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OneRouge Community Check -In - Week 163

There used to be a narrative that tech raised wages for everyone except the truly poor because the theory was in order to capitalize off of the industry, you need a 4-year degree or specialized education. Now we know that isn’t true. Yes; there are still challenges for marginalized workers in The States. However, in countries like Argentina and Africa, tech education of the poor has been the key to larger economic growth. In Louisiana in particular, tech jobs and opportunities continue to grow and expand. There are even larger organizations partnering to offer tech hub programming. But there are small and scrappy groups that have been in the space that have been making things happen well before tech became “buzzy”. Join us this Friday as we talk about what it really looks like for poor folk to enter and work in tech spaces "TechnoEducation" with our featured speakers:

  • Teressa Calligan - Futures Fund Dean of Coding

  • Sabrina Short - Founder and CEO NOLAVate Black

Enlight, Unite, & Ignite!



Casey Phillips: All right. Good morning everyone. Good morning. Good morning, and happy Friday. Appreciate y'all sharing the space. And we have another incredible Friday today. It's really never a comparison. Every week is different. The speakers bring a different power. But I think everyone who was on the call last Friday, That was a monumental one.

And I said, and I just wanna make sure and give those kudos one more time to Miss Pepper for curating it. And did I say Pepper? And it's her birthday today? I think I said that Pepper's birthday is today? So that we make sure it all give her the love and the kudos and that we are grateful. We are grateful Pepper, that you have been with us on this last few spins around the sun and we hope to be with you for many more to come my friend.

So I'm gonna get turn it over to you and level set for today.

Pepper Roussel: Thank you. Thank you. Happy birthday to me. And I enjoy happy un-birthdays as well. So as an FYI, I celebrate those because there are more of them. Thank you for joining me on this One Rouge Friday. I really, and genuinely appreciate you spending part of your Friday mornings with me today, we are talking education to career, my friends.

And what does it mean to use, to have technology and tech education to lift us out of poverty? We have some very incredible women. We'll start with Dean T just because she's in house. So please let us know who you are, what you do, and how we can be involved.

Teressa Calligan: All righty. Thank you guys. And also thank you for the invite. Of course. Just start off by saying who I am. They call me Dean T, but my real name is Teressa Calligan. And I actually work with the Future s Funds program. I have been with them for quite some time. I can't even explain how many years I wanna say, between six to seven years or something like that.

I'll start just a spiel about my educational background. Then we'll move into what I currently do and then what I do with Futures Fund.

First as far as educational background, I have a bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems. Then I have also a master's degree in cybersecurity.

And I'm currently researching my doctorals degree haven't enrolled just yet. And that's my educational background. And then as far as what I do every single day, I am a cybersecurity specialist senior. And basically I work for a nuclear power plant for Entergy. So what I do on a day-to-day basis is protect the plant and make sure we keep the light on for you guys for energy.

And so my job is pretty fun. I like it. Sometimes it can be intense depending on, what's going on as far as what's happening in the plant. I do a lot of project management with Entergy where we have to make sure that the equipment that we're putting inside of the plant is secure and free from any kind of adversary or malicious things that people wanna do if they can get equipment inside of our systems.

That's what I do on a day-to-day basis. But where my passion and my heartbeat is Futures Fund. I have been with them for a while. I started off as a support instructor and I really started off with just a project for school. Because I had to teach a class. So from there, Futures Fund broke me out of my shell because I was actually shy at one point.

But thanks Casey. Thanks Helena. So they basically broke me out of my shell and I became a lead instructor for them. So then moving fast forward into now they promoted me up to one of their Dean of Coding. And so what I do for, as their Dean of Coding is we come up with different curriculums and we've had different channels that we worked with over the years.

One was first whenever the pandemic hit, we came up with a digital type of curriculum where they were able to do some online learning. And that's where we came up with the CBC, which is our Coding Boot Camp. And so I worked with them for quite some time as the lead instructor and also, moved into my role as the dean of the actual program.

So whenever we are building out this curriculum, we're trying to see what we can do to move people forward into tech. And we also were trying to get them certified, which we did. We did successfully get quite a few people certified in our program in some of our tech programs for JavaScript and HTML and even some web development and foundational labs.

With that, moving forward, we are now doing a workshop now, which I absolutely love because it can be one day, it can be a series of different classes where we can go in and instruct humans as ourselves adults, and also, we have what we call our hackathons, where we can allow our teens, even middle schoolers, to come in and work with professional industry professionals on how to do things for business-wise, how to build a pitch, how to do design and content, how to design websites, how to do project management.

So we have several different models that we're using for as the far as our workshop. So we are currently undergoing that and we're really pushing forward with our workshop model. I know I've said a lot as far as what we do at the Future Funds, but it's an awesome program. I, when I tell you I advocate for this program a lot, especially whenever we have events, because a lot of people don't know that this program is out here.

And, some of it is freedom the most. And in order for us to educate ourselves, And actually see what we like and what we're passionate about. We have to try different programs. That's why I love the workshop model on top of us just having a curriculum. So we are still me and Helena are still building things out, but as we continue to grow in our workshop model, I don't tell anybody, tell everybody about it because it's gonna be the future of, besides going to school for four years and stressing and being up all night.

Cause I've done it before. Being up all night, having to deal with a professor, having to deal with finals and stressing out. Have to, I have reached a point to where sometimes I would not give it an hour of sleep cuz I have to get up and go to work in the morning after doing homework and writing research papers.

So some people can skip that fast forward, go to some of these workshops or some of these curriculum building and upskilling and re-skilling people in a technology field. And you can still probably land a tech job with no problems. And we have seen it and we witnessed it happen to some of our alumnis in a lot of our apprentices.

And I've actually said on plenty of interview panels for Entergy as we were hiring techs, and we're literally looking for people that fit in. So it's not necessarily all about your education, your skills. One of the people that we hired, he literally has a political degree, nothing to do with tech, but he has the skills and a passion for the actual for the actual field.

Pepper Roussel: I'm not sure talking about only getting an hour worth of sleep. That was called my twenties. Anyway, appreciate the fact that you mentioned that you don't necessarily have to go into debt for four years, or, to invest that kind of time. I wanna shift to Mother Short. And allow Sabrina to show up however it is that she is feeling today.

We share a birthday month, so we're friends.

Sabrina Short: Hello Cancer, Little Darling. Cancer there. Hi everyone. Good morning. I am Sabrina Short, also known his Mother Short. I am the founder and CEO of NOLAVate Black, New Orleans Black Tech Collective. We've been around for five years. People mostly know us for our Black Tech Nola conference where we bring companies including Entergy, who is one of our lead sponsors every year. Companies like Entergy Google. Amazon, Microsoft, T-Mobile, you, la you name 'em. We bring them all here to New Orleans to celebrate the intersection of tech, arts, and culture. We believe it's important to recognize who we are as a region and the gifts that lie within it, right?

