By Christina Soto | Broadcast Reporter
Every year, a university that is part of the Big 12 Council on Black Student Government hosts the Annual Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government. This year will be the 40th Annual Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government and started Thursday and will run until Saturday at the University of Texas at Austin. “Making the Movement Matter” is the theme for the event, according to the conference Facebook page.
The Coalition of Black Ambassadors at Baylor serves as a council to provide leadership and assistance in solving community issues. Its members consist of those in Black Student Governments from universities in the Big 12 conference. The council was created in 1977 when black students from other institutions came together because they were experiencing similar problems, according to the Baylor Multicultural Affairs website.
Houston senior Hailey Franklin, president of the Coalition of the Black Ambassadors, has been a part of the organization since her freshman year. She said the council has been able to mold its members into leaders.
“It has helped me grow as a leader. I was more of an introvert, and it has built the confidence I needed and helped me grow into the person I am today,” Franklin said.
The conference is an important event for the organization, Franklin said.
“Since my sophomore year, I have attended the conferences. You hear from phenomenal speakers, go to career fairs and meet a lot of new people. It’s a lot to do, but it makes you proud of who you are, and it is the best four days ever,” Franklin said.
Over the last year, the Coalition of Black Ambassadors and Dallas junior and chair of Big 12 conference Annette Christie have been working to get the Big 12 Annual Conference at Baylor. Christie said that in the 40 years of the conference establishment, it has never been at Baylor because the university has been seen as too conservative and too small. However, next year Baylor will host the 41st Annual Big 12 Conference. Christie has been working along 40 other members to make this event possible.
“We meet weekly to talk about catering, lodging and sponsorships. We have to raise $300,000 in sponsorships to make this event possible,” Christie said.
At the conference this weekend, Christie will announce the theme of the 41st Annual Big 12 conference at Baylor. The theme will be “Sankosa, our past, our stories and our future.”
“In order to be a productive leader in the future, you have to know how to look on the past. The conference purpose is to develop black leaders from the mind, body and spirit,” Christie said.
Franklin said she is so proud of the work her members are doing and is excited to see it come to fruition.
“I want to see their vision put out, and their hard work really pays out,” Franklin said.