoreños, con toda esta gama de latinoamericanos que habitamos en este país”, dijo María Socorro Tabuenca, profesora de español y de estudios chicanos en la Universidad de Texas en El Paso.
EL PASO – Borderzine – the University of Texas at El Paso’s award-winning web magazine – received a $35,000 grant from the Online News Association to fund a binational journalism multimedia project between the communities of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. Students from UTEP, El Paso Community College and the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez will work together on the project called “Engaging Community Across Borders Through Media.”
“It’s an ambitious project to engage border residents from the U.S. and Mexico sides to better relate to the rest of the world the reality of the border minus the usual stereotypes,” said Zita Arocha, professor of practice at UTEP and director of Borderzine. Local media from both sides of the border also will participate in the project with the goal of helping communities identify solutions to common binational issues such as immigration, transportation, environmental challenges, socio-economic development and health and medical needs, Arocha said. Key media partners include KTEP, El Diario de El Paso, El Paso Times, El Paso Inc., Ser Empresario, KVIA, Univision, Telemundo and KFOX. More than a dozen students from UTEP, EPCC and UACJ will work as a team to produce multilingual content about the borderlands – from podcasts to video stories to an e-book designed to dispel common myths about the region, Arocha said.
Washington, D.C. – The Borderzine Reporting Across Fronteras project at UT El Paso is among more than 150 nonprofit newsrooms across the country that will participate in this year’s NewsMatch, the largest grassroots fundraising campaign to support nonprofit news organizations. The national call-to-action will launch on Nov. 1, 2018. In 2017 NewsMatch helped to raise more than $4.8 million from individual donors and a coalition of private funders. This year the number of nonprofit news organizations participating has jumped by more than 40 percent.
Miami – July 18, 2018 – Latino journalists are dissatisfied with their current salaries, limited options to increase them and a lack of opportunities for training and promotion in the nation’s newsrooms, according to a study conducted by University of Texas at El Paso researchers and NAHJ. As a result, 22 percent of the respondents said they are considering leaving the journalism profession because of their dissatisfaction, the survey showed. While more than 40 percent of the respondents said they intend to remain in the profession, another 32 percent are not sure. “The results reinforce our suspicion that Latino journalists are frustrated and stymied by the lack of opportunities for professional growth,” said Zita Arocha, one of the authors of the study and an associate professor of practice at the University of Texas at El Paso. “It’s alarming that so many say they plan to leave the profession in five years when the industry is in dire need of more Latinos in leadership and editorial positions to ensure proper coverage of Hispanic issues, especially politics and immigration.”
Related: Remarks on Latino journalist survey to NAHJ board of directors
NAHJ President Brandon Benavides said he’s concerned many Latino journalists aren’t sure if they will continue in the profession over the long haul, and are not satisfied with promotion and leadership opportunities in their workplaces.
Life in a border city can be like a relationship status on social media. It’s complicated. More than 1 million people live in the El Paso-southern New Mexico region. Another 1.3 million live across the border in Juarez, Mexico. We are separated by an international boundary set along the path of a formerly meandering river.
EL PASO -When Monique and Jerry Sternin took on the challenge in 1990 of reducing childhood malnutrition in rural Vietnam, they didn’t show up with their own notions of what should be done. Instead, the Save the Children workers went in search of the “deviants,” the families where children were thriving despite having the same resources as those whose children were undernourished.
The couple was applying the concept of “Positive Deviance,” which initially appeared in nutrition research literature in the 1960s, according to positivedeviance.org. They observed the families that had healthy children and then led these mothers to pass their methods on to the rest of the families, and within two years reported a dramatic reduction in malnourishment. “We had met ordinary people who had been more successful than others.
EL PASO – While women in the entertainment industry are raising the profile of the Times Up movement against sexual harassment, UTEP’s Student Engagement and Leadership Center is hoping to keep people on campus talking about the issue. “We wanted to bring Times Up here locally to start that conversation and let students know that they can be a part of this too,” said Campus Engagement Coordinator Mallory Garcia. The campus conversation started in January with a Times Up reception and exhibit in the Union East gallery. Justin Tompkins, case manager for UTEP’s new Center for Advocacy Resources and Education said the biggest thing he hoped student took away from the event was awareness. “And most importantly educate, start those conversations, be aware, serve as an advocate for others, and help others understand that this issue is wrong,” he said.
When Angela Davis recently spoke at the University of Texas at El Paso, she opened with a statement that was timely and meaningful for this border community. “No human is illegal,” she said. The crowd responded with a big round of applause. Chicano Studies Professor Irma Montelongo said it was an important show of solidarity by Davis, an iconic black rights activist, with El Paso’s largely Hispanic community. “We’re all in a big struggle right now and unless we can come together across metaphorical boundaries then the struggle is that much harder.
After a broadening of horizons tour around Texas, the newest primetime anchor at NewsChannel 9 was ready to come home. Natassia Paloma, 30, is an El Paso native and a UTEP graduate who returned to her hometown to introduce her son Nathan to her biggest inspiration, her grandmother Palmira. “I definitely want him to be raised in the way I was raised. I was raised very humble and raised to be aware of people are going through,” Paloma said. “To really feel with your heart so I want my son to be raised in this culture and I want him to be bilingual and I want to raise him around the people in here.“
Palmira was instrumental in Paloma’s path to become a journalist.