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ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
The annual Empowerment and Policy Conference, powered by the Urban League of Louisiana and the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, is a statewide convening designed to examine systems, influence policy decisions and enact changes that will positively impact the African American and other communities.
The Conference is an opportunity to hear from national and local experts, policy makers and community leaders on timely and important topics, connect with fellow residents statewide, and engage in conversations on issues that matter to you!

WHAT:  2021 Empowerment and Policy Conference

WHEN:  Friday, February 26th -Saturday, February 27th

WHERE:  ONLINE!

FEATURED SPEAKERS

Marc  Morial

Marc Morial

President and CEO, National Urban League

Marc Morial is President and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization. The National Urban League has been at the forefront of many of the most pressing issues facing Black America – from supporting the integrity of the 2020 Census to ensure fair representation, to weighing in on President Biden’s picks for Attorney General, and suing the U.S. Postal Service and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to protect voting rights. These and other efforts to protect civil rights are a part of a bigger story about the opportunity to build a strong African American agenda.

Dr. Michael McAfee

Dr. Michael McAfee

President and CEO, PolicyLink

Dr. Michael McAfee serves as the President and CEO of PolicyLink, a national research and action institute focused on advancing racial and economic equity. He leads the organization’s efforts to advance policies to enable everyone to participate in an equitable economy, live in a community of opportunity, and thrive in a just society. He was a catalyst for a new and growing body of work – corporate racial equity – and creation of the Corporate Racial Equity Advantage. He believes in the urgency of now and is determined to ensuring equity is not just another catchphrase but one that realizes the true promise of racial and economic inclusion.

Dr. Cade Brumley

Dr. Cade Brumley

Louisiana State Superintendent of Education

Dr. Cade Brumley began his tenure as the Louisiana State Superintendent of Education in June 2020. Dr. Brumley is a product of public education who has invested his entire professional career into improving the lives of Louisiana children. He has served students as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, district leader, and superintendent.  He stated in his “100 Days for a Strong Start” Plan: “I have been a committed, deliberate, and passionate educator for nearly two decades in Louisiana. I know our passions, people, possibilities, and purpose. My desire is to stabilize the moment and add value for the future. We will transition Louisiana into one of America’s leading environments for student learning.”

Dr. Andre M. Perry

Dr. Andre M. Perry

Author and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute

Andre M. Perry is a senior fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, a scholar-in-residence at American University, and a columnist for the Hechinger Report. Author of the book Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities, Perry is a nationally known and respected commentator on race, structural inequality, and education, and regular contributor to MSNBC. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Perry has documented the underlying causes for the outsized number of coronavirus-related deaths in Black communities, including mapping racial inequities in housing, income, and health to underscore how policy discrimination makes Black Americans more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Sevetri Wilson

Sevetri Wilson

Serial Entrepreneur, Founder, Solid Ground Innovations (SGI), Resilia

Sevetri Wilson is a serial entrepreneur and the Founder of two companies, Solid Ground Innovations (SGI) and, most recently, Resilia, a New Orleans-based technology startup. Sevetri bootstrapped her first company, SGI, to seven figures with zero capital, and she raised over $3MM for her second company, Resilia, which launched to the public in 2016. She is the first Black woman in New Orleans to raise over $1MM in venture capital. In 2010, she was honored with the Nobel Prize for public service, the Jefferson Award and was featured in the Senate report to the White House on volunteerism in America during the Obama administration. Sevetri has been featured in Forbes, Black Enterprise, Essence, Inc., Entrepreneur, USA Today, CNN and other news outlets for her work in business and technology.

CONFERENCE AGENDA

DAY ONE 
Friday, February 26, 2021

8:30AM – 9:00AM WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS
9:00AM – 10:00AM KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Shaping the African American Agenda
  Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League
  Sheba Turk, Anchor, Eyewitness Morning News on WWL-TV
10:00AM – 11:00AM HEALTH EQUITY PANEL: Covid-19 and the Vaccine
  The topics of race, health, and equity come together in this critical conversation. As more Louisiana residents gain access to the coronavirus vaccine, what does it mean for the African American community? The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the racial disparities experienced by communities of color in Louisiana. The vaccine is here, but what is the solution for racial disparities in health? Thought leaders and experts will explore these questions and more in this dynamic panel.
 
