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#OneRouge Friday Community Check-In (Weeks 44-46)

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in EBR, The Walls Project has been hosting weekly video calls with leaders of nonprofits, foundations, city government, and local businesses from a

cross the parish. The intention of these weekly community check-ins is to share information and resources to help the Baton Rouge community respond and recover from the pandemic. Weekly topics range from access to basic needs such as food, medical care, and safety to thought-leaders' insights on equitable opportunities for youth enrichment, nonprofit financial solvency, surge in unemployment, and the disproportionate impact on impoverished neighborhoods in regards to accessing fresh food.


'Education As A Civil Right' Continued Conversation

Meeting Notes Prepared by Zoe Haddad (Walls Project)

Kevin Guitterrez (Governance Director, LAPCS)

  • Career educator, been doing this for 25 years, half with St Charles Parish and the other half a combination of working with the Louisiana Department of education, running charter schools here in New Orleans, and now as Governance Director for the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools

  • Working specifically with leaders and board members

  • Our purpose at LAPCS is around actions to support the mission and vision of our organization through inclusivity, bringing awareness to folks intentionally and collaboratively

  • One of our key actions in terms of boards is our Charter Board Leadership Academy

  • Want to bring decision making as close to students as possible at every level from governance to teaching and learning

  • In the governance space by law in Louisiana every charter school is rooted and governed by a nonprofit organization made up of board members

  • Take that work very seriously as far as training current and potential board members

  • Expanded the Charter Board Leadership Academy across Baton Rouge and across Louisiana areas

  • You can get involved by engaging your teams and answering the call to serve on boards

  • As many of you are touching schools whether it’s traditional public schools or charter schools, we’re here to help tell your story. Our communication director Zoey Reed can help lift up those stories of support you all are providing.

Preston Castille (BESE + President, Helix Community Schools)

  • Whirlwind of a year to take over and serve on BESE. John White stepped down after serving as the longest serving superintendent in the United States the week of March 13th right before the Governor issued his proclamation closing schools across Louisiana. Quite the year in education in Louisiana with lots of challenges as all of you know

  • I did want to talk about Helix Community Schools and the schools we serve

  • One school is Mentorship Steam Academy in downtown Baton Rouge, been in operation 10 years, enjoyed lots of success

  • About three years ago the board of directors decided to build on some of that success

  • If you pass by the building you’ll notice in addition to the great artwork from the Walls Project, you’ll also see we partner with the SU Law Center

  • I served as an adjunct professor there for about 17 years

  • Southern began teaching evening classes downtown presenting a great opportunity for collaboration with high school students

  • As a lawyer, we were looking at how we can expand the presence of mentorship, leading to the creation of two wonderful schools we intend to launch in the fall

  • Many talk about workforce and pipeline and developing innovative pathways

  • Because of our partnership with SU we wanted to introduce legal professional opportunities as early as we can, hence the creation of Helix Legal Academy, a middle school that feeds into the high school starting with the 6th grade class this coming fall

  • We also looked at another great economic driver in Baton Rouge: we have the only air force junior ROTC program at Mentorship in this region of the state

  • Led us to realize with the nearby airport we have the beginnings of an aviation program. Will be launching Helix Aviation Academy for the 6th grade class located on the BR Metropolitan airport

  • Students will have the opportunity to learn about the limitless world of aviation and cyber technology

  • The only K-12 school located on an airport!

Chris Meyer (CEO, New Schools for Baton Rouge)

  • Product of an awesome selective admissions magnet high school in Shreveport - my life trajectory changed fundamentally because of the experience...tons of advanced placement classes, college tours, adults pushing us to think of opportunities beyond what we had seen before

  • That experience led me to want to teach in New Orleans, going through the disruption of Hurricane Katrina and the experience of watching in education the impact of moving to a transformation of their governance model where they said as a city that we’re no longer going to run things from the top down but empower schools

  • Ten years ago with people like Preston and others on the line here we recognized that in Baton Rouge not all of our kids were getting the same opportunity to go to a great school or have life changing potential because of the education they received

  • Unfortunately some of these realities still persist today...where kids grow up in this city can have an impact on the kind of education they get access to

  • Our organization started ten years ago with the focus of growing the number of high quality schools

  • Thinking about the power of the individual schools and the kids they serve and the communities that exist in and around it

  • Identify schools that are getting awesome outcomes and understand what the secret sauce is, help our schools replicate those

  • Where we sit now in Baton Rouge, last night there was a transition report released by the school’s a brutally honest document on the realities of where we are in the community

  • I really praise the board and our new Superintendent for sharing the challenges as well as opportunities to move forward

  • We have a chance to fix and improve schools across the community

  • To date we have helped create almost two dozen schools in the city, we have 10,000 students, 25% of all kids in public schools today go to a school that we’ve partnered with

  • We are on track as a community to where we will see about 50% of the kids in BR enrolled in a public charter school in less than a decade

  • These are schools that have been authorized and approved by our local school board and some cases by the state

  • We’re working everyday to make sure families understand they have a choice and make the best one for them

  • We see a really encouraging sign that when families are given the option are leaving schools historically rated as underperforming

  • Lots of dynamism in that, as well as challenges

Carrie Griffin Monica (Executive Director, Stand for Children)

  • Been in LA for 10 years next year, a part of Stand Louisiana

  • Working with parents, educators, and stakeholders who want to improve outcomes for all kids

  • Team of about 500 organizers in Baton Rouge who work with families, providing workshops to help understand and navigate the system their kids are in

  • Parent work is not the only thing that has to also need solid policies in place

  • Have a C4 that allows us to do legislative work with local school boards and the state board of education

  • You’ve got to put the right people in place to make the decisions that are right for kids

  • Helped support to elect over 40 leaders - local school boards, state board of education, legislature - focused on passing student-centered policies

  • Super excited about the transition report that came out yesterday that allows a deep dive into the local system

  • There is a lot of good, honest, fair assessment that really engages with educators and principals

  • Only 42% of kids today are reading at grade level by third grade and by eighth grade that percentage is even lower

  • While we have done good things, we have a long way to go to improve outcomes for every single kid

  • From working with parents over the last ten years and being a parent myself, we don’t have parents that come to us and say “I am looking for X type or model of school”. They come saying “My kid can’t read and they’re in the 4th grade, how can you help me figure out where to get my child so they have a better chance of getting on grade level so they have a better chance at life?”

  • Unfortunately we’ve had these conversations about the model we should be promoting. We should be less focused on model and type and more focused on making sure every single child is set up for success in their career and life

  • We recognize the important role charters have played in that

  • Looking at schools that have been underperforming for 30 years across the state we have to start thinking what are the innovations we can use to help improve outcomes for kids? The battle lines shouldn’t be around the model or type

Nolan Marshall, Jr. (Vice President, Orleans Parish School Board)

  • Not an educator but spent my entire life working in school

  • Had an opportunity to observe education for a very long time

  • I believe education impacts all aspects of our lives, crime, economic development, etc.

  • Worked with a number of people prominent in the education movement

  • I’ve seen forays into site-based management

  • We tried that and it didn’t work so we are now at the level where we have charter school management

  • I formed some opinions working with all these educators, teachers, and parents over 43 years and now serving on the school board for 8 years that you speak in terms of quality education but there’s no true definition of a quality education

  • I believe until we do that as a community we won’t ever achieve success

  • Part of the problem is we’ve narrowed the focus of what we do for children

  • I remain aspirational in what I want to do in schools, to change the narrative from strictly academic or career pursuit to human development and how do we prepare the neighbors we want, the citizens we want

  • One thing I can say about the charter school movement is it has more people engaged in education than ever before

  • The fact that we have boards at every school means citizens are actively involved in learning what it takes to educate kids

  • Some inefficiencies and redundancies in every school having to manage every aspect of education...we can move more towards a model where we have some back office things done by the school district

Adonica Duggan (Public Education Advocate)

  • Currently transitioning to lead a new organization but continuing to work around public education

  • Excited to continue some of the work we started at NSBR through our Changemakers Program and our Education as a Civil Right event

  • Echo a couple important things: the transition report offers a real opportunity to dig into how we can improve outcomes for kids

  • Parents do not care about governance type. They are focused on how we deliver to their students an education that prepares them for the life they want for them

  • We need to continue focusing on having leaders in this community that get a diverse tapestry of schools in BR to get kids where they want to be

  • If our students don’t get what they need we can’t move forward as a community


Katie Pritchett: Would love to explore this idea of a common definition of quality education further. Thoughts on how we go about that?

