Cal State San Bernardino communication studies students held the inaugural Coyote Orators for Social Change forensic speech tournament on April 16. The tournament was hosted by Communication Studies Department and sponsored by The Women Support Organization, and in collaboration with The Speaking Center, The Center for the Study of Muslim & Arab Worlds, and The Communication Society.
This year has been a prominent year for social justice and social change advocacy. College of Arts and Letters communication studies students used online resources to discuss and wanted to let their voices be heard.
The theme of the tournament, Speak for Social Justice, featured five students from CSUSB oral communication 1006 courses who spoke about events related to social justice and social change. Students performed their persuasive speeches virtually to a panel of judges consisting of graduate students, faculty, and special judges from the community. They spoke about topics such as homelessness and healthcare. Three cash prizes were awarded to students who placed first, second and third, and all participants received a certificate for participating.
Congratulations to first place winner, Evelyn Atencio, second place winner, Jolie Vega, and third place winner, Olga Romero Diaz!
Following the speech tournament, a panel discussion was held to discuss the importance of social justice in our homes and communities, share ideas and advocating online through social media, and how to be an ally. The panel featured graduate students and other guests from the community.
CSUSB is proud to offer students a platform to use their voice for social justice and advocacy. The university offers a general education pathway for diversity and social justice, including hosting its annual Social Justice Summit and the weekly Conversations on Race and Policing.
The social justice pathway offers students opportunities to examine issues and theories related to identity, diversity, and equity. Through interdisciplinary coursework and projects, students will deepen their understandings of the disparate ways that people access civil, political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights and opportunities and the ways that social structures impact equitable distribution.
The Social Justice Summit encourages students to understand their own social identities as well as of those around them, acknowledge their own privilege and marginalized identities to become allies for diverse and inclusive spaces, and develop a sense of agency and obligation to change the "narrative" and establish a sense of pride and saliency with their own identities.
Conversations on Race and Policing began in the aftermath of the May 25 death of George Floyd while in the custody of four Minneapolis, Minn., police officers. A video of the incident posted on social media has led to widespread protests, the firing of four police officers, the conviction of one officer on a second-degree murder charge, the other three officers awaiting trial on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder – and a spotlight worldwide on race and policing.