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Editorial: San Antonio Code Up Facing Criticism for Job Shaming



Locally based Code Up, which offers a coding bootcamp for job seekers in software development, has caused quite a stir in the black community. Many are saying its job shaming black hair stylists.

Its recent billboard features the word hair stylist marked out in red ink. The hair stylist featured in the sign is a former Code Up student.

Code Up said in a blog post its intentions were good and its message was to tell people if they are in jobs they don’t enjoy, they can choose Code Up as a means to another career.

However, If Code Up did its research on black hair stylists, such as watching the “Barbershop” movie series, they would have reconsidered placing the billboard in Northeast San Antonio – an area that is home to some successful salons.

Many black hair stylists often have long careers and are considered almost holy in the black community. To get hair braided, relaxed, colored or even weaved in can cost female consumers hundreds of dollars. It’s not your typical $12 hair cut. Black salons for both males and females are the one place where you not only go to get your hair done, but catch up on the news, sports, politics and make lasting friendships. In many communities, it’s the epicenter besides the church.

Facebook user Carolyn Brown posted, “What company would career shame another career choice. I was a hair stylist for over 25 years and believe me, that was one of the best decisions of my life. I’m no longer a cosmetologist, and have a different business, but being a hair stylist and salon owner will always be my first. Be the best you can be at whatever career you choose and take the billboard down!”

Salon owner Toni Campbell of House of Royal T is also fighting back on her own Facebook page by posting her own “billboards.”

Code Up responded directly to Campbell on her Facebook page and said they weren’t trying to offend anyone. In return, she said, “I have seen your response but have you seen our response? It may have not been your intention but it is very offensive to me and others … I understand the intent but execution was bad … so therefore for me (a stylist for over 25 years) to pass by and see that sign is very disrespectful and appalling to me.”

Code Up says on its blog post why it chose to use the message.

“Luke used to be a soldier, Mars was a barista and bartender, John was studying law, and Sukari was a hairstylist. We’re not saying those weren’t real jobs! And we’re not saying software development is better for you,” according to Code Up. “We ARE saying that each of our students chose software development for their own reasons. We highlight those stories to show that YOU, regardless of what career you have now, CAN become a software developer IF that’s what you want.”

It’s commendable that Code Up responded and does offer people an opportunity to a new career. At the same time, its response seems a bit condescending, especially with all the cap letters, and doesn’t seem to understand the cultural value of black hair stylists in their communities.

Yes not every person will be satisfied in their careers. Some hair stylists may say why choose to be a software developer when you can be just as successful as a hair stylist.



Individuals with Visual and Intellectual Disabilities Create and ‘See’ Touchable Art in New Class




Do not touch’ is a common mantra in art galleries, exhibitions and museums. Viewers are asked to observe compositions, textures, colors, brushstrokes, carvings, materials and castings. Individuals who are blind, have visual impairments or other disabilities that require a tactile, sensory experience are often deprived understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of art.

The Carver Community Cultural Center intends to change that with a new Saturday art class for these individuals, in collaboration with San Antonio’s annual interactive art show The Color of Blind and its creator Trina Bacon.

The new four-week class, Ceramics for the Visually Impaired, is designed exclusively for individuals with visual impairments and individuals with intellectual disabilities, ages 10 and older, who are able to function independently without the assistance of a caregiver (excluding transportation needs).

Instructors Trina Bacon and Laura Salazar will offer students an understanding of art and color through touch, technique and association by working with clay, paints and glazes to produce electric kiln-fired projects. Additionally, class participants will be invited to show and sell their work at the next iteration of The Color of Blind, to be exhibited at The Carver in September 2019.

Each class session will occur from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Carver’s ADA-compliant art studio, 215 N. Hackberry, 78202, beginning Saturday, October 20. The cost is just $10, which includes all supplies and four weeks of instruction. Online enrollment is available until Friday, October 19.

For more information or enrollment assistance, contact Andrew Gordon, education coordinator, at 210-207-2719 or email To request disability related accommodations a minimum of 48 hours in advance of the program, contact Relay Texas by calling 7-1-1.

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The Hate U Give Movie Screening & Tips on How to Interact with Police




Join the San Antonio Association of Black Journalists on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 5:30 pm at The Palladium for the screening of the movie “The Hate U Give” directed by George Tillman Jr.

The PG-13 movie is about a young black girl who witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.

Prior to the movie, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, St. Mary’s Clinical Professor of Law Anne Burnham, and Officer Troy Ragland with the San Antonio Police Officers Association will share advice on how to interact with police.

The event is free for middle and high school students, but adults must pay $20 each, which includes a 32 oz drink and a medium-sized popcorn.

Guests must RSVP to Melissa at since seating is limited. Attendees should arrive between 4:45 pm and 5:15 pm to check in and get snacks. The discussion will promptly begin at 5:30 pm. The Palladium is located at The Rim shopping center at 17703 IH-10 West.

Ticket Prices

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St. Philip’s College and City Prepare for MLK Activities




Mark your calendar for three days of programming in January to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. Both the city of San Antonio and St. Philip’s College are preparing now for the celebrations that will center on the theme: Continuing King’s Legacy of Justice, Peace and Equality!.

St. Philip’s College recently created a dedicated web page to help people plan now for the annual march that attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees. Vist the web page ( for more information and volunteer opportunities. Also check out the city’s website for additional news.

St. Philip’s is also encouraging high school seniors graduating in August 2019 to apply for the MLK and Dream Scholars Program scholarships long before the Feb. 22 deadline.


Youth Summit
This empowering event is free and open to the public. 2019 Youth Summit information and registration forms coming soon.


Wreath-Laying Ceremony
2:00 p.m. • Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza • Intersection of E. Houston and N. New Braunfels
The San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission invites the community to the Commission’s annual Wreath-Laying Ceremony honoring the life, struggles and accomplishments of Dr. King. Businesses, city officials, and organizations will lay wreaths at the MLK, Jr. statue in commemoration. The keynote speaker will be announced soon.

Citywide Interfaith Worship Service
4:00 p.m. • Location: To be announced
The Annual Citywide Interfaith Worship Service, presented by the San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, will feature several invited guest speakers who will present on various topics of faith and the legacy of Dr. King. Free and open to the public.


Early Morning Worship Program
8:00 a.m. • MLK Academy • 3501 Martin Luther King Dr.
The community is invited to enjoy a positive and uplifting experience during the Early Morning Worship Program. Presented by the San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, the event features contemporary and traditional musical artists, inspirational and motivational dances and spoken word performances.

Martin Luther King, Jr. March
10:00 a.m. • Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy • 3501 Martin Luther King Drive
The annual march, organized and presented by the San Antonio MLK Jr. Commission and the city of San Antonio, begins at the MLK, Jr. Academy and ends at Pittman-Sullivan Park, 1101 Iowa. The nearly three-mile route down Martin Luther King Drive takes participants through San Antonio’s historic East Side in remembrance of Dr. King. In 2018, approximately 300,000 people participated in the march as part of an unforgettable experience that has become one of San Antonio’s signature events.

Commemorative Program
11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. • Pittman-Sullivan Park • 1101 Iowa
The San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission’s Commemorative program is one of the highlights of the annual commemoration honoring Dr. King. The program will feature the City of San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and other national, state, and county officials. The presentation of the Baha’i Unity of Humanity Award and the Rev. R.A. Callies Courage Award are also part of the program’s highlights.

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