Nolan Marshall: When I joined the school board one of the first things I asked my fellow board members to do was to come together and form some consensus of where we wanted to take the district, hire a superintendent that would help get us there, and then don’t do anything to disrupt the district until we do those first two things. Of course we elected a president that took us in the opposite direction, did everything to disrupt the district, put us in a position where we had to hire a superintendent when we weren’t ready and then never really got around to doing the visioning work we wanted to do. We agreed on a firm to come in for that revisioning process and we need to do it as a district over the next four months to build consensus for the definition of a quality education through the outcomes that we want for children and a graduate profile. We define quality education, hold schools accountable, work to provide them the resources they need. We went from the state taking over 70% of our schools, fighting to get them back, having to build an accountability system, terminate schools not performing well, here we are today with lessons learned

Kevin Guitterrez: Double down on the decision making being moved as close to the student as possible... innovating, leveraging partnerships to strategically serve kids differently. Continue to take our role as educators and leaders very seriously. As much as he might be talking about the things the district might do especially in the upcoming strategic planning, that OPSB does its job exceptionally well in terms of authorization and supporting schools, making sure that funding is directed at the individual schools and differentiated according to the needs of kids. It all comes down to the notion of making decisions as close to students as possible whether it’s through governance or high quality authorization

Adonica Duggan: Our state has an accountability system that provides a baseline level of quality. I think it first starts with kids able to read and write and do math on grade level. The question of whether there’s a secret sauce to making a great school, schools are as different as children...I don’t think there’s any one type of school that’s going to solve all our problems. There are certainly common elements, but that plays out very differently across different schools and communities.

Casey Phillips: Data based question - traditional public schools over the last few decades have taken their fair share of lumps in the press and in public forums. When they fall short, that’s out there. Can you speak a little bit about where the charter has had adverse effects on children and families? Can you expand on components that you've seen when the models fail vs. the components that make a successful model?

Preston Castille: If a charter school isn’t successful, there’s an ability to close those schools. Heightening accountability, knowing if they’re not successful they won’t exist in the future, really adds a lot more energy to get this right. There is a system in place both at the BESE level and the local level. Lots of schools that have operated for years and decades struggle to get it right and continue to do so.

Chris Meyer: The data suggests if schools aren’t able to hit that bar, what you see in those cities that follow those things...we as a state across multiple administrations, have been fortunate to have a strong accountability system particularly with charter schools. What you’ve seen in BR and NOLA is that performance is on the rise. It is hard to see any school that has formed a community be disbanded for some reason. But those kids have historically ended up in better circumstances.

Trey Godfrey: Having been a part of a failed charter school in the past, in 2006 the 100 was approached by the state to take on the charter of Capitol High School. We didn’t know what we didn’t know going into it. Didn’t create great outcomes but it made sense for a community organization to take on a project like that but it didn’t work out for a lot of reasons. There was no NSBR back then and that’s indicative of what led to failure. There was no system that underlaid the operations and the governance of the school. We had a charter provider who did all the back office type work but we were largely unsuccessful because there was no system that undergirded the efforts of the organization trying to run a school. In the absence of that we did the best we could as a community based organization but had no business running a school. To understand what New Schools does, there are lots of principles that guide these schools but without that extra push and assistance helping organizations serve their missions, it is so difficult for a space to succeed.

Preston Castille: If you look at the timing, I keep hearing 10 years...there's something about that 10 year mark. Lots of initial failures that have now led to a lot of success. From those initial failures in the beginning, that led to understanding doing more to support schools and that those in the community want to help. Partnerships are required for success. I say support, that is intellectual support and expertise. Here’s how you do it and here’s how you do it right.

Reggie - Gardere Initiative: What models can we transfer to public schools for improvement? I’ve been out here doing volunteer and community work since 2015. What I was a little frustrated with was seeing the St. George movement and the question that EBR wasn’t doing the job they were supposed to do...what is EBR doing that they have failing schools? What have they done to change that? Do we have the training, the development, the assessment at each level? Is that actively being done? I think Mr. Marshall hit the nail on the head that the school board has to do that work, make that assessment and close schools when necessary instead of waiting many years and letting kids go through the system without the skills they need? What are the models that can indeed be transferred to public schools?

Nolan Marshall: My experience being involved in this over 50 years is we create too many siloes outside of the school system that impact what we do inside of the school system. It’s not going to change any time soon but we’re moving in that direction. Finally getting funders to come together and talk to each so they’re not funding different initiatives moving in different directions. We’ve created more fragments to the question and the task is how do we all get around the table and talk together to move in a singular direction instead of constantly moving different directions. How do we get the educators to direct where we need to go? Too long lawmakers and people without expertise have made the decisions regarding public education and the true educators have not had the voice that they’ve needed. How do we get everybody at the table? We break down these silos, bring in partners like 4H, traditional orgs that have done stellar work. Kids that have needs that go unfulfilled won’t ever reach their potential. Bring in these partners. Outside of the education system it doesn’t work. I used to say that public education is the guinea pig of education whereas outside you have people doing the same thing they’ve been doing for years successfully. I can walk in a school and tell you what kind of school it is by the culture I observe. I can look at the board and see if there’s honor roll, look at that honor roll and tell you … you’re killing their motivation, curiosity, interest in education.

Preston Castille: About the BESE board - we’re the state’s top education policy making board. We set policy at the state level, we authorize Type 2 charter schools. There’s different types of charter schools , Types 1-5, as it relates to charter schools being laboratories of innovation and if their techniques were successful moving forward. Type 5s, the state came in and took over schools, converted them to charters with the idea they’d be converted back. A lot of those schools were eventually returned. Type 1s are different. Those are all part of the EBR school district. These are models of choice, like magnet schools, that are part of the school system. If a local school district doesn’t authorize an applicant to be a Type 1, they can apply to BESE to be a Type 2. Charter schools are state authorized and they have different geographic boundaries. Those successes are intended to be learned from by the traditional public school and if they are successful we replicate those. You see some schools replicating here now, Helix, Basis, Idea...when you do have success you build upon it. When you don’t have success you go a different direction. At the end of the day if we’re not serving students well we really aren’t doing our job. All the data can be seen here.

Casey: We had a question in the chat, a concern in the Baton Rouge community is that due to the model of charter schools business leaders have a vested interest in the failure of the public school system. Interested to get the input and insight from leaders on that because it seems to be a pervasive fear in the community.

Preston Castille: I’ve heard this so much about the business community. I think it’s just the opposite. The business community has a vested interest in a strong education system. As someone who has wrecked in business and education for a long time, I think there’s a disconnect.

Carrie Monica: I would double down on what Preston said actually. As I make my way around Baton Rouge and the state whether it’s community leaders, members, parents, non profits...the thing that is consistent among people is they want kids to have what they need to be successful. Unfortunately as we’ve tried new models in Louisiana, how things have been done hasn’t landed well with people. People have kind of taken sides, always trying to make someone else not on the side of kids. I think unfortunately that’s pushed people on these different sides of an issue getting us way far away from what really matters - kids reading on grade level, able to do math, graduating on time, having a credential when they graduate high school. My hope would be that this idea that some people are more or less for kids...I believe we only start to improve outcomes for every kid when we stop having those conversations

Chris Meyer: I would just echo when every school wins for its kids and families we all win. We need every school to be successful. We don’t care what their type is. Neighborhood, traditional, magnet, private, charter...we’re down with helping every school win.

Sherreta Harrison: I’m listening to everyone of these viewpoints and I’m extremely excited to hear this shared idea of what schools are. There is this conversation around low performance and I don’t profess to know exactly what goes into that model...but it occurs to me that when we start to think about data, sometimes numbers don’t accurately capture what something means to a space or a culture. There's this narrative that while maybe not central is adjacent...I wonder about elements that may be missing. I think about parents that I know, that I’ve worked with...not a single one of those parents wants their kids not to succeed but they keep them at a low performing school. What is driving that? Not as simple as parents not understanding or caring or having a choice...I think something else is driving that and needs to be a part of any conversation about revamping the educational landscape in BR and beyond.

Carrie Monica: I actually am more of the mindset that it would be very difficult to force a common definition on every parent of what a quality school looks like. I think as a state we try to identify key metrics and in that has been built this idea of high expectations around academics. When a family is making a decision, I care about safe and nurturing environments, social emotional support there, participating in athletics, etc. there are other things that also matter to parents. Happy to see things like academics as well as supporting and surrounding kids for social and emotional support. This idea of a common definition of quality is tough to get to. How are we thinking about the individual needs of students?

