On March 14, the Kalamazoo Peace Center held an event called “Wolf Howler” that welcomed activist Rod Coronado who gave a talk about the hunting of wolves. The event also included a variety of music after the talk.
The evening began with a video about how wolves were hunted and nearly pushed to extinction. Only after the wolves were removed from the endangered species list by politicians did hunters begin to hunt the wolf again.
Shortly following the video, Coronado came up and began to speak on the issue. He proceeded to talk and show how the wolf is an important key in the ecosystem, and even showed at points how hunters trapped wolves, using a metal trap as an example.
“The survival of the wolf is one of the greatest environmental accomplishments in Michigan and it’s a shame to see them being hunted again,” said Coronado. “As a citizen of Michigan I feel like it’s my obligation to fight for the protection of wolves, after their near extinction in the state.”
After his speech, many people felt moved and showed gratitude to Coronado by coming up and talking with him afterwards.
“[Coronado's] insight into working within the system to advocate for the wild was inspirational,” said Jessica Clark of the Kalamazoo Peace Center. “[Coronado] shared Anishinaabe stories that make the wolf so important. He also spoke powerfully about working within the system to advocate for the wild was inspirational.”
One of the people who felt proud of Coronado’s work was Robbie Fischer, the final musical act to perform the evening under the name After Graduation.
“I live with [Coronado]. He’s one of my best friends and a great roommate,” said Robby Fischer. “We share similar passions for things when it comes to politics, the earth and animals.”
Fischer, like many others, showed how important he thinks Coronado’s work is and expressed how anticipated he feels about what Coronado is doing.
“I’m really excited with the work he’s doing,” said Fischer. “I think it was very well received.”
Upon speaking with Coronado, he too showed appreciation to the Peace Center and to all the people who came out.
“I feel honored to come here with the history of resistance with the Kalamazoo Peace Center,” said Coronado.
After Coronado’s speech, the musical acts began. The first act to play was solo acoustic folk artist Wanda Regis. A known feminist, Regis fused folk music with highly political lyrics. Ending her act, Regis played a song that had her banging on a drum while shouting at the top of her lungs, then immediately playing a soothing harmonica solo.
“It was angry, brave and raw,” Clark said to describe Regis’ sound.
After Regis’ set, Intentional Punk duo Germination played fast beat music that combined heavily distorted guitar and a looping drum machine with fast and loud screaming vocals that went against many things in mainstream culture and more.
“Germination really strives to have political dialogue with the audience which I appreciate,” Clark said.
After Germination’s set, the final musical act to play was After Graduation. Fischer combined beat box loops with guitar loops to create a layered composition on the spot, and utilized it to make an indie dance rock medley. After Graduation’s set went over so well with the audience that he was asked to play an encore song.
When speaking with Fischer, he talked about the nerves he felt before playing his set on his first date on his first tour as After Graduation, and the relief when it went over well.
“At first, because it was an acoustic act and a punk act, I didn’t know how it would go over. I was really excited when people were really getting into it, and asking for one more song,” Fischer said.
When reflecting on the night, Fischer talked about how he felt when playing with other eclectic artists.
“The music was cool because it was such a variety of music. From a folk artist to a punk band to whatever you would consider me,” said Fischer. “I find that hopeful and inspiring to see events that have artists from different genres.”
When After Graduation finished, the night was ended with an honorary howl to the wolves to pay recognition to what Coronado talked about and also to remember the purpose of the night.