And so we have creatives, we have artists, we have visionaries, innovators, and so we want to celebrate them in this space. A part of the work that we do is raising awareness around accessibility. People like to how do you say catch phrase or, quick terms around DEI, right?

And so we don't necessarily, we understand the importance of having language around DEI, but our language is around accessibility. And so I appreciate the work that you're doing Dean T because we can talk about jobs all day, we can talk about an article just came out saying that this region is number one in tech.

And that's great and amazing. But until our untapped talent understands that they can also be a part of that excitement and that work it's, it's just a news article, right? So we wanna make sure that everyone has an opportunity to be a part of that, that those high wage, high demand jobs and that there's a clear mapped pathway to those roles.

It's not enough to just say you can, you can earn $75,000 a year entry-level as a UX designer. It is, oh, here's how you can take those steps into becoming a UX designer here. Here's where you can go to get support as you learn. Here's where you can go to get entry-level experience or apprenticeship.

And so that's where our goals are and our mission lies. And then the other part of what we do is matching people to the jobs. NOLAVate Black actually creates the space for Entry level and early career talent to connect with companies like Entergy and other companies who want to hire entry-level talent.

One of the biggest challenges in tech right now is everyone's looking for mid and senior roles. And so we are looking intentionally for companies who will take entry-level talent to give them that experience that they need for long-term success. We took, we conducted a survey in 2021 and asked for entry-level talent. "What are some of the challenges around getting into tech?" And they told us like, we need experience. No one will hire us right outta school. We need mentors, we need coaches to help us navigate. But we need access to people to help us with our job search. We don't even know where the companies are.

So being able to create that space for entry-level and early career professionals to help them navigate those early stages of their careers. We're excited to launch the Inclusive Techstyle Foundation that focuses on education and advocacy and tech. And we will be joining Dean T in our efforts as well to provide workshop sessions to make the education a lot more accessible without a financial or time commitment.

A lot of people who come to us they don't, they, we just say, get in the tech. And they're like what does that mean? And so we wanna create a space that help them identify what pathway is right for them. Okay, I wanna get in the tech and I wanna be a software engineer.

If you're outgoing and you need people and you talk a lot and you're maybe not, maybe you should consider a role that is more engaging. Or if you don't like people, stay away and don't talk to me. Maybe software engineering is the thing for you, right? And I, I'm stereotyping just a little bit, but you know what I'm saying, right?

Your traits, behavioral traits, cognitive abilities, the things that you're interested in must align with the roles that you're going after within the sector. And so we wanna help people with that. That being said, thank you for the time and please feel free to reach out to me if you want to be a mentor or coach or teach a class. Or offer a job.

Pepper Roussel: Yeah, so I, that resonates with me deeply, Sabrina, and thank you so much for saying that. I've told the Walls team before that my first career was in technology and I was an awful programmer. I just couldn't do it.

It just it's not a thing. I can't sit in a room by myself for hours, that. I used to turn around and talk to you all the time.

Sabrina Short: I always say that I'm an Operation Spark dropout. They laugh at that all the time. Cause I was like I think it was six weeks I made it the five. I was like, I can't do this. I can't. I know my gifts. Like I lean into those.

Pepper Roussel: We've got some questions that are already popping up in the chat. First is, can anyone talk about how diversity plays a key role in building new technology?

Sabrina Short: I can take a stab at it, right? Workings book bookings group. Say it right. Bookings Institute came out with research that said that, you companies who have the most diverse teams build the best products and has the best bottom line, right?

So when you're building technology, you have to consider the people who are going to use the product and their accessibility to the product as well. And so we know that in the earlier stages I don't wanna say earlier stages, but like five or 10 years ago, there was this big hoopla around facial recognition and that there wasn't enough data to support, like really being equitable around it.

We know this from Facebook, right? And you take those little games and it says, who do you look like? And it says, I look like Charlize Theron. No, I don't. I don't. Right?

Because there isn't enough data or the people behind the product who look like us, that can make sure that the product is built with everyone in mind.

So I can say that from the product development standpoint, any diverse teams as well as getting the product to the people who are going to use it, right? If I am trying to use a product there, there was another type of fa facial recognition, AI as well. If you see some of the AI that's out right now whenever you prompted around black or brown faces, I've been playing around with that.

Some of our features ain't right. In game development, their biggest challenge right now in game development is hair. How do we make black people's hair look like black people's hair? So I can tell you right from product development standpoint, the importance of having that diversity or accessibility in our case.

Pepper Roussel: Teressa , do you see needs or is there adequate diversity in cybersecurity? Cybersecurity has been, the next great frontier for a while now. And as we are talking about new technologies, are there people who are not your traditional. Cisgendered white guy who's been spending the last, 12 summers in his parents' garage, developing a new app entering these spaces.

Teressa Calligan: Yeah. That's an actually a really good question. I know that Entergy spends a lot of time pushing and implementing diversity when it comes to minorities and also when it comes to your I would just say your gender because they like a diverse group of people. And really and truly diversity can work two different ways.

It can work. From just the way we look and also ignore from our educational background or our skill background. In my opinion, having a diverse group of people is it really needs to be implemented more and more across all industries. And so what we have on a development standpoint is if I have a programmer from the back end, if I have another program from the front end, I have a cybersecurity specialist, or I have someone in a different type of group, and you pull all these people from different backgrounds together, it can really make a powerful team.

And that's what I experience right now with all of my coworkers. All of us have different backgrounds and it really makes us a really good team. So that can be at one standpoint, and then making things more diverse. As far as the way we are seeing is cause we have all walks of life as far as the people that are actually in our group.

So to me it just makes it more of a comfortable place to work. Not only that, it's just, we can, you can get things from another perspective when it comes to a woman or from a woman of a different ethnicity. So to me, when you have a diverse group of people working together, it cha it changes the dynamics of the group for one, and then it makes it a comfortable place to work in because we're different.

And to me it's a twofold it's a twofold with with diversity and to move forward in technology, it makes it a power, it makes it powerful for any team to have diversity in that group. So I always support it and encourage it.

Pepper Roussel: Fantasitc, Talk to me...

Sabrina Short: Can I jump on that too?

Thank you for saying that about the diversity in education and a lot of tech companies are jumping on that. Not needing a four-year degree and having a more skills-based approach to hiring as opposed to just what school did you come to go to? And I keep, I'm just gonna keep hammering in that accessibility piece because we had we have monthly meetups where we bring exploring technologists together to talk about different pathways and hear from other black and brown technologists.