Kevin Guitterrez: From a macro level if we follow the trajectory of our accountability system in LA a big shift we’ve seen is looking at growth, recognizing where schools are, labeling that school, giving it additional resources, making hard calls. The large system has also shifted, recognizing where kids are, what their trajectory is, where they’re going, lifting that up in addition to everything Carrie spoke about. I do believe it’s pivoting to the space you’re alluding to.

Adonica Duggan: What we’ve seen in BR is that wealthier, more informed families have better access to high quality seats. Systems that don’t serve the needs of our most vulnerable students. How are we creating systems that continue to reinforce the problems we have? Would those families be selecting a different option if they had a different option to choose? A lot of families are just not aware.

Esperanza Zenon: I notice that a lot of the discussion today centers around K-12. I live in higher ed. In some form or fashion we eventually reap the benefits of what comes out of K-12. The hope at that point is to prepare themselves for a better life, not just for themselves but also their families. If you look at consistently the level of state funding for higher ed, the level of funding has dropped tremendously. Used to be 80/20, and it’s almost the reverse of what we used to get. Yet we consistently say education is the key to lifting out state. Put your money where your mouth is. If you believe that you’ve got to do it. That starts in the legislative process. When there’s a crunch, the two things we need most, education and health care wind up on the chopping block.

Katie Pritchett: What can we as citizens and organizations do to help, what is the greatest need?

Nolan Marshall: What we need is to move the conversation away from governance and come together to talk about what the children need to succeed. Focus on the needs of the child, developing values and character. We know the answers we’re just unwilling to fund the things that need to be funded. Say it’s important and let these innovators figure out how to address those needs. Perry Sholes: Corporate Internship Leadership Institute is a non-profit focused on internships and leadership development for students of color to provide a pathway to mid and higher wage jobs. Three opportunities right now in BR for rising juniors seniors in college:

Regarding students with special needs:

Adonica Duggan: I think there are a number of schools that do a great job...certainly we need to continue to expand. That’s definitely one area where our students continue to be underserved. There are some innovative models doing that. All of our charter schools do serve students with special needs.

Zoom Chat

08:26:16 From Dominique Dallas to Everyone : Morning, Everyone!

08:27:05 From Laura Siu Nguyen | New Schools for Baton Rouge to Everyone : Good morning everyone!

08:37:19 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : We will open up Q&A at 9:00am. Please drop your questions into the chat today.

08:38:27 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone :

08:43:47 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : that is so awesome!!!

08:43:56 From Laura Siu Nguyen | New Schools for Baton Rouge to Everyone : To learn more about HELIX Community Schools — including HELIX Mentorship STEAM Academy, HELIX Aviation Academy and HELIX Legal Academy.

08:44:18 From Katie Pritchett to Everyone : What a great opportunity for our youth!

08:44:27 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : yes it is

08:44:32 From Susan Rogers to Everyone : Where is the Helix Legal Academy located?

08:45:41 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : what’s the origin in the name, Helix ?

08:46:50 From Preston Castille to Everyone : Helix Legal Academy is co-located in the Mentorship Academy building at 339 Florida Street. Our 6th grade class will occupy the "Penthouse" on the 6th Floor of the building.

08:49:15 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : If anyone has the report from the EBR School Board please share in the chat

08:50:02 From Gerri Hobdy to Everyone : file:///var/mobile/Library/SMS/Attachments/76/06/291B5331-DF12-4B5D-A009-73F97D6EEA5D/EBR%20Transition%20Report.pdf

08:51:24 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Thank you AD and Gerri

08:53:26 From Preston Castille to Everyone : We say that "Innovation is in our DNA" at Helix. While our schools are unique and innovative, we share the same DNA and are one family!

09:05:51 From Katie Pritchett to Everyone : would love to explore this idea of a common definition of quality education further. thoughts on how we go about that?

09:07:14 From Karla King - concerned citizen to Everyone : Thank you Mr. Marshall for your perspective and dedication. So important to have people such as yourself involved.

09:09:04 From Jennifer Dobies to Everyone : Important to consider how does this definition of quality education extend to students who receive and/or should be receiving special education services.

09:13:20 From Reggie-Gardere Initiative to Everyone : What charter and private school models can be transferred to public school for improvement? I think School Boards should assess principals based on their training, development and assessment of teachers' ability to ensure students learn critical thinking at every level. --- If a school has been underperforming for 30 years or even for 5 years, that indicates there is no or very little supervision, training, development and assessment.

09:14:52 From Christian Engle-YMCA of the Capital Area to Everyone : I think partnerships with local nonprofits is paramount. Their is an expertise we provide that can compliment the work. At the Y, we continue to support youth during their virtual environments/summer/afterschool/food insecurity/education. We need to ensure that we are "hand-in-hand" and not working in conflict. It benefits the community and the student if these partnerships with non-profits grow. No one entity can do this alone.

09:17:49 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Got you Trey

09:17:51 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Then Reggie

09:18:12 From Preston Castille to Everyone : Christian, you are so right. No one can do it alone. The more partners we have the better...

09:21:29 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone : So much love for what Trey lifted's the role of the board to recognize and react to both success and challenges.

09:21:48 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : The original model of charters was that they would be laboratories of innovation that if their techniques were successful it would be incorporated into the public school system. When did this stop being the goal? Also how charters are in East Baton Rouge Parish, how many are BESE chartered and how many are locally chartered? What are the total enrollment and what percentage is special needs students?

09:28:44 From SHERRETA HARRISON to Everyone : I am soaking up all of these view points and would like to lift up that "hard" data is only one side of the story. We would do well to consider the human aspect of data in which numbers and facts only go so far. People have attachments, maybe even dependencies, on schools even as they perform below a standard that serves the students. "low performance" may be measured in a way that may not capture a certain significant aspect of educational institutions.

09:28:54 From Preston Castille to Everyone : Rev Anderson: To find the list and number of local and BESE authorized charter schools, please see You can also find the enrollment numbers for each of the schools. I can comment further about the other questions.

09:29:46 From Aimee Moles to Everyone : your weeks are the roots!

09:30:28 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone : Chris alluded to some rich information/data from Tulane's Cowen's the link

09:30:29 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone :

09:31:34 From Rinaldi Jacobs Sr to Everyone : follow the money. TX pushing funding from affluent districts to less resourced districts

09:34:06 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone : Inviting anyone here to email me at to talk more/get involved in CBLA

09:36:46 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Sherreta you are up next

09:36:50 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Then Esperanza

09:36:59 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Thank you everyone. Must get off. Have a wonderful day.

09:40:42 From Karla King - concerned citizen to Everyone : I have to relay a comment from a long time public school teacher/educator. Her main frustration has been knowing that many public school teachers are working in order to send their children to PRIVATE schools. Her view comes from several parishes, as she works with visually impaired students within different schools. I don't present this against teachers, just to point out this out.

09:42:25 From Perry Sholes to Everyone :

09:44:44 From Perry Sholes to Everyone : Corporate Internship Leadership Institute has Internship opportunities for College Students of Color in Baton Rouge. 2 Local companies for Summer 2021. Students can apply to

09:44:52 From Chris Meyer to Everyone : Thanks Casey and everyone; I’ve got to jump. Excited to continue the conversation and work with you all to give every kid access to a great school.

09:45:04 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Thank you Chris!

09:46:02 From Katie Pritchett to Everyone : So what can we as citizens and organizations do to help? What is the greatest need?

09:46:41 From Preston Castille to Everyone : Hi Everyone - I have to join another meeting. Great discussion.

09:46:56 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Thank you Preston!

09:47:15 From Dustin LaFont@FYB to Everyone : Thanks for the dialogue. Excellent panel. I appreciate Sherreta's questions. Mr. Nolan also touched on the other layers of student and family progress. My question is how do we curate a culture for learning and value for education? I've taught at high performing school where mental and emotional health was still a problem.

09:47:27 From SHERRETA HARRISON to Everyone : I appreciate each of those perspectives.

09:47:56 From Christopher Spalatin to Everyone : So great to hear from everyone - we gotta get this right!

09:49:04 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Katie your question next

09:49:06 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Then Dustin

09:49:12 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Then Jenn (sorry for missing your question earlier)

09:49:49 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Amen Sister!!

09:50:06 From Katie Pritchett to Everyone : You can skip mine if the responses will take too long. I can follow up later.

09:52:13 From Christian Engle-YMCA of the Capital Area to Everyone : I have to get on another call...We are happy to be a part of this conversation. There are 1000s of examples of YMCA/School partnerships to improve communities and education.

