A tattoo shop's offer to cover up hateful ink went viral. People are taking them up on it.

Beth Cutlip, co-owner of Baltimore's Southside Tattoo parlor, was working one day when a man walked in with some unmistakeable ink.

A gang member in Los Angeles. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

The man's face was covered in gang tattoos, Cutlip says, and he was there to have them covered up. He got them as a teenager while running with a rough crowd, but he was a grown man now. Married. Kids. Trying to make an honest career as an electrician.


The tattoos, Cutlip recalls him saying, made people nervous when he came into their homes to do work. He needed them gone.

But they were just too big.

"As much as I wanted to help him, I had to refer him to have them removed. But I don't think he had the money," she says.

Later, when recounting the story to her husband and co-owner, Dave Cutlip, she knew there had to be a way to help people like that.

"I said, 'Dave, these people made a mistake, changed their life, and they need to get these tattoos covered up,'" she says. "He looked at me and said, 'Are you asking me to tattoo people for free?'"

Dave agreed to set aside time in the shop, once a week, for people to come in and have hateful or violent tattoos covered up, free of charge.

Beth posted a small announcement on the parlor's Facebook page, thinking a few hundred people might see it and think it was a good idea.

Instead, the post went massively viral.

Sometimes people make bad choices, and sometimes people change. We, at Southside Tattoo would like to make a difference....

Posted by Southside Tattoo on Monday, January 16, 2017

Soon, messages poured in from all over the country and world. There were thousands and thousands of people trying to get rid of permanent ink that didn't reflect who they were anymore.

This man's gang tattoo became a rose. Photo by Southside Tattoo, used with permission.

Southside Tattoo is now completely booked with cover-ups, and Beth has been working with other parlors around the country to help people outside the Baltimore area.

They've even begun setting up a nonprofit to help pay for the work. Beth says some of the funds they've raised go toward helping people in more remote areas travel to somewhere they can have the work done properly and safely.

His arms said "white" and "power." Beth and Dave covered up the "white." Photo by Southside Tattoo, used with permission.

Beth says everyone she works with has a different story, but they all have one thing in common: They're trying to build a better life.

Along with gang tattoos, "I am seeing so many swastikas, Aryan Brotherhood, things like that," Beth says. Some get inked up in prison to fit in, for safety. Others are just trying to leave their old ways behind.

Either way, Beth and her husband are happy to help.

"The beautiful thing is I know I did something good for somebody," she says. "And they're going to leave here and they're going to do something nice for somebody else."

Together, Beth and Dave are helping people prove it's never too late to change. And that's a message we all need to hear right now.

Photo courtesy of Macy's
True

Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

via Pixabay

Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo courtesy of Macy's
True

Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

Keep Reading Show less