  • Dr. Jennifer L. Avegno, M.D.
    Director, City of New Orleans Health Department
  • Deborah Grimes, RN, JD, MSHQS
    Chief Diversity Officer, Ochsner Health
  • Dr. Joseph Kanter, M.D., MPH
    Assistant Secretary, Office of Public Health, Louisiana Department of Health
  • Dr. Thomas A. LaVeist, PhD
    Dean, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University
  • Moderator: Shelina Davis, MPH, MSW
    Chief Executive Officer, Louisiana Public Health Institute
11:00AM – 11:45AM FIRESIDE CHAT: A Conversation on Black Entrepreneurship with Sevetri Wilson and Sheba Turk
  Sevetri Wilson, Serial Entrepreneur, Founder, Solid Ground Innovations (SGI), Resilia
  Sheba Turk, Anchor, Eyewitness Morning News on WWL-TV
11:45AM – 12:45PM MAYOR’S PANEL: Leading Through Crisis and Beyond
  The Mayor’s panel in 2019 was one of the most inspiring moments of the 2019 Empowerment and Policy Conference and we are excited to announce that it will happen again in 2021! African American Mayors from across the state will join us to share their experience of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and leading their cities during a time of racial reckoning, as well as share their thoughts on what it means to create the opportunity for more. The panel will include topics critical to African American communities across the state, including police reform, education equity, and small business supports.
 
  • Sharon Weston Broome
    Mayor-President, Baton Rouge
  • Jeff Hall
    Mayor of Alexandria
  • Adrian Perkins
    Mayor of Shreveport
  • Moderator: Jade Brown Russell
    Principal, JD Russell Consulting
12:45PM – 1:30PM FIRESIDE CHAT: A Conversation with State Superintendent Cade Brumley on Education Equity Louisiana State Superintendent
  Cade Brumley, Louisiana State Superintendent
  Deirdre Johnson Burel, Program Officer, New Orleans, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
1:30PM – 1:45PM BREAK
1:45PM – 2:45PM CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM PANEL: The District Attorney’s Office as a Catalyst for Reform
  District Attorneys’ offices across the country are becoming champions and catalysts for criminal justice reform that, at times, seems to go against everything we think about the role of the lead prosecutor. In this dynamic, critical, and intimate conversation, the District Attorney from Orleans Parish and the State’s Attorney from Cook County will share what it means and what it takes to achieve public safety and be a progressive criminal justice system reformer.
 
  • Kimberly M. Foxx
    Cook County State’s Attorney
  • Jason R. Williams
    Orleans Parish District Attorney
  • Moderator: Rep. Royce Duplessis
    LA House of Representatives, District 93
3:00PM – 3:45PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Putting Racial Equity into Practice
  Michael McAfee, President and CEO, PolicyLink
3:45PM – 4:00PM CLOSING REMARKS

 

8:30AM – 9:00AM
WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS

9:00AM – 10:00AM
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Shaping the African American Agenda
Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League
Moderator for Q&A: Sheba Turk, Anchor, Eyewitness Morning News on WWL-TV

10:00AM – 11:00AM
HEALTH EQUITY PANEL: Covid-19 and the Vaccine
The topics of race, health, and equity come together in this critical conversation. As more Louisiana residents gain access to the coronavirus vaccine, what does it mean for the African American community? The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the racial disparities experienced by communities of color in Louisiana. The vaccine is here, but what is the solution for racial disparities in health? Thought leaders and experts will explore these questions and more in this dynamic panel.

  • Dr. Jennifer L. Avegno, M.D.
    Director, City of New Orleans Health Department
  • Deborah Grimes, RN, JD, MSHQS
    Chief Diversity Officer, Ochsner Health
  • Dr. Joseph Kanter, M.D., MPH
    Assistant Secretary, Office of Public Health, Louisiana Department of Health
  • Dr. Thomas A. LaVeist, PhD
    Dean, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University
  • Moderator: Shelina Davis, MPH, MSW
    Chief Executive Officer, Louisiana Public Health Institute

11:00AM – 11:45AM
FIRESIDE CHAT: A Conversation on Black Entrepreneurship with Sevetri Wilson hosted by Sheba Turk
Sevetri Wilson, Serial Entrepreneur, Founder, Solid Ground Innovations (SGI), Resilia
Moderator for Q&A: Sheba Turk, Anchor, Eyewitness Morning News on WWL-TV

