Sept. 13, 2014, 9 a.m.
Conference Venue:
Xavier University, 1 Drexel Drive

 

9 a.m. Registration

10 a.m.

Panel: Using Mobile Devices to Uncover Seemingly Lost Historical Memory of the Confederacy, Leprosy, and White Supremacy in New Orleans

New Orleans residents, both natives and more recent arrivals, enjoy participating in the city’s collective historical memory. Nevertheless, much of the past remains unexamined and often unknown. Three UNO graduate students with varied research interests share a desire to make new historical research available to the public even before their theses are defended.

This is a panel presentation on digital iterations of South Louisiana’s historical memory. The panel will feature three online and mobile tours developed for New Orleans Historical that reveal stories about Louisiana’s past that have been either misrepresented or ignored in historical memory.

Jessica Dauterive will present a tour she has developed on the social history of New Orleans under Federal occupation during the Civil War, centering on the song “Bonnie Blue Flag.” This Confederate anthem was outlawed as political action against the Union, but laws were unsuccessful in silencing the voices of New Orleanians. The song has remained a part of the soundscape of the region, reappearing in compilations of Confederate-­‐era sheet music, classrooms (those restricted for white students) throughout New Orleans during the Jim Crow period, and even modern video game and movie soundtracks. Through “Bonnie Blue Flag,” Jessica will discuss an aspect of New Orleans’ rich musical tradition that extends beyond jazz.

Kevin McQueeney will focus on Palmer Park, a small park located in the Carrollton neighborhood of New Orleans. This work offers a micro-­‐history of the park while examining issues that affected the park: the annexation of Carrollton by New Orleans; the struggle for Carrollton to maintain its own identity and autonomy, seen in the push to prevent the takeover of the park by the New Orleans Recreation Department; issues of race, seen in the efforts to keep the park a “white space” through the 1970s; the impact of changes in the surrounding neighborhoods, major historical events, and larger forces in the city; the park as a gathering space for various community events and organizations; and the continued struggle over how the space should be used. Special attention will be afforded the question of how to address the community regarding whether or not the park’s current name, selected in 1902 to honor Benjamin Palmer, the “Chaplain of the Confederacy,” should be changed and how best to solicit community input for a proposed renaming of the park. (The park’s original name was Hamilton Square.)



11:30 a.m.

Panel: Building Capacity in Marginalized Communities

Community capacity building is the methods by which communities recognize, strategize and
mobilize to address or respond to circumstances, conditions, decisions and events that may
produce negative physical, social, economic or cultural impacts on communities.
The community capacity building panel, presented by the Young Leadership Council (YLC),
will focus on the cultural, economic, educational, and social challenges that New Orleans’
most vulnerable communities face, and how the YLC, and other such organizations, has
mobilized vast volunteer-based networks to create, fund and implement new programming
in response to those needs
.


Moderator
Scott Sternberg practices law at Baldwin, Haspel, Burke & Mayer, LLC. He primarily
practices in the areas of commercial litigation, admiralty and media law in addition to
teaching Media Law at Loyola University. Since joining the YLC in 2010, Sternberg has
been a project leader for the Leadership Development Series, a site coordinator for the
2013 Super Bowl Super Saturday of Service, and serves as General Counsel for the Board of
Directors.


Panelists

Curry Smith is the Executive Director of the Young Leadership Council (YLC). He is native
of Lafayette, La. Smith earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy from the Murphy
Institute at Tulane University.

Kelley Bagayoko is the legislative aide to State Representative Helena Moreno
representing District 93. Since joining the YLC, Kelley has served as a volunteer, project
leader, committee member and board member. As a member of the YLC Leadership
Development Series class of 2010, she was a part of the group that brought back RECreate.
David T. Baker is an associate editor for The Louisiana Weekly newspaper. Since joining
the YLC, he has worked as a volunteer with a variety of the organization’s projects and
committees including the literacy awareness project, One Book One New Orleans. He
currently sits on the Board of Directors as VP of Communication.
Richard Pavlick is an associate with the law firm of Burglass & Tankersley. Since joining
the YLC, Pavlick has served as Secretary/General Counsel as well as President of the Board
of Directors.

Alyssa Wenck-Rambeau is the Director of Finance at New Orleans Ernest N. Morial
Convention Center. Since joining the YLC, she has served as President of the Board of
Directors, Treasurer, and VP of Development, among others.

Warren M. M. Surcouf is a Project Manager for the Fat City Friends and organization in
charge of the revitalization of Fat City. Since 2009, Surcouf has served as project leader for
the YLC’s Wednesday at the Square concert series. He has also held several other volunteer
positions including Editor of the Streetcar Named Inspire Book. Surcouf has also overseen
all aspects of concert production including logistics, food and beverage and public
relations. Surcouf is Vice President of Development for the Board of Directors.


2 p.m.

Keynote: Andre Perry, Ph.D. Founding Dean of the College of Education at Davenport University, former Associate Director of the Loyola Institute for Quality and Equity in Education (New Orleans) and former CEO of the Capital One-University of New Orleans Charter Network.

'Education is like water; put down your reform rake'

Rakes don’t organize water very well. Likewise, charter schools, vouchers and lotteries aren't the proper tools to deal with the root problems of New Orleans education. New Orleans public schools must become a “unified school district” if the needs of children, families and communities are to be met. Getting, private and parochial school parents to believe we’re all in this together has been and will be the essential problem that needs solving.