09:52:59 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone : A few thoughts about the current question...expand the strategic partnerships with school (like what Mr. Castille lifted up), join local charter boards, and support EBR's district role as a portfolio district by pointing resources and training a close to students as possible

09:53:14 From Adonica Duggan to Everyone : We need an engaged set of community leaders focused on education. We have to pay attention. In addition, this call is a testament to the power of collective impact. We all have a role to play in coming around schools and providing them with support.

09:53:52 From Reneec’s iPhone to Everyone : Great discussion. Thanks for the engagement.

09:54:54 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone : I appreciate being here today...shifting to my next meeting. Looking forward to continuing to engage on this weekly call!

09:55:42 From Esperanza Zenon to Everyone : I emailed you Mr. Sholes

09:56:30 From Reggie-Gardere Initiative to Everyone : In reference to why parents keep kids in failing schools. - Some parents in poverty send their kids to schools expecting the experts (college educated, certified) to do their job, while the parent works 2 or 3 minimal wage jobs over 14-16 hours a day, put food on the table, do the laundry and maintain the household. It is hard for these parents to do home tasks and do the educators job. -- Community organizations are doing some of this work to close the gap.

09:56:54 From Karla King - concerned citizen to Everyone : If students are happy in school, they stay in school. If students are happy in school, their parents will be involved. Students ideas, thoughts and concerns seem to be lost or even neglected at the tables that concern their welfare.

09:58:35 From Kelli Rogers to Everyone : Thanks everyone! Great discussion this morning.

09:58:48 From Jen (she/her) to Everyone : Thanks y'all - important and hard conversations!

09:59:03 From SHERRETA HARRISON to Everyone : Great call!

09:59:13 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : great meeting !

09:59:36 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : every child in school should and must READ

09:59:37 From Karla King - concerned citizen to Everyone : Thank you everyone for today's informative discussion.

10:00:28 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Corporate Internship Leadership Institute has Internship opportunities for College Students of Color in Baton Rouge. 2 Local companies for Summer 2021. Students can apply to

10:01:06 From Lou Guthrie to Everyone : Juniors in college - they don't have to have a degree yet.


'Black Futures: A Sankofa Series’

Meeting Notes Prepared by Zoe Haddad (Walls Project)

Raymond Jetson Chief Executive Catalyst, MetroMorphosis

We sought to situate Black history in a different way this year. We started the conversation around creating a document focused on Black History in Baton Rouge titled “Black Baton Rouge: Yesterday and Today”. The motivation behind creating the document was to create a “Sankofa” moment. Sankofa, with roots in Ghanaian culture, is at its heart a careful investigation of the past in order to understand the present and gain knowledge for the future. We believe that any meaningful effort and positive impact, particularly in the inner city neighborhoods, has to be rooted in knowledge of the course of events that led to the current state

This document is not intended to be a complete and exhausted retelling of the history of Black people in Baton Rouge, rather a broad slice that could be multiplied many times over. It is not a finished document: we put it out in hopes that people will take it and add to it, that community members, history buffs, educational and religious and community based organizations will take it and add to it where there are gaps and engage with it - it is not just for reading. The back of the document has engagement guides for families, churches, schools, businesses, community based organizations to stimulate engagement and interaction with the document

The great pleasure of this is that I got to connect with Dr. Lori Martin (Professor of Sociology & African and African American Studies, LSU) and Chris Tyson (CEO at Build Baton Rouge/Newman Trowbridge Distinguished Professor of Law, LSU), two wonderful individuals engaged in the work because of past experience.

In 2016 when MetroMorphosis prepared to begin the urban congress on African American males we thought that the experiences of black boys and men needed to be situated in history and Chris wrote a brief document for us on Black history. I had the opportunity to partner with Dr. Lori Martin on a book on South Baton Rouge. I’d like to welcome her to the conversation. I want to ask, what is it about this work that caused you to give it your time, to bring it to life?

Dr. Lori Martin: I think it’s really important for people to understand the history of a place and for individuals and families and communities to understand their place in the world. This document provides us with opportunities to fill in the gaps and share some information about the history of Black people and Baton Rouge that some people who are new to Baton Rouge or who have lived here their entire lives and didn’t have any knowledge of. The educational system is not necessarily as diverse as we’d like it to be. This info may not be found contemporarily or historically within the curriculum throughout Baton Rouge and the state. It’s an important service and reminder that education happens in so many places. It’s our hope that this document will be used by community based organizations including faith based institutions and community centers as well as schools and afterschool programs and within families to share the rich history of Black people in Baton Rouge and to imagine what the future can look like based on the triumphs and tragedies of those before us.

Raymond Jetson: To that end, it’s been an interesting month with this document. We’ve had a community conversation in Scotlandville, a community conversation in South Baton Rouge, the NAACP did a conversation on activism in the community around the document, we’ve had more than 20 churches within the community use the document to support their Black history programming. Over the course of the month, you, Chris and I had the opportunity last weekend to do a library streamed event, and as I was walking outside this morning on the news they were talking about the EBR parish school system doing their virtual Black history program today for all 6-12 schools using this document as a motivation for it. When you look at the activity around this document, what do you think?

Lori Martin: I think it’s wonderful and I hope it will serve as a model for other school districts in and outside of Louisiana to see the merit and significance of including Black history through the year, not just in February. It’s important for Black students and other students to see themselves in the material and to make connections to what they are learning in the classroom and how it might impact the broader society. It’s really wonderful that the EBR school districts are recognizing the Black history in the area and more broadly. I really hope it challenges more people to do the same and not just at the elementary schools. We were advocating this even at LSU, and LSU is not the only place where people have tried to get Black history required or to at least have enrichment activities. I hope it creates a firestorm of interest in Black history both locally and nationally.

Raymond Jetson: Before I dive into some of the elements of the work with you, I want to ask a perspective question. You and Chris come from different views. Dr. Martin, you came to Baton Rouge to work at LSU. It was new to you. Chris was born here, went off and came back...I want to ask you Dr. Martin, as someone who came to this community, what did you learn looking into the history of Black people in Baton Rouge. What stood out to you? And Chris, after Dr. Martin, as someone who grew up here?

Lori Martin I came to Baton Rouge in 2013 and one of the first things I did was go to the museums to get an understanding about the history of this place I’d be calling home. Recognized an underrepresentation of Black people in a lot of the exhibits. I would say some of the things that stood out to me were the creation of Brooks Park, to look at the way that Black people throughout the area tried to declare that Black lives matter by calling for the integration of swimming pools here, paying for the pools but couldn’t enjoy them. Points to Black people being able to support each other even when not in agreement, some people wanted to create their own pools, some said let's integrate, and ultimately despite the differences settled on creating their own pool but decided to support one another.

The Baton Rouge Bus Boycott really stood out to me and I tried to raise awareness around that. We know the Montgomery boycott is credited with transforming modern civil rights in the United States and beyond. The Baton Rouge Boycott happened years before the one in Montgomery and helped make Montgomery successful, it’s a story that should be told more widely.

Chris Tyson: First of all, I think it’s important to recognize that this is Black history month and we’ve created something to celebrate and uplift Baton Rouge’s Black history - nationally we know there’s no worthwhile retelling of American history without understanding of race. We see the issues and conflict across all areas driven by our history of racism, white supremacy, slavery, all of that. When we look at Baton Rouge or any city, we know that these frames of analysis, understanding how race is operating, are often marginal narratives. Finding ways to center those not only tells us about the achievements of Black Americans, or the role of Black history, it tells us everything about this place, our shared history across race and class and geography. Growing up here and thinking about this history, and seeing the city through adult eyes and realizing so much of this history is unfolding around me and when I think of the school desegregation case, one of the longest running school desegregation cases in the nation, forced bussing starts in 1981, the year I start first grade. The spatial reordering of this city begins over the subsequent decades - suburbanization, the division of north and south baton rouge and the urban core of the city, the ways we have racialized space in this city. That is tied to this history of desegregation, that is taking up a significant chunk of this city’s modern history. I look at my own life and how much has happened in that time and how that continues to have implications on the community we live in.

Raymond Jetson:: Chris you raised the issue of education and that is certainly a rich subject for this #OneRouge coalition, but I would position it and like to hear your of the consistent things I see in “Black Baton Rouge: Yesterday and Today” is a consistent pattern of resilience, innovation, initiative, creative ways to respond to the challenges faced by people in this city. No place is that richer than education. The deseg suit is one glimpse of that but then you go back even further to the Hickory School which ultimately became McKinley...when you think about education in Baton Rouge through the eyes of Black people, what is it that folks on this call should be mindful of?