11:45AM – 12:45PM
MAYOR’S PANEL: Leading Through Crisis and Beyond
The Mayor’s panel in 2019 was one of the most inspiring moments of the 2019 Empowerment and Policy Conference and we are excited to announce that it will happen again in 2021! African American Mayors from across the state will join us to share their experience of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and leading their cities during a time of racial reckoning, as well as share their thoughts on what it means to create the opportunity for more. The panel will include topics critical to African American communities across the state, including police reform, education equity, and small business supports.

  • Sharon Weston Broome
    Mayor-President, Baton Rouge
  • Jeff Hall
    Mayor of Alexandria
  • Adrian Perkins
    Mayor of Shreveport
  • Moderator: Jade Brown Russell
    Principal, JD Russell Consulting

12:45PM – 1:30PM
FIRESIDE CHAT: Superintendent Cade Brumley
Moderator: Deirdre Johnson Burel, Program Officer, New Orleans, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

1:30PM – 1:45PM
BREAK

1:45PM – 2:45PM
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM PANEL: The District Attorney’s Office as a Catalyst for Reform
District Attorneys’ offices across the country are becoming champions and catalysts for criminal justice reform that, at times, seems to go against everything we think about the role of the lead prosecutor. In this dynamic, critical, and intimate conversation, the District Attorney from Orleans Parish and the State’s Attorney from Cook County will share what it means and what it takes to achieve public safety and be a progressive criminal justice system reformer.

  • Kimberly M. Foxx
    Cook County State’s Attorney
  • Jason R. Williams
    Orleans Parish District Attorney
  • Moderator: Rep. Royce Duplessis
    LA House of Representatives, District 93

3:00PM – 3:45PM
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Putting Racial Equity into Practice
Michael McAfee, President and CEO, PolicyLink

3:45PM – 4:00PM CLOSING REMARKS

DAY TWO 
Saturday, February 27, 2021

8:30AM – NOON BREAKOUT SESSIONS (CLICK TO VIEW SCHEDULE)
12:30PM – 2:00PM  VOTER EDUCATION & ENGAGEMENT PANEL: The Power of Our Vote
The 2020 elections taught us a lot about the power of our vote. Parishes across Louisiana experienced close races and we all witnessed the close campaigns in Georgia. We saw clear examples of how our vote really is our voice. Organizations across the state have been working hard to increase the number of registered, informed, and active voters. Even in the midst of a pandemic, the African American community showed up in record numbers. How do we use this momentum to build our power for the future?
  • Omari Ho-Sang
    Louisiana Coordinator, Black Voters Matter Fund
  • Janea Jamison
    Program Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice
  • Nicole Jolly
    Director of Strategic Initiatives, Urban League of Louisiana
  • Carlos Pollard
    Wake Up Geaux Vote Student Intern, Urban League of Louisiana
  • Michael McClanahan
    President, Louisiana NAACP
  • Rep. Rodney Lyons
    LA House of Representatives, District 87
  • Dasheika Ruffin
    Senior Advisor, Raphael Warnock for Senate
  • Moderator: Tyronne Walker
    Chief Administrative Officer, Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office
2:00PM – 2:45PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Addressing the Racial Wealth Gap 
Dr. Andre M. Perry, Author and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute
Jarvis DeBerry Editor, The Louisiana Illuminator
2:45PM – 4:00PM ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY PANEL: Policy Perspectives Impacting Black-owned Businesses
Black-owned businesses are disproportionately impacted by economic downturns, social unrest, natural disasters, and global health crises. Events in 2020 illuminated the many racial and economic disparities that exist for Black-owned businesses but also elevated the conversation on the policies and resources needed to close these gaps and eliminate barriers that exist for businesses. National thought leaders will address the question of “where do we go from here?” and uncover specific actions local and state governments, corporations, financial institutions, and others can take to address the racial and economic wealth disparities that exist in Black communities across the U.S.
  • Ron Busby, Sr.
    President, CEO, and Founder of U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.
  • Dr. Kristen Broady
    Fellow in Economics Studies and Policy Director of The Hamilton Project, Brookings Institution; Professor of Financial Economics, Dillard University
  • Stephanie E. DeVane
    Vice President, Entrepreneurship & Business Development, National Urban League
  • Moderator: Klassi Duncan
    Vice President, Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Urban League of Louisiana
4:00PM – 5:00PM LA. LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS PANEL: A Louisiana Agenda
Hear members of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus share their ideas for policy solutions related to the topics that are being featured and their priorities for the upcoming legislative session. In this panel, members of the LLBC will provide updates on what is happening around the state and respond to what they heard and learned throughout the two days of the conference and share some of what we can expect to see around the state from a policy perspective.
  • Sen. Regina Barrow
    Louisiana State Senate, District 15
  • Sen. Katrina Jackson
    Louisiana State Senate, District 34
  • Rep. Ed Larvadain III
    LA House of Representatives, District 26
  • Rep. Vincent Pierre
    LA House of Representatives, District 44
  • Rep. Matthew Willard
    LA House of Representatives, District 97
  • Moderator: Rep. Jason Hughes
    LA. House of Representatives, District 100

