Axios Austin

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It's Friday, friends!

🌤️ Today's weather: Partly sunny with a high of 84.

Situational awareness: At the very least, call your mom this weekend.

  • Also, you can't go wrong with tulips.

🎂 Happy early birthday to our Axios Austin member Will Best!

Today's newsletter is 902 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Students' hijab project

Elementary students Yasamin, Hoda and Fatima create pins with a message of inclusivity. Photo: Courtesy of Julio Garcia

Three Travis Heights Elementary students have created a project to help their peers understand why they wear hijabs — and have even secured funding to spread their message throughout their school.

Why it matters: Travis Heights has a large population of Afghan students who wear hijabs, and the project by the fourth graders aims to spread understanding and inclusivity at their campus.

How they did it: The students — Yasamin, Hoda and Fatima — first tackled a question as part of a schoolwide initiative called Project-Based Learning: "How can we as fourth-grade citizens, recognize discrimination and create a campaign that advocates for kindness and inclusion?"

What they're saying: Their teacher, Julio Garcia, tells Axios their passion and initiative fueled the project.

  • "In interviews with me, they shared saddening stories about being bullied because of their hijabs, experiences so hurtful that they stopped wearing them for a while," Garcia tells Axios. "Determined to make a change, they brainstormed ways to spread awareness and promote acceptance."
  • "These clothes are important to us for many reasons. We wear them because of our faith, our family traditions and because they make us feel strong and beautiful," Yasamin said in a video that Garcia made about their project.

State of play: Most of the nation's largest cities, including Austin, saw hate crimes surge in 2023, including anti-Muslim crimes.

Zoom in: After their discussions with Garcia, the girls designed pins with their message of inclusivity: "Wearing a Hijab is My Right" and "Wearing a Thobe is My Right," referring to the traditional long-sleeved, ankle length garment worn by boys and men in many Muslim cultures.

  • They were later granted funding from the school's PTA to create 400 pins, enough for every student at Travis Heights Elementary.

What's next: Today is the school's first-ever "Wear Your Hijab Day," and it's now a yearly event on the Travis Heights calendar.

Books that inspired them

2. Lies your mom told you

"Don't worry, this won't hurt one bit," this mother may or may not be telling her daughter, as a nurse with a gurney lurks in the background. Photo: FPG/Getty Images

In yesterday's newsletter we asked what untruths, in the spirit of love, your mother may have told you.

  • Here are some of your replies.

"To keep her two curious adolescent boys safe during summer family cookouts growing up, my mom would tell us that playing with fire would lead to wetting the bed," Manny G. writes.

  • "To her credit, we never got burned nor did we grow up to become arsonists. Thanks, mom!"

"My mom always told me that going to sleep with wet hair would give me a cold," Lauren H. says.

  • "Now I know better, but I still dry my hair before bedtime to keep my curls from becoming unruly as I sleep."

And Elizabeth B. gave us this gem: "Growing up I was a very picky eater. To make me eat different meats my mom would ... tell me everything was chicken. I never realized she was lying until I was at a friend's house having dinner and complimented their lamb chops as 'great chicken.'

  • "I am so thankful for this lie, as now I consider myself an adventurous foodie who will try just about anything."

3. 🤠 The Roundup: Wrangling the news

Homes under construction in Kyle earlier this year. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images

🚰 The city of Kyle is buying water from San Marcos for the third year in a row to keep up with growth. (KUT)

⚖️ The parents of murdered cyclist Anna Moriah "Mo" Wilson have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Kaitlin Armstrong, the woman convicted of killing her. (Fox 7 Austin)

❤️‍🩹 Austin nonprofit Heartgift helped a Ugandan toddler get open heart surgery at Dell Children's Hospital. (CBS Austin)

4. Weekender guide

Brianna Conrey performs in a piano show tonight in Austin. Photo: R.R. Jones Photography

Here are our picks this weekend.

🎹 Listen to Brianna Conrey interpret the tunes of female composers in an all-women piano show, hosted by KMFA. Tonight at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $15.

📚 Celebrate local authors at the Greater Austin Book Fest at the Central Library, Saturday, 10am-5pm. Free.

👂 Eavesdrop in "Overheard on a Train," an immersive theater experience on a CapMetro train. Saturdays at 1pm and 3:30pm, through May 25. Tickets are $35 each and sold in batches of four.

🎶 Listen to the Austin Symphonic Band perform Gershwin, Sousa and Shostakovich at the Capitol at noon on Sunday. Free.

⚾️ Root for the Round Rock Express in their game against the Las Vegas Aviators, Sunday at 1:05pm at Dell Diamond. Tickets start at $15.

5. Friday news quiz

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Answer these three questions correctly and you could win — don't get too excited — a shoutout in our Monday newsletter.

  • Just hit reply to this email.
  1. Austin's new city manager began work this week. What's his name?
  2. Air Canada has just launched service from Austin to what bagel-loving city?
  3. Austin-based cookie firm Tiff's Treats now lets customers add what special, very pricey item to their order?

6. Cocktail to go: The Grackle

If you squint you can see something that resembles a grackle's beak. Photo: Tito's Handmade Vodka

Austin-based Tito's Handmade Vodka shared a spicy and tart cocktail — called "The Grackle" — to make over Mother's Day weekend.

What's happening: The vodka brand this week published its first-ever cocktail book, "Spirit in a Bottle: Tales and Drinks from Tito's Handmade Vodka."


  • 3 fresh jalapeño slices
  • 5 blackberries
  • 1½ ounces of Tito's
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters
  • 2 dashes of herbal bitters
  • 1 dash of fresh lime juice.

Make it: Muddle two jalapeño slices, the blackberries and the Tito's in a shaker.

  • Add the simple syrup, orange bitters, herbal bitters and lime juice and give it a shake.
  • Toss in a handful of ice and shake it one more time before straining into a martini glass.
  • Garnish with the remaining jalapeño slice and a lime wheel.

Thanks to Bob Gee for editing and Kate Sommers-Dawes and Anjelica Tan for copy editing this newsletter.

🗞️ Asher is remembering that old journalism chestnut — if your mother tells you she loves you, check that with another source.

🐕 Nicole is headed to her neighbor's dog's quinceañera.

Enjoy your weekend!