Lori Martin: When we think about education we hear people say education is the great equalizer, the key to success. Education is also responsible for perpetuating social and racial inequalities. Studies show that especially during time periods where Black people didn’t have a lot of options and were segregated into certain schools, they also had the benefit of Black educators committed to their success. People in their community, who knew their parents, attended the same types of social organizations and believed every child deserves an excellent education. Scholars argue those things were lost in integration along with resources. As we think about how do we reimagine education today, we don’t want to blame individuals exclusively and say that parents are not interested and kids are not motivated, we need to look at the ways systems are structured, how we finance education, and how to make that more equitable and look at issues that center race. I recognize that it’s not popular, some people get real sensitive and try to use fear and intimidation to shut down important conversations. We have to continue to speak truth to power and work in the best interest of all our children.

Chris Tyson: I think we sometimes take for granted that we belong to a community that has had such rich and impactful educational institutions as Baton Rouge has had. Leland College, Southern University, McKinley, Capitol High...These are institutions that are led by Black professionals at a time where that is not common in the Deep South. They are producing teachers and educated people to then go and participate in the economy and society, that is not happening widely in the Deep South. Baton Rouge is a special place in having claim to that kind of history. When we think about community institutions in Black communities, we’re talking largely about churches and schools. We should be proud that we are home to the legacy of Southern University and we should want to know more about Leland College. That’s an area we should pursue more, my grandmother attended Leland so I’ve known about it through her, but there are so many in this community who don’t know that there were two HBCU in Baton Rouge at one time. Celebrating those institutions underscores the agency, creativity, self determination and innovation of Black folks against unspeakable and unimaginable odds.

Raymond Jetson: The racial impact around space in this community can be pointed back directly to the 1981 Forced Busing and some other decisions that were made. One of the things we really hope that’s rooted in this Sankofa concept is understanding present realities based upon things that have happened in the past. Looking at neighborhoods where Black people have lived in Baton Rouge over generations, there are these events that lead to some of the things we see today. The interstate system being brought into the community, other decisions around education and busing...what are some of those moments that you believe help people understand the reality that is lingering today?

Chris Tyson: As you mentioned in most communities of any size in Mid Century America, the interstate system, a federal highway project financed 90% by the federal government with all the decision making on siting and location devolved to the local level. In the 1950s that meant we designed this with the goal of perpetuating white supremacy and Jim Crow, marginalizing Black people. Where Black people reside is the lowest value property...that continues today and you can trace former Black communities in virtually every city that benefited from Eisenhower’s Highway Act by following the path of their interstates and Baton Rouge is no expectation. When construction begins, and it begins before Eisenhower’s Act and is accelerated by the bridge to College Drive as that first major phase, we spliced through Valley Park. If you read the articles from the 60s when the bulk of construction was underway, they talked about kids having to hopscotch across the new interstate crossing the Valley Park interstate because it bisected the neighborhood. We know that home ownership is the path to middle class status in this country because of government design. The federal creation of a national system of housing was racially exclusive by design. 98% of loans underwritten to borrowers between 1934-1960 went to white borrowers, people who get to build wealth and families, transfer that wealth to future generations and we know that black skin is a devaluing factor in real estate value. When we look at all of these things and understand their intergenerational impact to today we have to understand that history in order to comprehend what’s going on around us lest we make flawed prescriptions based on the wrong conclusions, that somehow what we see in the modern metropolis is the result of people’s pathological poor decision making. As Dr. Martin has said, there’s no “urban crisis”, these things are logical results from what we could expect from previous policy and legal regimes that have given us the city we have. That’s what we have to work to repair. Certainly with interstates, we understand it with housing as well. We see those impacts today.

Lori Martin: When I was working on my Masters at Buffalo one of the best exercises we did at the Center for Urban Studies was to literally walk around different communities and notice different examples of the impact of industrialization, where public transport was located, to think critically about why public buses weren’t allowed on certain sides of the highway, why a woman lost her life trying to get across six lanes of highway to get to work in the winter in Buffalo...Members of the dominant racial group didn’t want Black people in “their space” and a lot of that is happening in Baton Rouge as well. When I teach at LSU, the environment around the campus provides very teachable moments. When you walk around south Baton Rouge you can see where streets literally end and there’s I10. What does that mean? What did the community look like before? What might the community look like if that didn’t happen? Why was this community particularly vulnerable to that and why does this idea of “not in my back yard” only apply to some people? I love studying racial inequality and wealth, not only looking at the role of public policies like lending but also looking at private practices. Community groups got together and said don’t sell your house to Black people. That was the agreement and we need to recognize that and the legacy of racial wealth inequality. To go back further than the 1930s, Black people literally went from being assets to becoming asset owners. There are few groups who have had to make that leap. You have to center race because people are not impacted in the same way which is why I’ve expressed concerns about programs that are universal in nature, such as baby bonds...that’s nice but it’s not going to narrow the racial wealth gap in Baton Rouge.

Raymond Jetson: In the Akan tribe in Ghana, at the heart of Sankofa, there is a translation that it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind. For me, one of the things I am most proud of in this document is there are some memories of some really important people that otherwise would be at risk of being left behind. One, Gus Young was my great uncle. We have Gus Young Avenue, Gus Young Park...If you were to ask 10 people in the Eden Park neighborhood I grew up in “Who was Gus Young” you’d probably get 10 different answers. In 1932 being one of three black people to register to vote, the much other rich work is at risk of being left behind. Horatio Thompson, the first Black millionaire in this community, tremendous businessman and philanthropist. These are the important pillars in this community that we risk leaving behind if we don’t do moments like this. Dr. Martin, any names stand out for you?

Lori Martin: Johnnie Jones and Eddie Robinson are two that come to mind. Johnny Jones is a local legend for his role in a number of protests. He graduated from law school and was immediately thrust into all these historic battles. He dedicated his life to trying to make this a more just society. Eddie Robinson is a legendary coach from South Baton Rouge. I had a conversation with one of the teams at LSU and most of them did not know who that was. Sometimes we assume that people don’t know about it because institutions aren’t teaching them but there’s also a generational challenge. We have a responsibility to continue lifting up these names.

Chris Tyson: In addition to names, I really want to have stories that are known. I want people to know the story of the Southern University students and the sit-ins and the cost and consequences of that. I want people to know the story of Brooks Park, to sit with what it meant that local government removed an amenity from the entire community lest you have to share it with those you don’t want to. There are other stories that I want us to tell, and for everyone to tell. That information lies in the places and spaces and structures that make up who we are today. When communities know their stories they have great pride in their community.

Raymond Jetson: On the first of February we kicked off the Black Futures - notice we called it that instead of Black history because we believe what’s important is learning from our history to shape our future. We kicked it off with a Zoom call with Jason Roberts at the Baton Rouge African American History Museum and we dedicated the first paper copy of this document to the museum in honor of our dear sister Sadie Roberts Joseph. Sankofa was Sadie’s way of life. She had made the comment “you need to step back into your past in order to leap into your future”. We dedicate this effort and moment to Sadie Roberts Joseph who gave her life calling us to understand our history.

Rinaldi Jacobs: There will be a new African American Museum that will come about here in Baton Rouge - Mayor Broome has donated a building allowing the family of Sadie Roberts Joseph to move the museum to a new spot right on St. Louis St. I think Miss Sadie is smiling down on us from heaven but is also saying get to work. We will certainly make an effort to make it a jewel of downtown.

Reverend Anderson: I wanted to point out that this highlights why street naming is so important. There is a legacy that can be established. I had hoped that all the names submitted for the renaming of Lee High School, the stories would also be released to be a teaching moment and that didn’t really pan out. One of the things about having the conversation about street names is that the stories have to go along with why names are being put out there. I had a question as well specifically about what Chris talked about with the interstate highway history, if he might talk about connecting the dots of what that means to us in today’s world of redistricting and particularly prison gerrymandering

Chris Tyson: The connection between the interstate system and redistricting, how neighborhoods are defined, how we map over the political district the issues is that it reflects segregation. You tend to have clusters of Black people and other POC spatially concentrated. Still is an issue although we see emerging conversations concerned about this clustering. Backing away from super majority districts is a way to ensure that all candidates have to vie for those folks.