 

8:30AM – NOON
BREAKOUT SESSIONS (CLICK TO VIEW SCHEDULE)

12:30PM – 2:00PM
VOTER EDUCATION & ENGAGEMENT PANEL: The Power of Our Vote
The 2020 elections taught us a lot about the power of our vote. Parishes across Louisiana experienced close races and we all witnessed the close campaigns in Georgia. We saw clear examples of how our vote really is our voice. Organizations across the state have been working hard to increase the number of registered, informed, and active voters. Even in the midst of a pandemic, the African American community showed up in record numbers. How do we use this momentum to build our power for the future?

  • Omari Ho-Sang
    Louisiana Coordinator, Black Voters Matter Fund
  • Janea Jamison
    Program Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice
  • Nicole Jolly
    Director of Strategic Initiatives, Urban League of Louisiana
  • Carlos Pollard
    Wake Up Geaux Vote Student Intern, Urban League of Louisiana
  • Michael McClanahan
    President, Louisiana NAACP
  • Rep. Rodney Lyons
    LA House of Representatives, District 87
  • Dasheika Ruffin
    Senior Advisor, Raphael Warnock for Senate
  • Moderator: Tyronne Walker
    Chief Administrative Officer, Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office

2:00PM – 2:45PM
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Addressing the Racial Wealth Gap 
Dr. Andre M. Perry, Author and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute
Moderator: Jarvis DeBerry Editor, The Louisiana Illuminator

2:45PM – 4:00PM
ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY PANEL: Policy Perspectives Impacting Black-owned Businesses
Black-owned businesses are disproportionately impacted by economic downturns, social unrest, natural disasters, and global health crises. Events in 2020 illuminated the many racial and economic disparities that exist for Black-owned businesses but also elevated the conversation on the policies and resources needed to close these gaps and eliminate barriers that exist for businesses. National thought leaders will address the question of “where do we go from here?” and uncover specific actions local and state governments, corporations, financial institutions, and others can take to address the racial and economic wealth disparities that exist in Black communities across the U.S.

  • Ron Busby, Sr.
    President, CEO, and Founder of U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.
  • Dr. Kristen Broady
    Fellow in Economics Studies and Policy Director of The Hamilton Project, Brookings Institution; Professor of Financial Economics, Dillard University
  • Stephanie E. DeVane
    Vice President, Entrepreneurship & Business Development, National Urban League
  • Moderator: Klassi Duncan
    Vice President, Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Urban League of Louisiana

4:00PM – 5:00PM
LA. LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS PANEL: A Louisiana Agenda
Hear members of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus share their ideas for policy solutions related to the topics that are being featured and their priorities for the upcoming legislative session. In this panel, members of the LLBC will provide updates on what is happening around the state and respond to what they heard and learned throughout the two days of the conference and share some of what we can expect to see around the state from a policy perspective.

