Not Up 2 Code (We’re Baaaack!)
By D Townes
“Not Up 2 Code” is a podcast about the struggle of public school students, created by students. Most of the podcasts that are similar to this one are from the perspective of teachers, but I’ve realized that they exclude student voices. I wanted to start the podcast after I was outed at school. It was violent and unwanted, and to make matters worse, the person who orchestrated the event never faced repercussions The podcast is run by two women of color, both part of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s meant to expose the disparity in New York City’s education system.
Last year, my friend Mekkiyah and I wanted to launch a podcast called “Not Up 2 Code,” and this year we were finally able to complete it. I used repl.it and Glitch as hosts for the website. I have never been prouder of anything I’ve ever created.
Meet the Pair
Mentee D Townes & Mentor Chaya Wilkins
D’s Anecdote: Chaya is honestly amazing and so supportive of all my ventures. When she’s not attempting to convince me not to dye my hair, she’s trying to thrust me into the world of scriptwriting. Working with Chaya has forced me out of my comfort zone and taught me that sometimes “showing, not telling” isn’t an effective writing strategy. Chaya is amazing and unapologetically herself. Her life hasn’t been easy, and she’s taken every challenge in stride and honestly is the best role model I could ever have.
Chaya’s Anecdote: When I first met D, I was immediately impressed by her ability to unapologetically express herself. She said, “My name is DeAnna, but I go by D.” In those few words, she made a declaration; she defined herself in the way that she saw fit and she’s been doing that in her writing. She’s creating her place in history by staying true to herself through her storytelling, by developing new organizations at her school, and by simply being D—no matter what.
D Townes is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in Bronx, NY.