Aug. 29, 2015

Sunday Event: 'Nolier Than Thou?' at Molly's at the Market
Conference Venue:
Xavier University
Lunch: Juan's Taco Bar
Ashley Award: TBA

Keynote: Deray Mckesson

Deray Mckesson is an activist against systemic oppression. Since the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mckesson has used protest and advocacy on social media platforms to become one of the most widely-recognized civil rights leaders. He popularized the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, and believes that "police brutality threatens the essence of freedom." 

The Los Angeles Times hailed Mckesson as one of the “new civil rights leaders.” A May profile in The New York Times Magazine lauded him as a builder of the "nation’s first 21st-century civil rights movement.Fortune magazine rated McKesson number eleven on a list of “World’s Greatest Leaders.”

His bio (@deray) at notes that Mckesson is a "former Senior Director of Human Capital with Minneapolis Public Schools and is a Teach For America alum, having taught 6th grade math in NYC. He has been documenting the events of Ferguson via twitter (@deray) and is the Founder and Co-Editor of the Ferguson Protestor Newsletter. He is an activist, organizer, and educator focusing primarily on issues impacting children, youth, and families. He previously worked for the Harlem Children’s Zone and TNTP, opened an academic enrichment center in West Baltimore, and with Baltimore City Public Schools leading systemic human capital change."

Ballroom Stage: 3rd Floor Xavier University - University Center

Gary Rivlin
10 a.m.
Rivlin, author of Katrina: After the Flood and 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.

10:30 a.m.
Panel Discussion:
Transportation: How'd ya Get Where Yat?

Moderator: Megan Braden-Perry ( Public Transit Tuesdays) moderates this conversation about how New Orleans makes infrastructure an obstacle course.

After the Transportation panel addresses the issue generally, Amanda Soprano's taking over the classroom to talk New Orleans RTA issues specifically.

11:30 a.m.
Panel Discussion:

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.

1:30 p.m.
Ashley Morris Memorial Excellence in Blogging Award

2 p.m.
Keynote: Deeray Mckesson

3 p.m.
Panel Discussion:
Education in New Orleans: The Next 10 Years

For the last 10 years, New Orleans has played the blame game in education.

Reformers have shamed the past to argue for change. In return, reform has been charged with destroying public education for future children. The aftermath of Katrina should have incited passions. However, everyone seems to have profited from the debate except for public school families—the people who need more than just words.

Durable arguments have concretized into an immovable tableau that gets in the way of both justice and progress. Pointing fingers to say who did what to who doesn’t solve problems. Progress forces us to ask where do we go from here.

This session will ask participants where should New Orleans education head in the next 10 years.

Moderator: Andre Perry, Columnist


Seminar Room: 2nd Floor - Xavier University - University Center

10 a.m.
She's Got Her Own: New Orleans Black Women Creating Their Own Spaces Online and in Print.

Panel will discuss the importance of women of color perspectives in print and online and the challenges they've faced in New Orleans to go from vision to fruition.

Moderator: Charmel Gaulden.

11 a.m.
Melanated Writers Collective Presents: 10 Writers for 10 Years

Members of the Melanated Writers Collective will read poetry and fiction in remembrance of Hurricane Katrina and what it means to live in New Orleans today.

MWC Facebook Event

Readings by:

12 p.m.
Open Primaries in Louisiana: Is there a better way to do this, or are we so far behind that we’re ahead?

Moderator: Scott Sternberg, @slslsu 

3 p.m.
Domestic Violence & Social Services in Post-Katrina New Orleans

Moderator: Beth Blankenship, Women's Center Director at University of New Orleans

Tech School: Room 205C, 2nd Floor
Xavier University - University Center

10 a.m.
Video On a Budget

  • David White

11 a.m.
Growing Your Brand On Instagram

12 p.m.
Unraveling the Facebook Algorithm

3 p.m.
Intro To Podcasting

Speaker: Daniel Zimmerman



Presentation Room: 3rd Floor Xavier University - University Center

10 a.m.
Gideon Rising: Daring to Defend the Poor Post-Katrina

  • Derwyn Bunton
    New Orleans Public Defender

10:30 a.m.
NOLA[up]rooted: A Study on Social Media & Displaced New Orleanians

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.

11 a.m.
Short Term Rentals in New Orleans: GIS Study

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.

  • Breonne DeDecker
    author & photographer  

11:30 .am.
RTA Breakout & Study Group

3 p.m.
Battle to Save the Times-Picayne, Viewing & Discussion

Rebecca Thiem founded the nonprofit dashTHIRTYdash to raise awareness about the changes at the newspaper and money for the hundreds of employees who lost their jobs. She subsequently wrote Hell and High Water: The Battle the Save the New Orleans Times-Picayune, about that battle and the forces roiling newspapers across the country, including the dozens owned by Advance Publications, longtime owner of the Picayune. Because of the role Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath played in the international recognition of thePicayune and its staff, and simultaneously in the decline of the newspaper’s once-vaunted financial performance, the storm is a major character in the book.


Boardroom: 3rd Floor Xavier University - University Center


10 a.m.
History of the Tulane Basketball Scandal & Poydras Street Report Podcast

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.