  • Sen. Regina Barrow
    Louisiana State Senate, District 15
  • Sen. Katrina Jackson
    Louisiana State Senate, District 34
  • Rep. Ed Larvadain III
    LA House of Representatives, District 26
  • Rep. Vincent Pierre
    LA House of Representatives, District 44
  • Rep. Matthew Willard
    LA House of Representatives, District 97
  • Moderator: Rep. Jason Hughes
    LA. House of Representatives, District 100

BREAKOUT SESSIONS: 8:30AM – NOON CST
Saturday, February 27, 2021

ROUND ONE: 9:00AM – 10:00AM CST

HEALTH EQUITY – Beyond COVID-19: Addressing Health Disparities in Louisiana
Long after we are past the pandemic, it is critical that we continue to pay attention to the disparities brought to light by the pandemic. This session will highlight efforts underway to help keep the public informed and to add a racial equity lens to the way we address health outcomes, including through the Louisiana health assessment plan and the health equity dashboard being developed by the Governor’s Health Equity Task Force.

  • Katherine Cain
    Director, Bureau of Planning and Performance, LDH Office of Public Health
  • Dr. Demetrius Porche, DNS, PhD
    Dean, New Orleans School of Nursing, Louisiana State University
  • Moderator: Dr. Earl Benjamin-Robinson Dr.H.Sc.
    Director, Office of Community Partnerships & Health Equity, LDH

HEALTH EQUITY – From Disparity to Parity: Examining the Social Determinants Impacting African American Health
Continuing the conversation from the tele-town hall series hosted by the Urban League of Louisiana and the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus in April 2020, this session will focus on the social determinants of health that were magnified by the data and experience of the African American community during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that have existed since long before.

  • Tiffany Jeanminette, MPA, PMP
    Director of Equity and Policy, Louisiana Public Health Institute
  • Cashauna Hill
    Executive Director, Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center
  • Stacey Roussel
    Policy Director, Louisiana Budget Project
  • Frankie Robertson
    Founder and President, The Amandla Group
  • Moderator:  Toya Barnes Teamer
    Principal, HCM Strategists, LLC

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM – Police Reform: Let’s Keep Talking About It
In this session, members of the Louisiana Legislature the Police Training, Screening and De-escalation Task Force will share an update on the recent work and how we move forward on implementation, including how can we use community voice and advocacy to advance what is coming out of the task force.

  • Rep. Edmond Jordan
    LA House of Representatives, District 29
  • Alanah Odoms
    Executive Director, ACLU of Louisiana
  • Rep. C. Denise Marcelle
    LA House of Representatives, District 61
  • Murphy J. Paul, Jr
    Chief of Police, Baton Rouge
  • Rep. Ted James
    LA House of Representatives, District 101

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY – The 3 Es: Economic Development, Economic Opportunity, Entrepreneurship
Successful economic development must have a strategy that is inclusive, provides opportunity, and engages entrepreneurs. In a post-COVID economy, panelists will consider how this integrated approach can be the new way of doing economic development and what it takes to achieve all three together. How do all three Es, economic development, economic opportunity, and entrepreneurship, integrate to achieve a successful economic ecosystem?

  • Rep. Gary Carter
    LA House of Representatives, District 102
  • Eric Cormier
    VP, Strategic Development & Policy, SWLA Economic Development Alliance
  • Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEcD
    President & CEO, New Orleans Business Alliance
  • LaVerne Toombs
    Executive Director, New Orleans Regional Black Chamber
  • Moderator: Christy Slater
    Program Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

EDUCATION EQUITY – What Does It Mean in Practice? Administrative Perspectives
The Urban League of Louisiana has produced Advancing Education Equity reports for New Orleans and Baton Rouge. They paint the picture of how subgroups of students are doing across these school systems and the findings have remained largely the same – students of color, students with disabilities, and English language learners do not share the same access, opportunities or outcomes as their counterparts. In this session, leaders from within education across the state of Louisiana will share their visions for equity in education and the specific actions they believe must be taken to achieve it.

  • Dr. Theodis Lamar Goree
    Superintendent of Caddo Parish Public Schools
  • Tramelle Howard
    East Baton Rouge School Board Member
  • Rep. Tammy Phelps
    LA House of  Representatives, District 3
  • Moderator: Kyle Wedberg
    President & CEO, New Orleans Creative Center for the Arts (NOCCA)

ROUND TWO: 10:00AM – 11:00AM CST

HEALTH EQUITY –  Mental Health: Healing Together
The way that mental health is discussed in our communities is changing, and over the past year, Louisiana has experienced significant collective trauma. In this session panelists will consider the ways that mental health continues to impact our communities, whether it be the impacts of COVID-19, displacement from record hurricanes, or barriers to accessing care, especially for rural Louisiana.