Reverend Anderson: When you were talking about the methodology of the interstates and the limited thinking that went into those developments and huge consequences, in Louisiana as we get to redistricting, we have a huge problem with prison gerrymandering which is the intersection of our mass incarceration system with taking Black bodies and turning them back into assets. They are counted in communities they do not live in. Are there lessons to be learned from the experience with the interstate that we should be putting toward this work now?

Raymond Jetson: What you just mentioned is the mindfulness we need to have. When we look at the geography of Louisiana and many of the rural prisons where you have overwhelmingly African American bodies taken from urban communities and relocated to prisons in rural areas, they are counted and representation is attached to those communities and lost in the communities where they were removed from. That is the mindfulness necessary in this moment.

Lori Martin: In the early 1990s in northeastern New York, we used to say that there were more cows than people in some of those counties near the Canadian border. But there were also a lot of prisons. Many of the people living with HIV/AIDS were being housed in rural communities and being counted in those places and resources were being funneled to those places. Demands for prisons to be built in rural communities as a source of economic development. It’s important to have this information about how this is functioning in Baton Rouge but also to connect it historically with other communities. People think you’re “pulling the race card” when in actuality you’re stating the fact and you have to continue to do that even when people don’t want to hear it.

Gerri Hobdy: It’s important as we celebrate, recognize, rediscover these historic sites that we pursue listing on the National Register McKinley, Eddie Robinson historical districts, be sure the protections of the Federal Historic Preservation Act of 106 are at play and that sites that are of significant for architectural or historical significance really do need to be listed. The historic preservation officer, Nicole Hobson-Morris, is African American and lives in Mid City so I’m sure she would welcome nominations that come forward. When you try to get something on the national register, you have to have a bit of money or hire a preservationist to do that, but our state is one that wisely has allowed staff to assist in the preparation of nominations. I encourage everyone to visit the ethnic listings on the national database to see what is listed and what is missing. I also want to mention that the Power Coalition is offering workshops - three day trainings - in redistricting. Train others as we begin to understand some of the more complex issues like Raymond and Chris discussed. The next one will be in May. There are a limited number of seats but visit the Power Coalition's website if you are interested.

Trey Godfrey: Quick message to affirm the work of MetroMorphosis. 100 Black Men National has about 100,000 mentees nationwide. In 1995, my dad who was on the National Board at the time, said our kids need to know our history and it’s our responsibility to make sure that they do. So the 100 National created the National African American History Challenge which pits mentees from each of the 102 chapters against each other in a national competition that surrounds Black history. I’ve been in conversation with our national chair this week because the National board just voted to rename that competition the Brace B. Godfrey, Jr. African American History Competition. In that process he sent me a document that my father wrote in 1995 about the creation of this program. I wanted to share a couple quotes because it really gets at the heart of what you have created in this effort:

One great writer has observed, never in history has a deprived people gone to those in power and said please teach my children my history. It is a responsibility of family, community, and culture to teach it’s history and keep it alive. To emphasize the fact that it is not taught or deemed important elsewhere is a fruitless venture. To expend the same energy and zeal in an effort to ensure that our children know who they are and from whence they come is evidence of our wisdom.

Raymond Jetson: I’m thrilled to hear of the naming of the program after my dear friend Brace, and thank you

for the work you do with young people and men in our community.

Chris Tyson: Thank you to MetroMorphosis for creating this space and taking on this charge, for corralling us. I’ve been with MetroMorphosis since its founding and I’m very proud of it. Thank you Casey for making space for this as well.

Lori Martin: I just want to say to continue to support each other to transform communities from within. Oftentimes there are folks working against you. Those texts and emails that say I see what you’re doing and I support you...that encouragement means a lot more than people think.

Raymond Jetson: I will just wrap up by saying a couple of weekends ago there was a conversation at the McKinley Alumni Center with a group of people from south Baton Rouge talking about this document. Watching the Zoom call was my dear friend Byron Washington and some people from Scotlandville who had kicked off their conversation. while listening to the conversation of south Baton Rouge, Byron Washington put in the chat “We from Scotlandville need to sit and talk with the folks in North Baton Rouge and look at ways we can support one another.” That moment made this entire month worth it for me because the document became a platform for people connecting to shape a more vibrant future in Baton Rouge.

Casey Phillips: Before I turn it over to Mr. Goodwin, I wanted to talk about some action steps that individuals on this call that run organizations or are in leadership positions...the document has been referenced several times as an education piece and I don’t want people to get the thought in their head that it’s a K-12 education piece. At the Walls, we’re making this document essential reading for our Board of Directors and all our staff next month. There’s also a gentleman named Robert Blue who will come to your organization for cultural competency training. I did put the link in the chat to buy cannot move to a more equitable future if you do not read your history. Another good way to continue this momentum is to economically support African American creators and businesses. Mr. Jonathon Brown aka Skinny Dope did the mural behind me. I encourage everybody to go to Scotlandville for the Scotlandville Saturday’s. Go and observe the Scenic Highway open public art museum that we did in 2018 in partnership with CADAV and Scotlandville CDC. We did over 45 murals down Scenic Highway that document the history of Baton Rouge.

Georquel Goodwin: Thank you for the history of Baton Rouge, it was a breath of fresh air as a transplant not really understanding the history. I’m a 2020 Govern for American fellow and I work at the Dept. of Education and recently had the pleasure of attending the CROWN Academy and it was a remarkable experience in terms of how the census is going to apply to redistricting and how Louisiana is going to play a very big role as far as this Southern political revolution that’s beginning. I recommend reaching out to Ashley Shelton with the Power Coalition. They just talked about the Prison Pipeline and how that has an effect in that manner. Political awareness and advocacy they push as well with how to maneuver on social media and set up these grass root meetings with communities. If you have questions after, I’ll drop my email so you can reach out.

Gwen Hamilton: New Schools for Baton Rouge will be at Southern Cofe on Saturday from 10-noon and then at Scotlandville Saturday from 1-4 at the Scotlandville Plaza.

Rodneyna Hart: We’ve got the Smithsonian’s Negro Motorist Green Book exhibition coming to the Capitol Park Museum in the fall. I would love to have as many community partners as possible. We just received from the curator of the exhibition all the historic Green Book sites that were in any of the books and we want to make a souvenir catalog that chronicles these different locations. We’re working with a couple different people right now looking at GeoTags, we are looking for ways to make this not a passive experience but something active and meaningful that grows and emphasizes our history. We don’t want to do anything in a silo. That museum should be inspirational, aspirational, and most of all relevant. If it’s not relevant, we need to know that. I’m going to put all my information in the chat and thank you for this platform and opportunity.

Luke St. John: In real time we’re still supporting Humanities Amped. They've taken part by holding several intergenerational conversations from elders who have and are still serving as Civil Rights leaders in the community. We just finished a conversation with Myra Richardson and Maxine Crump...that is still happening in real time. The stream is happening live on YouTube as well. Afterwards is going to be a space for some of the Humanities Amped Youth Artists to share poetry after the conversations and what the document meant to them. That’s going to be happening today. On March 4th, the Mayor’s office under Safe Hopeful Healthy Initiative is launching the My Brother’s Keeper campaign with the focus of identifying structural gaps that negatively impact the opportunities of black boys and men here in Baton Rouge. There is a national alliance the Mayor’s office is tapping into that we would like to bring locally to Baton Rouge.

Kelli Rogers: We have an intern who has been working this month on a dating violence campaign for us and has created a survey. Here is the link if any of you work with youth so she can collect that data for her project

Zoom Chat

08:33:22 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : ‘Black Baton Rouge Yesterday and Today’ :

08:33:33 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Good Morning- How Awesome !!

08:41:06 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Greetings Chris, thank you for joining the conversation today!

08:45:51 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Amen

08:45:54 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : ‘Scotlandville (Images of America)’ by Dr. Rachel L. Emanuel :

08:46:35 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone : Please visit Capitol Park Museum, we highlight more inclusisive stoires than other museums. And there is a section on our Civil Rights advances in Louisiana.

08:46:37 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : ‘South Baton Rouge (Images of America)’ by Dr. Lori Latrice Martin & Raymond Jetson :

08:47:59 From Michael "AV" Mitchell to Everyone : The ULDI, Urban Leaders Development Initiative gave a great glimpse into the history of Baton Rouge. We all grew during that experience. Thanks Chris and Dr Martin for sharing with us.

08:56:16 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : I agree - Leland College - Groom Road, paved the way for many

09:00:34 From Dexter Jackson to Everyone : I have lived here for all of my (almost) 32 years of life and I have NEVER heard of Leland collage. Wow. Thank you for sharing that.

09:01:03 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : We know redistricting is about to occur. How does the lessons of the history of interstate system apply especially relating to prison gerrymandering?