About Dr. Perry

Dr. Andre Perry is currently the Founding Dean of Urban Education at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, MI and is responsible for planning and launching Davenport’s new teacher and educational leadership programs. Prior to moving to Michigan, he was a resident of New Orleans and served as the CEO of the Capital One-University of New Orleans Charter Network, which was comprised of four charter schools in New Orleans.. Dr. Perry is a regular contributor for the Washington Post is also a columnist for the Hechinger Report, a nonprofit news organization focused on producing in-depth education journalism out of Columbia University. Perry’s views, opinions and educational leadership have been featured on NBC, CNN, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera America and The New Republic. 

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Perry earned his Ph.D. in education policy and leadership from the University of Maryland College Park. His research and teaching interests are college access and retention, charter schools and immigrant educational rights. In 2011, UNO Press released his book, The Garden Path: The Miseducation of the City.  In his book, Perry uses non-fiction narrative to illustrate the real life tensions in post-Katrina education reform in New Orleans. In addition to The Garden Path,  Perry co-authored the chapter “Resilience and Opportunity: Lessons from the U.S. Gulf Coast after Katrina and Rita “published by the Brookings Institution Press.  He also co-authored a chapter in the publication Between Public and Private: Politics, Governance, and the New Portfolio Models for Urban School Reformpublished by Harvard University Press.  Along with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Perry co-authored the report, PLACE MATTERS for Health in Orleans Parish: Ensuring Opportunities for Good Health for All.

 

 

3 p.m.

Panel: Saga at Treme: The Story of How A Quest for Personal Resilience Exposed Incompetence and Waste in Government

City planer Amy Stelly writes, "Last summer, I decided I didn’t want to be fat anymore. So I made a commitment to take advantage of the best deal in town: free water aerobics and swimming classes at the newly renovated Treme Center’s heated indoor pool. I soon discovered others, like me, were attending classes to gain control of their health. There were arthritics looking for relief; diabetics working to bring their blood sugar down; cardiology patients trying to strengthen their hearts; and, most remarkably, a stroke victim who was struggling to walk again. We shared our stories and quickly bonded through an activity that we all grew to love.

As we tirelessly pursued our goals, we began to notice a huge colony of mold on the ceiling of the
natatorium. This was particularly disturbing since the center had just undergone a $6.1 million
renovation touted by Mayor Landrieu during his 2013 State of the City speech. And as the weather got colder, more and more problems began to surface at Treme, the mayor’s symbol of the city’s resurgence.

During the winter, the pool’s allegedly new mechanical systems failed, leaving us with ice-cold water in our beloved heated pool. Incensed swimmers sprang into action. One left the frigid water and marched down to the office of the New Orleans Recreation Development Corporation, NORDC, to voice a compliant. Another jumped out of the pool to corral a city official upon hearing that the staff was meeting at the center while the morning water aerobics class was in session.

That fateful event led to our real life demonstration of internet activism. I was inspired by the moxie of those two ladies. I decided that the least I could do was to write an email in support of their efforts. In my email, I acknowledged our impromptu meeting with the captured NORDC official and requested a formal meeting that would engage more of our classmates. Our request was granted.
Fourteen irate swimmers greeted the administrators from NORDC, much to their surprise. The
officials quickly realized we were unsatisfied and weren’t going to walk away. So city officials
decided to continue the conversation.

Through my work as a city planner, I learned that the best way to engage local government was to
place our concerns and complaints on the public record via email. I also knew that the best way to
draw attention to our cause was to send a series of emails pointedly describing our observations and experiences. Through the emails, I continually questioned the integrity of the building and asked about the use of millions in unrestricted tax dollars. My training as an architectural designer gave me the tools to write what we observed with a great deal of technical acuity. The emails not only caught the city’s attention, they led to a movement that included other users of the Treme Center who saw troubling things that the swimmers did not see. Our simple email campaign has led to a groundswell of support that includes news coverage on television and in print. And it has piqued the curiosity of the Inspector General.

Our findings have shed light on gross incompetence and lack of oversight as well as forced city
officials to reveal that costs for the shoddy renovation of the Treme Center exceeded the winning bid by170%! On top of that, we discovered that laws have been broken!

As the city embarks on conversations about resilience, its stewardship of the Treme Center sadly
symbolizes an all-too-familiar, impaired New Orleans – wasteful and opaque. The Treme community’s drive shows that the people are willing stand up and demand that the city get things
right. They’re demanding resilience and won’t rest until that’s achieved.

Saga at Treme will be presented through PowerPoint and a discussion that focuses on tips and
strategies for effectively engaging government through email communication. The session will also feature a discussion with the players who started the ball rolling. They worked to build community support at the grassroots level and have chosen to vocalize their displeasure as our engagement with the City of New Orleans continues to heat up."


4 p.m.

Panel: Religion in Post-Katrina New Orleans

A conversation among representatives from diverse faith/spiritual communities over how such communities have been instrumental in the recovery of people's spiritual health and emotional/psychological well-being since the flooding of New Orleans in 2005.


Charlotte Klasson – The New Orleans Secular Humanist Association

Matt Rousso – Maryknoll Mission Education Office & St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish

Tahera “Ty” Siddiqui – New Orleans Lamplight Circle

Rev. William Thiele – The School for Contemplative Living

 Rev. Tom Watson -  Senior Pastor at Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries