Aug. 29, 2015

Friday Night Party: TBA
Sunday Service Event: TBA
Conference Venue:
Xavier University
Lunch: TBA
Ashley Award: TBA

Panel Discussion: Transportation: How'd ya Get Where Yat?

Megan B. Capone (Public Transit Tuesdays) moderates this conversation about how New Orleans makes infrastructure an obstacle course.

  • Dan Favre of Bike Easy,
  • Rachel Heiligman of Ride NOLA,
  • Jeff Januszek of Fix My Streets
  • Amanda Soprano from #NOLATwitter.

Panel Discussion: Environment

Anne Rolfes, Founding Director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, began her career in Nigeria, collaborating with local communities to address oil companies’ destruction of the Niger Delta. She returned to Louisiana in 2000 and founded the Louisiana Bucket Brigade to end oil pollution in her home state. The organization has created cutting edge tools, including the iWitness Pollution Map, the Refinery Accident Database and in street based artistic performances.  Anne was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana where many people made their fortunes from the oil industry. She has seen the wealth and the poverty created by oil production and seeks to make the industry more equitable.  She has a Masters in International Development from Tulane; she has twice testified before Congress. Her work has been recognized by local and national awards, including the Jane Bagley Lehman Award for Public Advocacy and the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leader Award.

Bob Marshall covers environmental issues for The Lens, with a special focus on coastal restoration and wetlands. While at The Times-Picayune, his work chronicling the people, stories and issues of Louisiana’s wetlands was recognized with two Pulitzer Prizes and other awards. In 2012 Marshall was a member of the inaugural class inducted into the Loyola University School of Communications Den of Distinction. 

Jonathan Henderson is the Coastal Resiliency Organizer for Gulf Restoration Network. Currently, Jonathan is managing GRN's BP drilling disaster field monitoring operations in the Gulf of Mexico and is the GRN liaison with the Gulf Monitoring Consortium. Jonathan advocates for better stormwater management with the Flood Less New Orleans campaign. Jonathan received a bachelor’s degree in Theater from LSU, a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Louisiana, and a law degree from Southern University Law Center. Jonathan has worked in government relations for many years including as a legislative assistant at the Louisiana State Legislature and as Director of Governmental Relations for the Brylski Company, a full-scale public relations firm.

Panel Discussion: Education TBA


  • Melanated Writer's Collective returns to Rising Tide to talk about Black Women Writers and present 10 Writers for 10 Years.

  • Gary Rivlin, an investigative reporting fellow at The Nation Institute, is a former New York Times reporter and the author of five books, including most recently Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc.—How the Working Poor Became Big Business. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, GQ, and Wired, among other publications.

  • Scott Sternberg talks politics in an election year & questions Louisiana's Open Primary system. Is there a better way to do this, or are we so far behind we're ahead?

  • Dr. Beth Blankenship takes a look at New Orleans Post-K social services and domestic violence issues.

  • Cynthia Joyce will run a "what if we had Twitter" experiment. She'll set up some A/V structures, play some video from the early days of recovery, and see what y'all would have broadcast if you only had 140 characters and 10 years of #hindsight.

  • Ryne Hancock returns from Memphis to talk about the Tulane Basketball Scandal from back in the day, hopefully while live-broadcasting for the Poydras Street Report podcast.

  • Itza Carbajal & Joy Delgado present "NOLA (Up)rooted," a study on using social media and data mapping to track the New Orleans diaspora and find out who's already home and who's trying to get back.

  • Breonne DeDecker & her team are using research and GIS data to track Short Term Rentals in New Orleans. They're working to understand how this affects the overal rental market and figure out what sort of policy intervention could improve housing access and affordability.

  • After the Transportation panel addresses the issue generally, Amanda Soprano's taking over the classroom to talk New Orleans RTA issues specifically. With the next round of cuts to one of NOLA's (semi)daily newspapers announced

  • Rebecca Theim, author of "Hell or High Water: the Battle to Save the Times-Picayune" will talk about the changing face of local media.



Leveraging the power of bloggers and new media, the Rising Tide Conference is a launch pad for organization and action. Our day-long program of speakers and presentations is tailored to inform, entertain, enrage and inspire.

We come together to dispel myths, promote facts, highlight progress and regress, discuss recovery ideas, and promote sound policies at all levels. We aim to be a "real life" demonstration of internet activism as we continue to recover from a massive failure of government on all levels.

Past featured speakers have included LT. General Russel Honore, Lawrence Powell (author of "The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans"), Lolis Eric Elie (New Orleans-based writer and filmmaker), David Simon (creator of The Wire and Treme), Richard Campanella (author of Geographies of New Orleans and Bienville's Dilemma), Mac McClelland (blogger and writer for Mother Jones) Harry Shearer (writer, actor, host of the weekly radio show Le Show), John Barry (author of Rising Tide), Dave Zirin (author of Welcome to the Terrordome) and authors Christopher Cooper and Robert Block (Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security).
Rising Tide started in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding of the city when a small group of New Orleans-based bloggers decided to expand their on-line advocacy for the rebirth of New Orleans into a public event.

Participants are encouraged to Blog, Twitter, Facebook and otherwise connect and share with others in attendance and around the world.  The goals of Rising Tide are numerous, but are briefly: 

- We seek to protect and preserve the cultural qualities of New Orleans that make our city unique.

- We resolve to root out and expose the corruption and incompetence that harms us all.

- We work to enact a vision of a restored and resilient community that respects traditions and reaches for a sustainable future for all citizens.

Join us as we map out the course of this great city now and into the future!