09:02:30 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : There is also a Leland Community even today

09:04:43 From Tom Donley to Everyone : Thank you all for the discussion. I wish I didn't have to jump off this call. I have so many questions: Specifically surrounding private school's roles in continuing the inequities of the community. Merci à tous!

09:05:11 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : .... and still we fight on!!

09:09:02 From Dustin LaFont@FYB to Everyone : Thank you for this excellent Panel and dialogue! This is powerful and I hope continues to be shared. We need this in our highschool academic curriculum!

09:09:03 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : 'Fear of a Black Planet' Turns 30: Rock Musicians Reflect on the Potency of Public Enemy's Third LP :

09:09:14 From Rinaldi Jacobs Sr to Everyone : sadie robert joseph

09:09:35 From Terina Washington to Everyone : Thank you for sharing those names Dr. Martin.

09:09:55 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Rev. Betty Claiborne

09:10:03 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : yes!!!

09:10:04 From Karla King - concerned citizen to Everyone : Please add names and stories of the women too.

09:10:45 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Sadie Roberts Joseph

09:11:26 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Jewell J Newman

09:12:30 From Casey Phillips : Please put any questions for Dr. Martin, Mr. Tyson & Mr. Jetson in the chat

09:12:36 From Rinaldi Jacobs Sr to Everyone : Dr. Angela Machen and Pat LeDuff daughter and niece of Ms. Sadie have been given a new space by Mayor Broome to have the Baton Rouge African American Museum on St. Louis St

09:12:46 From Jen Tewell (she/her) to Everyone : Thanks y'all. Headed to the next meeting. Grateful for this group.

09:12:58 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : So glad to hear that!

09:13:48 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Thank You guys fir that!

09:14:13 From Shavon Knighten to Everyone : yes thanks! this was amazing!

09:14:47 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Yes, thank you Rinaldi

09:16:11 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : The Stories are equally important to our community

09:19:16 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone : So much love for the stories that come along with the renaming conversation. This article broaches those stories in the process that New Orleans is currently engaged in

09:20:19 From Judith Rhodes to Everyone : Thank you, Rev. Jetson and Dr. Martin. This is a wonderful conversation. I'm off to a staff meeting. Blessing.

09:22:46 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Absolutely. This a great project to include our young folks.

09:23:39 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : The next Power Coalition is May 5th I think.

09:23:59 From Rinaldi Jacobs Sr to Everyone : byron Washington is doing this work in North BR q

09:24:13 From Orhan Mc Millan - He/Him/His to Everyone : Such great, valuable and connective information. Thank you all for presenting this.

09:24:58 From Georquel Goodwin to Everyone : Just completed the CROWN Academy Gerri with the Power Coalition ! Would love to give more information or support if interested.

09:25:40 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : I would love to hear about the CROWN Academy.

09:27:32 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : I wanted to remind everyone that there are leaders in Justice work like Pat Smith who helped shepherd the voting rights for formerly incarcerated persons.

09:28:43 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : a name to for sure to remember- thanks Trey

09:29:37 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Thank You! Thank You! MUCH needed !!!!

09:31:51 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Thank You Byron W!! Scotland Saturday Tomorrow!! please join us!!

09:34:49 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Thank You Casey! YES

09:34:56 From Lindi Spalatin to Everyone : Thank you!

09:35:29 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone : This is brilliant, thank you all for keeping these narratives in contemporary life.

09:35:31 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Thanks Casey, Rev Jetson, Dr Martin and Chris for the great presentation

09:36:17 From Support Black Art | @skinnydope_


Art by @SkinnyDope_ to Everyone : Ashley Shelton <>

09:39:33 From Gerri Hobdy to Everyone : Casey maybe one of the CROWD Fellows can present a redistricting presentation for this group.

09:39:45 From Support Black Art | @skinnydope_


Art by @SkinnyDope_ to Everyone : Great idea Gerri

09:40:14 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone : 225-229-3389,

09:40:35 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Good morning, everyone. The East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition is co-hosting a major conversation called Mapping Injustice 101: Incarceration and Reentry Part 3 on Thursday, March 4, 2021 from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on the Facebook page EBRPPRC

09:41:00 From Terina Washington to Everyone : Thank you Casey

09:41:32 From SHERRETA HARRISON to Everyone : Yes, thank you Luke!!!

09:42:20 From Terina Washington to Everyone : Humanities AmpedHumanities Amped

You can drop in at any time. Right now, Myra Richardson and Maxine Crump are interviewing each other!

09:43:54 From Georquel Goodwin to Everyone : Great idea Gerri! If the fellows are unavailable, I think the content is downloadable as well and we potentially could provide at next meeting.

09:44:10 From Shavon Knighten to Everyone : Thanks Casey!

09:46:16 From Patrick Tuck to Everyone : Thanks for our weekly class! Love this group!

09:46:19 From Alfredo Cruz to Everyone : Terrific discussion today. thanks again!


‘Future of Industry’

Meeting Notes Prepared by Zoe Haddad (Walls Project)

Sarah Haneline (Workforce Development Manager, BASF Corporation)

  • Work for BASF in Louisiana, we are the leading chemical company in the world

  • One of our sites here in Louisiana is the largest manufacturing sites in North America

  • Create a lot of different products that go into products you use every day like cleaning wipes, laundry detergent, tennis shoes, lots of things that impact your life on a daily basis

  • What I want to talk about today is generally what we think about when we think about workforce development

  • Long term continuum, from when a child starts school to when they retire and everything in between

  • As we think about the future, we’re doing a lot of work to prepare students for future jobs and training employees as things change

  • Operators specifically (link) and how that role has evolved over the last several decades, really good example of how STEM has shifted a role that everyone is familiar with...operators are what keep our plants going, they’re the ones making the products and without them we wouldn’t be able to operate

  • We have people at BASF who, when they started 30,40 years ago, what they did as an operator looked like a completely different job from what they do today all because of technology

  • As technology has shifted, the skill sets we look for have shifted as well

  • As we look to the future, the technical skills like using technology, understanding how chemical processes work, the stuff you learn in school is very important but the skills you learn in a less formal way are equally important: essential skills, soft skills, foundational skills you need for any job - communication, team work, troubleshooting, people willing to fail and try something new

  • Can't tell you what jobs will look like in the future, but we will always need people. But what those people are capable of doing, or what we need to train them to do, will evolve.

David Dartez (Senior Labor Advisor, ExxonMobil)

  • Been with Exxon 34 years, from Louisiana, educated at SU

  • For ExxonMobil, most of you probably know our history, how long we’ve been here

  • 5 facilities here, primarily in north Baton Rouge and Port Allen, that includes our refinery the 5th largest in the US

  • We've got approximately 6,000 contractors here in Baton Rouge, have been mostly able to maintain that number over 2020

  • In the world of chemicals, there’s lots of things we don’t always realize comes from processing oil and natural gas - fuel, plasticizers (produce plastic for Hasbro, frisbees and hula hoops)

  • COVID-19 had a big impact on our industry - oil and gas is very depressed but we still need it

  • This past week illustrates the need for power - we generate power by burning oil and natural gas

  • That bottom line says we’re still going to need jobs to process these things needed to maintain the quality of life we have

  • Outlook for Energy: A perspective to 2040: the outlook for energy, no matter what side of the fence you are on about moving to modern methods of energy production - solar, wind, electric - by 2040 the statistics still say oil and gas will supply more than 50% of power (today it’s about 55%, so there’s a slight decline but not much)

  • Despite loss of jobs in the refinery sector over the past decade, in Baton Rouge we’ve consistently maintained the job force here, largely unimpacted, very fortunate and really proud to say we are still hiring

  • As the role of technology changes, It’s important we find the right people to capitalize the technology and run these plants in a safe and efficient way

  • Great news, capital investment is key to sustaining our organization, huge investment we need to keep our refinery competitive and employing people here in Baton Rouge, we really appreciate the support we need from the school board last night

  • North Baton Rouge Industrial Training Initiative - partnership with BRCC, since 2012, we’ve graduated 330 students in that program. Even in 2020 we hired six students from the program, for the first time brought them in as interns and then ultimately flipped those to permanent positions for the individuals that qualified

  • Do want to shout out our industry partners like Turner Industries, ISC, Triad, Jacobs - they’ve been partners with us since the program was initiated, brought the lion's share of individuals from the program into their organizations

  • Minority owned businesses are needed to help us with this refinery and competitive industry project. There was a forum we hosted yesterday, Kelly Welch mentioned we’re going to try to do that again in May

  • We do want to engage and bring in more minority suppliers to help with these investments

  • Apply for jobs at Exxon - actively hiring (great jobs, annually a little over $90k a year)

Coalition Questions

Casey Phillips: In 2025 to 2050, is technology replacing or changing jobs?