And one of the it entrepreneurs who started his own business as an IT professional so that he went to Google University, like he just stayed on YouTube and, learned how to build computers, learned how to network, learned how to, he said he started out helping people. Who had viruses on their computer.

And so he would google how to get viruses or remove viruses from people's computer. And he went from just Google University helping people, like in his own community and network to going to a company. And the company said you don't have a degree. He says, but I bet you if you put anything in front of me that I'm gonna be able to build it or fix it.

And in the interview they gave him a challenge and he met the challenge. And this is his story, not mine. I'm telling it the best way I could can. But he said by the time he reached his car, he got a call from HR offering him a job. And he's no. Cuz people said what school do I go to?

What? You know what? Training. Should I go through? And he's if you know your stuff, if you take time on your craft and you work at a day in and day out, you can be just as competitive as someone who goes to a four year institution. And so for those of you who are looking for pro, training, you can get certifications through LinkedIn, you can get certifications through Coursera, you can get certifications through I personally have used edX, right?

You can get these certifications through Harvard and some of the top schools in the country. A lot of them for free, some of them the classes for free and you may have to pay a hundred dollars to get the certification or something like that. But there are online co a w s has cybersecurity training.

Google also has online. All of these things are absolutely free. And if you take the time to just, just spend time learning, spend time practicing and building on your own then you can be just as competitive with any four-year graduate. All I have to say to that is, go ahead, young man.

Pepper Roussel: I'm all about that. And you know what, while you were talk while the two of you were talking, it really did remind me of this theory that you've got, if you spend 18 minutes a day, 10,000 hours, that you'll be better at the end of the year than anybody in your field. And so really attaching the idea that it's about being self-directed and investing in whatever it is that you want to do.

I am all about YouTube University myself, despite the number of student loan debt that I have. Any, you yeah, there's a note in the chat that, tech changes quickly, but also we've got a couple of folks who were talking about some of the offerings that they have. And so while we are on the ideas of offering scholarships and STEM pathways, I do wanna ask a question about which ties us back to why, how we show up every week is folks who were in poverty early on.

There had been these discussions that those folks who needed to be lifted out of poverty the most, had the hardest time doing so through tech. And I wanna get your feedback on whether you think that was because when Tech first became a big thing, that it really was a very close circle, and it was folks who were coming out.

A four-year institutions or there were these requirements about education that none everybody had and has the advancement of, again, YouTube University and these three certifications leveled the playing field.

Sabrina Short: So I, if I understand it your question, you're saying why you, why do we think people weren't getting into tech earlier? Is that what I'm hearing? From the untapped talent. And so I personally think that even though we live in an age in technology where The world is right in at our fingertips, right?

We see all, we have all types of information. We can get it, we can see it. I still don't think black and brown people believe that technology is a sector that is for them. When you see the representation of tech, you still, you have one or two, what they call unicorns that'll rise to the top or whatever.

But you still see white men, Chuck's backpack, it doesn't look like us all the time when it's globally represented. When you look in the startup community, same thing. And so until we can, what I love about Ola as well, is that they're getting young people earlier and putting black and brown technologists in front of them earlier.

Even my own personal story, I was building databases at 18 and 19, but no one ever told me that could be a career path for me. I just didn't think it was for me. I didn't think that was an option. We tell our young people to go high and think big, especially in this day and age.

So it's sports it's entertainment. It is in, social influencers, right? It's not necessarily, oh, here is a path that can also earn, build generational wealth and change your life in your communities. And so for me, from talking to people, one is they don't necessarily see themselves or they see people that look like them and don't relate.

They don't come from the background that I come from. They don't come from the neighborhood that I come from. They don't, they, they haven't had the experience that I've had. And so I try really hard to identify po folks in our community that have unconventional up-bringing that people can feel like I can relate to them.

Okay. So if they can do it, I can do it. I think the other piece of it is, again, having folks in their space that's gonna help them navigate. Everyone needs an encouragement and motivation. So having people in your space that are going to say, you can do this. I got you. We had two young men come in at the last meetup and say, can somebody help?

I'm in school right now and I'm struggling with JavaScript. Can somebody help me? And they made a connection in the space. Somebody who looks like them. Who they can build trust with who is going to support them on their journey. So those are two things that I've just seen in my experience.

Teressa Calligan: And I would love to piggyback off of what she was saying. As far as pasts, honestly and just looking at my own story, I had no clue what I was doing. So the paths of I, and I kid you not, I been, I had been to several educational institutions including community college and also a technical college where I got hands-on experience.

Still can land a job. So my thing is that was back in the day when they just thought that a bachelor's degree was just as important as anything. But now I would, I can truly say now, looking at industry right now, Is that they are more open to the skill sets that you have and the certifications that you can bring, or even being able to dynamite and interview and while the people that you're talking to versus having a degree.

Because literally we, when I, we look at resumes, we do not look, we look for educational background, but we're not stuck on it. So my biggest thing is that you don't know what you don't know. Getting into the tech field, because there are no true pathways and technology is huge. It is one of the best, is one of the best industries you can get into because you can change your direction and path anytime you want.

I went from doing I went from doing networking, literally cabling and getting on top of ladders, building a network. Then I learned how to program servers. Then I learned how to program service clam under and. Learn how to connect computers together. And then I learned how to do phones, like V O I Q, phone lines and so on and so forth.

Programming and all kind of stuff. I've done it all. I have a very diverse background and it literally still didn't land me a job because I didn't know what pathway I had to meet. So the biggest thing is finding an awesome mentor. That's why I love our workshop models, because it gives you time with, it gives you time with professionals that can tell their story and then give you guidance too.

So whether there's no guidance, you can't actually determine where you, what path to go or how to get there, where there's no one that teaches you how to do an interview for a tech job, then you cannot get past an interview. My thing is that whenever it comes to the tech industry as a whole, and we have more people seeking out mentorship versus.

Believe in an advisor that just tells you to enroll in these classes, which I might have totally against education cuz I chose that path. But I know looking at now both paths, I know I can land a job even without having an educational background. It's just knowing what path and what things you need to do to get there.

So if I need to get certified or if I need to get skilled in how to build a SQL database or how to actually run reports on a crystal product or like you say Google products, if you learn how to do those things and then when you look at the interview specs on what they're looking for the job, if you know how to do those things, you can land a job with no problems and then you can build yourself in the industry.

Cuz I didn't have a master's degree, in fact, I didn't have a degree at all when I first started with energy. None. And they still hire me based on my skills and based on the fact that I can dominate an interview. So when I did that, then I skilled myself to learn more about my job. That's why I went to school and I learned more of the foundational stuff, and that's what kind of landed me a better position where I'm at now.