  • Dr. Adrienne McFadden, MD, JD
    VP, Medicaid Clinical and Population Health, Humana
  • Passion Taylor Payne
    Corporate Program Director,Dimensional Behavioral Health Services, Inc.
  • Dr. Denese Shervington, MD, MPH
    President, Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies Chair of Psychiatry,Charles R. Drew University
  • Dr. Monteic A. Sizer, PhD
    Executive Director of Northeast Delta Human Services Authority

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM –  Rethinking Reentry
Returning from incarceration brings a lot of challenges, imagine returning during a pandemic? In a state that consistently ranks number one or two in its incarceration rate, how can we re-envision the way we offer support? What has been done during the pandemic to “create the opportunity for more” for returning citizens? In this session, panelists will explore these questions and the actions already being taken to rethink reentry, the impact of COVID-19, and the innovation that is needed.

  • Troy Glover
    Site Director, Center for Employment Opportunities
  • Rep. Ted James
    LA House of Representatives, District 101
  • Cherie LaCour-Duckworth
    Vice President, Office of Workforce Development, Urban League of Louisiana
  • Chad A. Sanders
    Director of Economic Empowerment, The First 72+
  • Patrick Young
    Program Manager, Gun Violence Prevention, City of New Orleans

EDUCATION EQUITY –  What Does It Mean in Practice? Advocate Perspectives
The Urban League of Louisiana has produced Advancing Education Equity reports for New Orleans and Baton Rouge. They paint the picture of how subgroups of students are doing across these school systems and the findings have remained largely the same – students of color, students with disabilities, and English language learners do not share the same access, opportunities or outcomes as their counterparts. In this session, leaders and advocates will share their visions for equity in education and the specific actions they believe must be taken to achieve it.

  • Rhonda J. Broussard
    Founder & CEO, Beloved Community
  • Eric Duncan
    P-12 Data and Policy Senior Analyst – Educator Diversity, Education Trust
  • Victor Jones, Ed.M., J.D.
    Sr. Attorney Advisor, State of Louisiana
  • Mary Moran
    Executive Director and Co-founder, Our Voice Nuestra Voz
  • Cathy Washington
    Executive Vice President, Urban League of Louisiana
  • Moderator: Krystal Allen
    Founder, K. Allen Consulting

VOTER EDUCATION AND ENGAGEMENT – Investing In and Developing Leaders
When we think about the future of our communities, we have to ask ourselves if and how we are investing in the next generation of leaders. In this session, panelists will share their own leadership journeys and explore what it takes to develop leaders, how young leaders can and should be engaged in policy and advocacy, and what it looks like to consistently and continuously invest in young leaders.

  • Karen Evans
    Executive Director, New Orleans Children & Youth Planning Board
  • Jeremiah Jones
    New Orleans Youth Alliance Fellow
  • Spencer Jones
    Wake Up Geaux Vote Student Intern, Urban League of Louisiana
  • Madison Hilliard
    Youth Advisory Board Chair, CYPB
  • Asha Mixon
    Fellowship in Youth Advocacy
  • Kelsey Perine
    2020 Census Student Intern, Urban League of Louisiana
  • Kaylan A. Tanner
    Wake Up Geaux Vote Student Intern, Urban League of Louisiana
  • Moderator: Christopher Johnson
    New Orleans Youth Alliance Fellow

ROUND THREE: 11:00AM – NOON CST

HEALTH EQUITY – Ask the Dr.
Questions about the COVID-19 vaccine? Want to know how to stay healthy while maintaining social distance? This session provides an opportunity for community members to ask questions of health professionals and experts. Hear their advice on critical health-related topics and bring those questions that you’ve been wondering about but didn’t know who to ask.