And I ended up being a senior staff. So that's my story. And to encourage other people to learn your paths.

Sabrina Short: Dean T, that's also co confidence is also a big issue with that, right? You don't think even if I put all the jobs in front of you and you don't think they're gonna hire you, you're not gonna apply.

And so a big piece of what we tell people is and this is not to offend anyone on this call, white men and white women will, this is data will apply for a role with less qualifications than a person of color who will have all of the qualifications and still won't apply. And so half of it is confidence, right?

It's hey, just apply. Give yourself an op a chance and go for it. And do your best. Forget about don't x yourself out of the process. I think that's half of the battle is having that confidence to just go for it.

Teressa Calligan: Absolutely. 100%.

Casey Phillips: Just for so Sabrina, we don't know each other very well, but no. Chuck Taylors, no backpacks and actually don't work in tech. I'll admit I throw vans on, when we're talking about jobs and techs there's jobs and then there's careers, right? And so I want to for you and d t on the reel, you have companies like D X C, IBM that have gotten state tax incentives, and they've had a hard time just filling those jobs.

And a lot of times they had to bring people from outta state, right? And they certainly weren't necessarily boosting the lowering the unemployment of the neighborhoods surrounding down the cd, right? And those jobs I don't think that there's any argument that a four-year degree isn't necessary.

But my real question is being that HR, most people who are running HR did go to college, right? Most people who are running divisions inside of companies, whether it's a tech company or could be a Mary Kay Cosmetic company, is now basically a tech company, right? Those HR people and the heads of the divisions absolutely do have a bias towards a four-year master's degrees.

Are you actually seeing the job pool at mid-management in C-suite really diversifying for people who don't have a four-year degree?

Sabrina Short: And so I look at it as entry points, right? So there are roles that we definitely need you to have for your degree, or there are definitely roles that we need you to have PhDs, right? We have, we, there are roles that we just need that, right? What I look at as entry-level entry points. And so where I may not have access to a four-year program right now, I can take these courses. And get in the door. Once I am in the door, then I can decide if I want to go for that two, four Master's pH right?

Then I have some options. What we wanna do is eliminate the barriers and the barriers are how do we get you in. As far as the hiring, my experience has been there is definitely, we have not really moved the needle at a c-suite and board roles. And my theory, and this is national.

It is not just Louisiana, it's everywhere. We are not in the upper-level roles. My theory is we, if we work really hard, like d t is saying, if we work hard now and really get a good pool of talent in the door, now 10, 15 years down the road, we'll have the pool of talent that we can filter to the top.

There's still bias, there's still discrimination. It's what it is in the sector. And so our work really is advocacy, holding people accountable, making sure that we're challenging companies to make sure that their statements around inclusion match their finances.

Are you putting money behind this? Are you putting policies and procedures behind this? Are you doing things to actually address these? Challenges and barriers to entry. And so it, it's all gotta happen at the same time. We gotta get people in the pipeline. We gotta make sure that our manager, our hiring managers and the people looking for the roles or on the same page, right?

Because I'm hearing that they're not always on the same page. So the recruiters will pull in all of this dope talent, and then the hiring managers are like, eh, right? They'll put a block on it. So we have to make sure that they're on the same page. And then we all of everybody on this call, 32 people have to make sure that we're holding companies accountable, policy-wise, having the tough conversations.

I looked on your website and I see no black and brown people on the executive level. How can we can support, how can we support you in that? So that, that's just my 2 cents, but I agree with you. We have not moved the needle. My theory is that we really have to continue to work at this entry-level, easy, accessible entry points so that we can build this really big pool of talent where there is no question, there's no question that, cuz the, what I'm hearing is, oh I can't find them.

If we get 'em in there, they'll be everywhere and you'll be able to find them. There won't be any excuses as to identifying where the real, really amazing talent is.

Teressa Calligan: Yeah I agree with you 100%. Cuz it is a struggle and I actually just posted that this morning, is that being for one, a double minority, it is very tough in the tech field.

So it's all about, of course business businesses and organizations changing their mindset to have more inclusion and diversity in their tech fields. And then also just to understand that you have to learn how to network too and build that confidence. So they're not gonna take a shy little old me that used to be, that never opened up their mouth and just answered the questions at the interview versus actually taking ownership and saying, Hey, I want this job, I can do it.

Me personally, I think it's like a twofold thing is if organizations themselves understand that it's not fair to look at the, at skin. It's not fair to look at gender versus being more exclusion and exclusive to say hey, they have the skillset, give them a chance. And then also making sure that they understand that we have a passion for this type of work just as much as somebody else that doesn't look like us or somebody else that chooses, chooses to use their networking abilities.

So my thing is you me, we always used to say it depends on who you know to see how far you go. And that's still a thing because sometimes you can get that person to pull an application and say, Hey, help me out. But a lot of times when it comes to, for those executive roles, they have their friends and their people that they want to see in that light of an executive role.

And so I too have noticed the same thing when it comes to. Higher positions, higher paying positions is that they always have someone that is not a double minority in those positions. And so I'm like I applaud any female, especially women of color that are in higher roles only because it probably took you twice as much blood sweat and tears to get there than it did somebody that was not there, that did not look like them.

So my thing is that the confidence in saying, I can do this, it plays a role, but like you said, we have to hold organizations accountable. That's why I like the mindsets of what I do with future funds and also what I do with my day-to-day job if they have diversity. My first experience with diversity and having different groups of people all come together to make something happen.

When I started with Futures Fund, I had never been around different cultures of people until I started working with them. And I'm like, I absolutely love this. I can tap into your culture. I can tap into my culture and I can be myself. And then when I moved on to start working with energy, it's the same thing.

They want a diverse group of people. So I think that if organizations start adapting to that, it can make, of course, the minority's job a lot easier to be able to look into a career without feeling like they're gonna get discriminated against, or, oh, they're not gonna give it to me. Or not having that confidence.

So I agree with you 100%. It's we need to hold organizations accountable in looking at their executive roles and saying, what are you gonna do to fix this?

Casey Phillips: Yeah. There you go. And thank you both for that answer. And by the way, I think that's the 20th time we've heard Energy's name, so I'm.

I want to check for One Rouge. And Ms. Sabrina, I hope that there's more zeros in your next one in YouTube, Dean T.

I want to give a little space for Ms. Valenzuela, even though we don't really know each other that well. I'm gonna put you a little bit on the spot of what you put into the chat.

A lot of times the conversation in Louisiana, not nationwide, but nationwide, Louisiana, it's a black, white conversation often when we're talking about diversity. But the reality is there's billions of people on this earth that come from a ton of different backgrounds. And one of the more emerging cultural sectors in the city is obviously, however you want to label it Latinx, Latina, Hispanic.

It's a huge population across the world and in our country and in our state, and especially when. If you could maybe speak about how English as a second language is an extra triple barrier into the tech world, I would love to hear either your lived experience or what you're seeing with the work that you're doing with the Cadence Center.

So thanks for being here.

Camila Valenzuela: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for having me.

I meet my director of Ms. Berdain , the director of Capital Area STEM Network has connected me with your meetings and I've been participating. I love the meetings. I am extremely political, so I've been careful to, be quiet. I'm like, I'm, I need to stay in my lane. I stay with STEM right now. But I've loved these meetings. They have been absolutely fantastic. Thank you for having me. Speaking for the Latino population personally, my experience is I'm first generation Mexican, second generation Cuban, which is a very interesting experience. Half of my family isn't allowed into the country, whereas half of my family, as soon as they come into the country, they get citizenship automatically.

So growing up it was a very unique experience. My first language is Spanish and I learned English on my own. My parents tested me for a stutter at University of Maryland where I'm from in Maryland, and they discovered that I spoke English, they had no idea. So that's a very unique experience as well.

But English is one of the languages that I don't think people realize is one of the most difficult languages for non-native English speakers to learn. So if you are Chinese, if you are Indian, if you are Latino, English is a very hard language just because of the structure, the grammar of it, to learn.

And so people very often have accents when they speak these languages, and that is a huge barrier. They're going to get made fun of, they're not going to be taken seriously. I am extremely privileged. I came from a good family and I was able to teach myself English. I had a good education.

And so I was speaking to some people in California at a political event. They were also Latino, similar to me, and they were a little upset about their privilege. They were like, oh, but we're so privileged. I said, yes, we are privileged. So we need to use our privilege for the people who don't have privilege, we need to use our voices.

We need to show up for the people who cannot speak up for themselves and the Latino community. What I often discuss that people don't understand is a lot of Latinos don't, even specifically migrants often don't even have literacy skills in Spanish. So they have many barriers. They're not able to speak or write in Spanish, much less speak or write in English.

And so when it comes to providing resources for Latinos and migrant communities, you need to also meet them at that level. Sometimes they cannot even write or read in Spanish. So there are multiple barriers. And I think the number one barrier that we need to overcome at this point is just educating, just letting people know where we're at as a community, what our needs are, how people need to interact with us best.

But the community is growing and Latinos love to work. Love America, want to be a part of the workforce, want to contribute. And specifically, the Latino community in Louisiana has grown exponentially. And so we're working with them through the school system Capital Area STEM Network, and the Cane Center.

We do a lot of work with schools and so that's how we're able to target the Latino community.

And I hope I was able to touch on everything.

I was a little bit on the side if there's any further questions, I'm happy to answer them.

Sabrina Short: But thank you for letting...

Pepper Roussel: We're gonna keep you around if you don't mind.

Casey Phillips: Yes. So I was gonna say welcome to One Rouge and I look forward to not getting the 80% answer in the full 100. But thank you so much for sharing the space.

Camila Valenzuela: Thank you for having me. I'm happy to speak. And, just giving us a platform to be able to speak and have representation is so important.

So thank you.

Pepper Roussel: So I wanna take a second to highlight something that Our other new neighbors have not been able to say. But Marcella Hernandez shout out to, LORI has mentioned a couple of times that other countries may not have the same required education as in the US. And so immigrants, migrants, refugees, may show up in the US without having been educated in their home country.

So it's not as if they didn't want to be educated. Perhaps their families didn't have the money to pay for the education because it wasn't free wherever it is that they came from. And so I just wanna level set and make sure that everybody understands that when Camilla says that they're. That these folks are not necessarily able to read and write in their own language.

It's not because they didn't want to, it's because they simply didn't have the opportunity. And so those are very similar situations that we find right here in the US in one way or another. And so thank you. Thank you very much. And Mexican in Cuban. That is fascinating. I was just like, Ooh, that's why she's political.

Anyway, we've got some questions in the chat that haven't been answered. We're gonna start with one that came a while back about "Are any of the job possibilities, second chance employers?" And that would be for what is all of this going on my phone? That would be from Fletcher Bell.

Who is wearing the wrong color shirt today. But we've talked a bit about how there is training for non-traditional four years non-traditional students. Who graduated high school. We but we haven't necessarily talked about Second chance employers. Can y'all speak to what does that look like for folks who maybe made a bad choice, already paid their debt and just need a job?

Teressa Calligan: I'm actually thinking out loud. I'm sorry my mouth was moving cuz I'm trying to wrap my head around Second Chance employers. So can you elaborate on what does that mean about second chance of lawyers,

Helena Williams: Dr. Bell? Can't hear you. But my guess would be formerly incarcerated.

Teressa Calligan: Thank you. Because I was not thinking of that. That's why I asked for Clarity.

Sabrina Short: I don't have experience in it, but I definitely know that there's barrier, there are barriers and it would make sense Mr. Bell for second-chance citizens to be able to get the training that they need in the tech space and get those jobs.

But I know, I already know that there's gonna be barriers, but I don't have experience in that. I know nationally there are Second Chance training programs. I can probably just offline send them to you. But I know it is happening. I've sat in on workshops where they talk about it is happening.

And so I just would need to take a beat and get back with you on those resources. But I don't personally work with that population.

Pepper Roussel: No worries. That was another question in the chat that's talking about justice-impacted folks and is there room in the market for these folks? And so if you, if y'all find...

Casey Phillips: Do you mind if I just jump in just for a quick sec?

So there is there was a group that we reached out to, to join this call for the perspective called Black Tech DFW out of Dallas. And it was actually founded by a woman who as she reentered into society from incarceration. So Black Tech DFW actually has a major focus on this.

And there's also an incredible group called Perscholis , that also has a specialty in this track. Because in the tech world there is a lot of companies that they may, their bread and butter is around government contracts and government contracts a lot of times not only require four year degree but if you have a felony, it's just not, it's not possible.

So Persholis and Black Tech DFW are two really good resources. Dr. Bell, I just couldn't put it into the chat cuz I'm walking. I'll make sure and connect you with them.

Pepper Roussel: I'm sure Reverend Anderson's gonna want that data as well. And so there's a question that's asked and answered, but I do wanna lift it up.

Is there data on how many people apply for tech jobs who don't get hired? And it seems that some that NOLAVate Black is already working on. Thank you. And so literacy, here we go. There's another question. Previously mentioned was YouTube University. What do you feel as though there are barriers related to transportation and getting diverse folks in the field?

Sabrina Short: No there's no barriers around transportation because academic and training institutions, educational organizations are focusing, or pro, I shouldn't say focus, are providing more training tools online on demand that you can. Study on your own in your home with your pajamas on, with your kids running around in the background, you can do it.

And then with the pandemic has opened this door for remote work. So even interviews are being conducted online now. It really is a space for untapped talent from training to job search. It's all online, all the tools, resources and again, hammering in on the accessibility. If you do have challenges, like challenges, there is opportunity in this sector for you and for the internet. Question also working on that I'm a part of a national fellowship to address the continuum. The continued funding of the Affordable Connectivity Program. And so for those of you who do not know about the Affordable Connectivity Program, it is a, it's a subsidy provided by the government where you can get the internet the internet can be covered where you can get free or low cost internet.

And so we're, the funding is on track to actually run out somewhere around 2024. And so we're, I just went to DC a few weeks ago, spoke was on the hill, like telling stories of how important it is for us to replenish these funds to ensure that oh, I don't wanna lie on this internet, but I can't remember the number.

It's, I can't remember the number, but we have a significant number of people in this region. So we're talking about second congressional district that does not have the internet in this day and age right now. And then even more Baton Rouge, you're in those numbers too. In that data and research that the rural communities do not have access to high speed and internet.

And so this funding with affordable connectivity program for you educators out there, you can actually Google affordable connectivity program. You can get your people signed up. A lot of folks are able through local providers get internet for free or low cost, and some of them are even giving devices away.

As a part of that program. Yes again, yes, there are people who don't have access to the internet, but there's resources to get them the internet so that they can get the training and get the jobs.

Pepper Roussel: So there is a request that you drop whatever that knowledge is in the chat. And so if you wouldn't mind, thank you.

And thank you as well, Camilla, for the link. I've got my issues with Cox, but, do what you have to do to get online.

Casey Phillips: Hey, Pepper, I'm sorry. Can I put in real quick just because I please, was in the I was at the press conference the governor held yesterday around the A C P which is the program that Sabrina is referring to.

There is still 48% of the households that qualify for the ACP that are not signed up. And it is it is there and it is It is the easiest sign up known to mankind. When you sign up and there's also a hundred dollars rebate there's a hundred dollars rebate on devices at a minimum on top of the locked in.

Sabrina, thank you for doing your advocacy work that you do to make sure that everybody understands that access to affordable access, affordability, and quality internet is a basic utility in human right in order to move our country forward. Super important. And there are a lot of service providers beyond just the local companies that are part of this network.

There's a lot of innovative companies that are coming online for internet access for as low as $30 a month in North Baton Rouge. So you know, everybody who works with unserved or underserved digital Digital communities. There are a lot of resources that are there, they're just not being taken advantage of.

And that's a major issue. So if anybody would like to collaborate with Sabrina, myself anybody on the Walls team that or on this, please let us know.

Sabrina Short: We held a signup day. So our, and you guys can do signup days in your communities where you just, Hey, come up, we'll help you sign up.

A lot of providers will come out and support that and give them access on the, or give them services on the spot. And so have a signup date. In our case, we have a significant number of seniors that came out because they felt like they could not afford the internet on their limited income. Have signup days and really get the people out and enc, provide incentives for them to come out and get signed up. But we did one last fall with super successful again, a lot of them were seniors, but you talk about the easy process, people still struggle with the process.

So having a space where they can get the support for signing up I think is very helpful.

Pepper Roussel: All right so we are at 9:32. I don't wanna keep y'all more than I've asked for, which was just an hour. And I do wanna make sure that I'm extending my heartfelt thanks for you being here on this fine Friday morning and sharing your time. Anything. Sabrina, I don't know whether you dropped your information in the chat, but tosa you as well, please drop your contact information in the chat so that we can get in touch with you to maybe work on these signup days.

I don't know, it sounds like a fun thing to do. If for no other reason, if I can get maybe a snacky snack out of it, I will go and sign up for some things. And I'm just gonna say that mainly because, and I say it that way, is because I work with a lot of groups that advocate for one thing or another, and the way, even if folks are attached to the internet via their phone or get some sort of a device, whether it be at work or at the library, or even at home, they may not use the internet in the same way that would be conducive to taking these sorts of classes or even knowing how to do these other things.

So thank you for the work that y'all are doing. And any last words of wisdom that you wanna leave us with?

Sabrina Short: I do. I have some words of wisdom. I just wanna go and encourage everyone, especially our ar any of our organizations and all of us are pretty much out for a same mission.

Teressa Calligan: I just wanna encourage you guys to, let people know tech is real and it's a really good industry to be in.

And then also to encourage people to have that confidence to move forward in any of their passions.

I thank y'all for having me and also for listening. And like I said, I do encourage people to be in the tech field. That's all for me.

Sabrina Short: Thank you guys for having me on. I dropped my info in the chat.

I'm just gonna echo what Dean T said. Tech is for everyone. And I will be in Baton Rouge this fall. We're working to bring Black Tech Nola to Baton Rouge, and so please hit me up if you wanna be a part of that. The goal is to take Black Tech Nola on tour and hit the HBCU campuses across the region and bring tech to the people who need it most.

So if you wanna be a part that HBCU tour and bringing black technology to your community, hit up. Thanks for having me.

Pepper Roussel: And as a FYI, before we move too far HBCUs are not just for black people. I just want y'all to know that there's not just historically black was because we couldn't get educated anywhere else, but the doors are open for everybody, especially other people have cut.

With that said now that we know that Sabrina's on Mother Short is on tour let us know what else is going on this weekend. Community announcements, what's happened in Baton Rouge or the surrounding areas. Reverend Anderson,

Reverend Anderson: First of all, Happy Birthday Pepper. And secondly, I wanna make what I'm so thrilled.

This is one of the major announcements I've ever had the privilege of making. Most of you have heard me mention that there are over 250,000 people in Louisiana that have suspended driver's licenses, almost 20,000 in East Baton Rouge Parish alone. On Monday, July 17th, we will be having the first International Day of Justice and the theme is Traffic Change Me.

And for the very first time ever, all four of our courts, the 19th J DC Baton Rouge City Court, which those two courts alone represent almost 140,000 outstanding traffic warrants. The Zachary city court and Baker City Court will all be collaborated on a special event to try to help get as many of these traffic issues resolved.

It is historic, and so it's gonna be at the Goodwood Library from one o'clock to four 30. There will be representatives from all of these agencies. They will be there, and it is not many people are afraid to go to the courthouses because they're afraid they are going to be arrested. That is not going to happen at this event.

And so it is just a powerful work that has been almost five years in the making. So I'm gonna send Pepper the flyer, but I'm encouraging everybody. There are thousands of people who cannot go to work, who cannot do a thousand things because they don't have legal licenses. And this is a great opportunity.