  • Dr. Sandra Brown
    Dean, College of Nursing and Allied Health, Southern University
  • Dr. Takeisha Davis, MD
    CEO, New Orleans East Hospital
  • Dr. Keith Ferdinand, MD
    Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine, Tulane University
  • Dr. Eric Griggs, MD
    State of Louisiana/Health Equity Ambassador
  • Dr. Kathleen Kennedy
    Dean, College of Pharmacy, Xavier University
  • Moderator: Jade Brown Russell
    Principal, JBR Consulting

HEALTH EQUITY – Louisiana CEAL: Our Community, Our Health and COVID 19
This session will highlight the purpose and objectives of the NIH-funded Louisiana Community Engagement Alliance Against COVID-19 disparities (LA-CEAL). Key findings from the rapid needs assessment in Louisiana with a focus on vulnerable communities will be presented along with opportunities for ongoing collaborative engagement to address COVID-19 disparities in Louisiana.

  • Marie Krousel-Wood MD, MSPH, FACPM
    Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Tulane University
  • Daniel Sarpong, PhD
    Director, Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education, Professor, Endowed Chair of Health Disparities, Xavier University College of Pharmacy
  • Moderator: Dottie Reese MPH, MSW, CCDP
    Principal,DMM & Associates, LLC

VOTER EDUCATION AND ENGAGEMENT – A Decade of Representation: The 2020 Census and Redistricting
In 2020, the United States was faced with the challenge of counting every person living in the country during a global pandemic – and the results will continue to impact our communities for the next ten years. The Census count will determine representation in Congress and be used to re-draw political boundaries for state representation, city council districts, school districts, and more. Louisiana residents have a role to play as we prepare for this redistricting process. Panelists will share what was learned from the 2020 Census efforts. the impact it will have on our communities for the next ten years, and what you need to know in order to ensure fair representation for our communities.

  • Sen. Jimmy Harris
    Louisiana State Senate, District 4
  • Janea Jamison
    Program Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice
  • Telley Madina
    President, The Madina Group, LLC
  • Dr. Jeanine Abrams McLean
    Vice President, Fair Count
  • Suchitra J. Satpathi
    Partner, Pelican State Partners
  • Will Sutton
    Columnist, The Advocate
  • Moderator: Nicole Jolly
    Director of Strategic Initiatives, Urban League of Louisiana

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM – Bail, Fines, and Fees
Bail, fines, and fees within the criminal justice system was a theme in debates for many recent elections. The state of Illinois is close to eliminating cash bail. This session explores current efforts to reduce and eliminate bail, fines, and fees in New Orleans and consider the impacts such efforts could have on African American communities across Louisiana.

  • Terry Landry, Jr
    Policy Director, Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Will Snowden
    New Orleans Director, Vera Institute of Justice
  • Moderator: Flozell Daniels
    CEO & President, Foundation for Louisiana

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY – SEE CHANGE Collective
The Urban League of Louisiana is excited to announce the SEE CHANGE Collective which will serve as a catalyst for building generational wealth among African Americans and Hispanics in the Greater New Orleans region by examining three areas: income, business ownership and home ownership. Through a collective effort, led by the Urban League, it will create a comprehensive strategy to addresses these three levers that data show serve as historic pathways to wealth-building, but that have not generated the same results for Black and Brown communities.

  • Lamar Gardere
    Executive Director, The Data Center
  • Michael Hecht
    President & CEO, Greater New Orleans, Inc.
  • Carmen James
    Vice President of Programs, Greater New Orleans Foundation
  • Judy Reese Morse
    President & CEO, Urban League of Louisiana
  • Mayra Pineda
    President & CEO, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana
  • Christy Slater
    Program Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Moderator, Chris D’Amour
    Partner, Adams & Reese

EDUCATION EQUITY- What Does It Mean in Practice? Parent and Student Perspectives
The Urban League of Louisiana has produced Advancing Education Equity reports for New Orleans and Baton Rouge. They paint the picture of how subgroups of students are doing across these school systems and the findings have remained largely the same – students of color, students with disabilities, and English language learners do not share the same access, opportunities or outcomes as their counterparts. In this session, students, parents, and advocates will share their visions for equity in education and the specific actions they believe must be taken to achieve it.

  • Keenya Cohn
    Urban League PRIDE Alumni
  • Dominique Martin
    Educational Advocate, Urban League PRIDE Alumni
  • Demond McDonald
    Student, New Orleans Youth Alliance Fellow
  • Sonya Morris
    Urban League PRIDE Alumni
  • Moderator: Brittany Sykes
    Program Coordinator, Parent Information Center – Baton Rouge,  Urban League of Louisiana

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