So thank you for letting me share that.

Pepper Roussel: I'm so glad you did. And just FYI just because you don't have a license and means yes, you cannot drive, but you also cannot prove your identity in other ways. So not being able to work and not being able to not being able to apply for loans and apartments and all sorts of things.

Important work. Thank you Reverend Anderson for doing that important work. What else we got going on this weekend, ya'll?

Fletcher Bell: Pepper. Tomorrow, july 8th at 11, from 11 to one at the Southern University. Minute on the Louisiana black churches are hosting a gubernatorial forum. The doors open at 10 o'clock.

Pepper Roussel: Y'all serving breakfast?

Fine. So thank y'all as always for sharing the space with me. I really genuinely appreciate that. Marcella?

Marcella Hernandez: Hi. Good morning everyone. I just wanted to take a second to say thank you to everyone who came and support our War Refugee and Immigrant Day event.

I'm sorry I missed that last week. We were in recovery mood after the event. But I just wanted to take a minute and say thank you for your support. Thank you for all of those who came and went through the resource tables and ate the delicious food that we had, and enjoyed the performances.

And just thank you for the donations as well. Thank you for the love, and just thank you for being here. A big supporter of Laurie. So I just wanted to take a big just a second and say thank you and just to show that appreciation from our end. Thank you. Thank you.

Pepper Roussel: I am on mute. Whilst I look for multiple things and try to multitask y'all, I can't. Do the multitasking, but I am also, I'm trying to find, figure out, do we have any other announcements that need to be made?

Oh, thank you, Sabrina.

Tekoah Boatner: Hey Pepper, it's Tekoah, I dropped this in the chat, but I did, I wanted to come off of it and just say we have 500 scholarships available for Google Digital courses and certificates. It's a, in partners with Coursera and with, they don't have to be a program member to get the scholarship.

They don't have to, go through DCFS or anything. They just need to contact us and let us know. We are working on also getting some mentors because we do. Our offering these to youth, and of course youth goes up to age 25. But we know they'll need some help to navigate these platforms.

So if you're interested in serving as a mentor for any rollies, please contact us and let us know.

Pepper Roussel: Thank you, ma'am.

All right. I am looking to make sure that we have hit everybody that we need to hit and looks like we might have. So here we are at 9:42. Thank y'all very much for sharing your Friday with me Friday morning. If there last a call for community announcements once, twice, three times a weekend. So please join me back here next Friday. Same bat time.

Zoom Chat

08:27:19 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Good morning!

08:32:13 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Samantha Morgan as I live and breathe!

08:33:14 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Good morning, OneRouge!

08:33:17 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Happy Birthday 🎂 🥳

08:33:25 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Happy Birthday Pepper!

08:33:28 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Happy birthday Pepper!

08:33:30 From Carlee Hurley to Everyone:

Happy Birthday!

08:33:38 From Baton Rouge Area Youth Network to Everyone:

Happy birthday!

08:33:39 From Teressa Calligan to Everyone:

Happy Birthday!!

08:38:50 From Flitcher R. Bell to Everyone:


08:38:58 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Reacted to "FELIZ CUMPLEANOS PIM..." with ♥️

08:39:05 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

You can see all Walls workshops here:

08:40:27 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

If you want to host a workshop event just let us know!

08:41:28 From Flitcher R. Bell to Everyone:

Try debt for 7 years!!!

08:42:09 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Debt for life if its private.

08:42:26 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Replying to "Debt for life if its..."

and ya right!

08:44:49 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Can anyone talk on how diversity plays a key role in building new technology? I think about as things like facial recognition and other technologies can become discriminatory when not calibrated properly by a diverse building staff.

08:47:41 From Flitcher R. Bell to Everyone:

Can anyone discuss whether there is raining for non traditional (not 4 year college) students who graduate high school? Also if any of these job possibilities are Second Chance employers?

08:54:09 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Tech changes so quickly, university processes for curriculum has a hard time keep up with the frequencies of changes

08:55:58 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

Replying to "Can anyone discuss..."

Hi! With LSU, the STEM Pathways offer a sequence of high school credit courses in five STEM disciplines that are designed to prepare students to seek a post-secondary STEM degree or enter the workforce having earned high-wage, high demand Industry Based Credentials. Upon successful completion of each course, students can earn certificates from LSU which can lead to a Silver or Gold STEM endorsement from the state. For more info:

08:56:04 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

We have 500 scholarships for youth and young adults to get certificates. Send an email:

08:56:30 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Replying to "Tech changes so quic..."


08:56:49 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Reacted to "Hi! With LSU, the ST..." with 👍🏾

08:57:05 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Replying to "We have 500 scholars..."

Oh interesting! Tekoah I’ll reach out to see how we can collaborate!

08:57:16 From Teressa Calligan to Everyone:

Yes, I completely agree with that.

08:57:21 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

Reacted to "Oh interesting! Teko..." with 👍

08:57:26 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Reacted to "We have 500 scholars..." with 👍🏾

08:57:35 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

Reacted to "We have 500 schola..." with ❤️

08:57:38 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

Replying to "We have 500 scholars..."

Helena, we have an upcoming meeting with Tekoah’s team to discuss

08:57:43 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

Reacted to "If you want to hos..." with ❤️

08:57:54 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Reacted to "Helena, we have an u..." with 👍

09:00:40 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

You have to build out the social capital aspect as wraparound support for the training.

09:01:30 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Reacted to "You have to build ou..." with 👍🏾

09:01:35 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Replying to "You have to build ou..."


09:03:04 From Ava S to Everyone:

Speaking of entertainment, we have blacks that are tech savvy, in the music industry.

09:03:24 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Reacted to "Speaking of entertai..." with 👍🏾

09:03:28 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Reacted to "Speaking of entertai..." with 👍🏾

09:03:47 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Replying to "Speaking of entertai..."

Yes my son is a sound engineer at 18. There are so many pathways.

09:03:58 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Reacted to "You have to build ou..." with ♥️

09:04:41 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to "You have to build ou..." with ❤️

09:05:01 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to "Oh interesting! Teko..." with 👍

09:05:08 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to "Helena, we have an u..." with 👍

09:08:26 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

HR is still a gated field so...

09:12:46 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Is there data on how many people apply for these tech jobs that don’t get hired?

09:13:00 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Replying to "HR is still a gated ..."


09:13:16 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

I'm proud to bring Latino representation into the Capital Area STEM Network and LSU Cain Center. In the future I hope we will see more black and brown faces in spaces that are predominantly white- it's one of our goals as a Network to increase diversity in STEM!

09:13:28 From One Rouge to Everyone:

I call “shenanigans”! Teressa ain’t never been shy! 😒

09:13:33 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Replying to "HR is still a gated ..."

Watch how many BIPOC DEI leaders are leaving their roles due to those gatekeepers.

09:13:36 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

They’re not looking. They’re expecting the solutions to just fall in their lap. Where do they recruit from? Who are their contacts? Which schools are they focused on? If they’re relying on their own circle, which is likely not diverse, they’ll never meet the metric.

09:13:50 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

Reacted to "They’re not looki..." with 👍

09:13:56 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

We know many individuals in Louisiana are justice impacted. In this market is there room for these folks? Many of the companies in this sector use prison labor so how do move them from this model to give credit for skills and certifications that may have been achieved while incarcerated?

09:14:15 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Reacted to "I'm proud to bring L…" with ❤️

09:14:39 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

Reacted to "I'm proud to bring L..." with ❤️

09:14:40 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Replying to "Is there data on how..."

That’s what we are working on! I want to know!!! Because we send talent to companies and they still don’t get hired.

09:15:00 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Reacted to "I'm proud to bring L..." with ❤️

09:15:06 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to "I call “shenanigans”..." with 😂

09:15:13 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to "I'm proud to bring L..." with ❤️

09:15:27 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Reacted to "I call “shenanigans”..." with 😃

09:15:35 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Reacted to "They’re not looking...." with 👍🏾

09:15:40 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Replying to "They’re not looking...."


09:17:55 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

No lanes in OneRouge Ms. Valenzuela

09:17:56 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Indeed. Not all Black folks first language is English. For some it’s Spanish or French, or an indigenous language.

09:18:17 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Reacted to "Indeed. Not all Blac..." with ❤️

09:18:17 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Replying to "Indeed. Not all Blac..."

The diaspora is a whole other conversation

09:18:21 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to "Indeed. Not all Blac..." with ❤️

09:18:25 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Reacted to "The diaspora is a wh..." with ❤️

09:18:34 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Reacted to "The diaspora is a wh..." with ❤️

09:20:32 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Very much so!

09:21:01 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Thank you for mentioning literacy. Many people are unaware of the dual challenge of limited literacy in both the native language and English.

09:21:10 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Reacted to "Thank you for mentio..." with 👍🏾

09:21:11 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to "Thank you for mentio..." with ❤️

09:21:37 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

Reacted to "Thank you for ment..." with ❤️

09:22:21 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Reacted to "Thank you for mentio…" with 👍🏾

09:22:44 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

Thank you all for having me! I appreciate the opportunity to spread awareness for my community. :)

09:22:55 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to "Thank you all for ha..." with ❤️

09:23:47 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

Reacted to "Indeed. Not all Bl..." with ❤️

09:23:51 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

Reacted to "The diaspora is a ..." with ❤️

09:23:53 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

Reacted to "No lanes in OneRou..." with 😂

09:26:10 From Derrice Ezzell to Everyone:

Previously mentioned was YouTube University, but do you feel as though there are barriers related to transportation in getting diverse folks in the field?

09:27:14 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

It's access to the internet and equipment that's the barrier

09:27:56 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

So the critical issues regarding the digital divide are made even more impactful.

09:28:08 From Pat LeDuff 's iPhone to Everyone:

Be mindful of the fact that some of those resources are not available in ALL homes for the population we are trying to assist

09:28:15 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to "Be mindful of the fa..." with ❤️

09:28:29 From Pat LeDuff 's iPhone to Everyone:

Please put that in the chat

09:28:59 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:


09:29:04 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

09:29:24 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

Long link, here is a resource for the affordable connectivity information in Louisiana with Cox!

09:29:46 From Teressa Calligan to Everyone:

Reacted to "I call “shenanigans”..." with 😂

09:30:07 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Reacted to "Long link, here is a..." with 👍🏾

09:30:18 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Just a plug to donate your old devices to orgs like cacrc and others so more people can get devices

09:31:13 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

Reacted to "Just a plug to don..." with ❤️

09:31:24 From Pat LeDuff 's iPhone to Everyone:

Yes!! Yes!!! Yes!!

09:31:55 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Reacted to "Just a plug to donat…" with ❤️

09:32:13 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Replying to "Just a plug to donat…"

Thank you for that reminder!

09:32:16 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

Thank you to our speakers for today!!$

09:33:09 From Pat LeDuff 's iPhone to Everyone:

Thank you!!! Great info!!

09:33:16 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Thank you so much for having me!

09:33:28 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone: 504-376-7272

09:33:31 From Teressa Calligan to Everyone:

09:33:31 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Replying to "Thank you so much fo..."

I appreciate your work!

09:33:33 From Pat LeDuff 's iPhone to Everyone:


09:33:52 From Teressa Calligan to Everyone:

contact number: 225-287-8696

09:34:00 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

Reacted to "Thank you so much ..." with ❤️

09:36:25 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Happy birthday Pepper!

09:36:31 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Reacted to "Happy birthday Peppe..." with ♥️

09:36:35 From Pat LeDuff 's iPhone to Everyone:

Happy birthday Pepper!!!

09:36:39 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Reacted to "Happy birthday Peppe..." with ♥️

09:36:46 From Alexis Phillips (she/her) to Everyone:

Happy solar return pepper!!!!!!!!!! <3

09:36:49 From Lyn Hakeem to Everyone:

Replying to "Happy birthday Peppe..."


09:36:52 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Reacted to "Happy solar return p..." with ♥️

09:37:18 From Jen Lydic-Tewell (she/her) to Everyone:

Happy GREAT Pepper!!! Wishing you a year filled with goodness and laughter.

09:37:22 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

That sounds amazing!

09:37:34 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Reacted to "Happy GREAT Pepper!!..." with ♥️

09:37:51 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Reacted to "That sounds amazing!" with ‼️

09:37:59 From Teressa Calligan to Everyone:

Happy Birthday Pepper!!! Enjoy your day!!

09:38:03 From Pat LeDuff 's iPhone to Everyone:

So awesome!! Yes send flier

09:38:17 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

I can’t tell you how many folks have been arrested because they didn’t even know they had flags on their licenses.

09:38:34 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Thank you Rev Anderson!

09:38:43 From Camila Valenzuela (Capital Area STEM) to Everyone:

Happy Birthday, Pepper! Will be sharing info on the upcoming event with my friends in the criminal defense industry.

09:38:49 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Reacted to "Happy Birthday, Pepp..." with ♥️

09:40:43 From Kelli Rogers to Everyone:

Thanks for a great meeting. Happy Birthday Pepper!!

09:40:43 From Sabrina Short, NOLAvate Black to Everyone:

Hopping off! Have a great weekend!

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