Dave Dartez: Probably a little bit of both, primarily changing jobs. If you look at the evolution of technology just in the past thirty years, highly computerized, automated type facilities, that drives an ability for maintaining that structure. We talk about it all the time, safety is paramount. It probably will long term replace some jobs, but over the next several years it’s changing the way jobs are performed.

Casey Phillips: Being that BASF is located in Geismar and we saw the ripple effect of what happened with the Shell refinery in Convent and the hit that that’s had in St. James Parish, can you maybe speak to the outdated facilities and the issues that can pose in the capital region?

Sarah Haneline: All of our companies want to invest and bring investments here. There is a competitive environment we all operate in. I think it’s very important for the community to understand what it takes for our companies to make the decision to bring investments here, to upgrade the facilities. That decision is larger than just our companies alone. We are part of the community and it’s important for the community to be part of it with us. I’m definitely not the expert to go into all the details on that, but community effort is the bottom line.

Casey Phillips: Outside of your companies’ response, obviously the Biden administration represents a serious shift in the trajectory. How is that going to change the trajectory of the industries we’re talking about over the next 25 years, for good and for bad?

Sarah Haneline: From a positive perspective, the Biden administration will have an impact on diversity and inclusion efforts. For our industry, it’s very important that we have diverse people, backgrounds, and perspectives...we need that for innovation, for us to be successful as a company. I think it’s aligned with a lot of the work we’re already doing so it’s good to see government and industry coming together on that topic.

Dave Dartez: We’re going to have to continue to fuel the economy with gasoline based products...we understand that’s the direction we’re heading, looking at renewable resources and energy, but in the interim people still have to have transportation, we’ve got to be prepared and our competitors have to be prepared to sustain that for the majority of people. Power plants are going to convert, look at wind turbines...we’re learning some things that will continue to develop. We’ll start to see power sources being replaced over time. Ongoing demand across the globe for petrochemical products (link). We have to be here, we have to invest in our facilities to sustain the quality of life we have.

Casey Phillips: When you refer to 55% of the world’s energy currently is with oil, what is that in contrast to the US consumption? What is that in the US especially with GM announcing until 2035 they’re going all electric with their car production, what is the energy trend for the US?

Dave Dartez: I don’t have it on hand, but US demand is going to change and the demand for oil and gas is going to outpace the rest of the’s going to go down at a faster pace than the rest of the world. That’s the trend we’re going to see. I wanted to add, there was a question about alternative sources of energy and whether Exxon is investing in those. We’ve invested a lot in biofuels, but when you talk about electric automobiles, there’s a ton of plastic being used. The lighter the vehicle, the more compatible with electricity. We have to be prepared for the chemical products that are also supporting this new alternative of energy.

Dr. Narcisse (EBR Superintendent): We’ve been trying to think about what type of certifications and degrees and experiences kids are going to need. What specific areas should we think about having them focus on? We have Fast Forward where kids can get an Associate’s Degree while they get their high school degree, what are the pathways we should be thinking about for those kinds of jobs?

Dave Dartez: Process technicians, operators, operating technicians, process technology certification is a huge area, there's been tremendous advances at BRCC and RPCC offering certification programs. Great way to develop our future operators. Back in the day we had trade schools - welders, pipe fitters, electricians. That is still a great way to get great jobs. The need for those skills has not gone away. North Baton Rouge Training Initiative is one way students can develop those skills and get into the industry. CTEC is a great facility off of Lobdell where students in their junior and senior year can go to learn and develop these skills, to graduate high school with trade certification.

Sarah Haneline: I’ve been fortunate to be on the calls with Fast Forward as the state is preparing to get that started. Operators, process technicians who run the plants, instrument technicians who repair instruments used...we look for either a certificate or a certificate with some experience. Building in some job’s difficult for companies like us to hire high school students but if we could go into the classrooms, talk about the jobs, do simulations, show what it's like to do these jobs, whether its a trainer plant or virtual reality, is a great way to show these students what it’s like. Skill crafts are great jobs - we are seeing less people going into those jobs. We need to educate students on what those jobs are, the opportunities, how you can support your family and community with those jobs that we have here in our region.

Jennifer Carwile (TogetherBR): Is ExxonMobil and BASF working with Apprenti?

Jacquelin Craddock: Apprenti is an IT apprenticeship, we operate in tech-centric roles and operate across the country. Currently we are not working with Exxon or BASF.

Pat LeDuff: Over 100 years ago when you first came, you did have the community in mind when you first came, yet here we are today struggling with the same issue. Are there any initiatives in place to assist north Baton Rouge?

Dave Dartez: There’s a lot of opportunity in north Baton Rouge for improvement. I’m not aware of anything we’re directly involved in, but I can say Istrouma now has a process technology program. We’ve had a historically great relationship with Istrouma. The PTEC program there is a perfect opportunity for us to stay involved and help develop the Istrouma program to help bring those students to our facilities. Can’t speak to a grocery store, but Kelly may have more comments.

Kelly Welch: Whenever we bring projects into our refinery sites, we look for wraparound opportunities. We opened a community center where nonprofit organizations are housed. We’re presenting opportunities for organizations to come, not have to pay rent, just spend money and energy on other things. Our Baton Rouge Refinery project, when it originally started, included a brand new office building that was going to be outside of the gates so it could house local restaurants, retail space and a grocery store. Unfortunately because of COVID that was one of the aspects of the projects that had to be put on hold. We’re not letting it go. I know that there are other projects that I can’t speak about yet that we are hoping will bring those benefits. We have not given up on bringing those opportunities and direct community impacts, it’s just not happening as soon as any of us want.

Judith Rhodes (LSU): I was asking about the entry requirements like ACT, reading levels for some of these programs. Excellent programs especially though BRCC are trying to bridge that with high schools. When I work in schools I find so many students who have aspirations to do that work but are not prepared. Those reading and literacy issues are something industry has to address with education.

Dave Dartez: I don’t know the absolute score for ACT but I can say for our direct hiring at ExxonMobil there is no ACT requirement, we just require a high school diploma and 18 years of age.

Sarah Haneline: Thinking about operators and instrument technicians, we do look for associate degrees for those candidates. You do have to pass college algebra, basic chemistry, ACT is tied to that. There are students who have aptitude but maybe aren’t good test takers. What we try to do is engage with them through a different way, a robotics program, external partners. It’s a much bigger issue than passing a test.

Judith Rhodes: Good attendance, discipline records follow you. As we encourage kids to have good school habits it will help build into that workforce community.

Dustin LaFont (Front Yard Bikes): One of my thoughts from seeing kids in middle school trying to get into high school, we see a high dropout rate and not enough of our kids are accessing CTEC and BRCC opportunities and are dropping out to go to the workforce. How can we make those access opportunities a lot higher and retain more kids in our school systems to the end, how do we prove there’s a light at the end of the tunnel?

Dr. Sito Narcisse: In the cities I’ve been in, I’ve seen the way the pathway works well for the kids is when you build it out from the high school level with internships as they’re actually in schools to connect the work. They try to start the pipeline in middle school, and it takes a lot of community work. From a whole scale approach, what are the pathways we are creating to work in that way to teach kids hard and soft skills? As much as they need to know how to read, they also need to know project management, how to create power points, collaboration, problem solving. They build that as a process with the school district. That actually keeps kids off the streets. We used a program called YouScience to see what kids’ strengths are, to help them look at what professions they might be interested in in the future. I’m trying to learn how we have thought about that from a larger scale and is there a way we could connect those pipelines?

Sara Haneline: For us, middle school is the area we are most interested in getting involved in. From a STEM perspective there’s great programming for K-5 and high school, but we see a gap in that middle piece. We don’t want to lose people and for us to think about diversity and inclusion, middle school is where we lose girls who are interested in STEM.

Lou Guthrie: Fast Start has the manufacturing training program at high schools and community colleges that train entry level positions, they’re working on improving that and during COVID it went completely online. Difficult for that type of program. Trying to get that back out. Also working on C2C which is Campus to Career, addressing communication skills, leadership skills, ethics, and career management. We will be giving this program out to the colleges to use for their tech students to increase their professional skills. They’re coming out with technical skills but not those life skills that they need to work. The recruiters tell me they can teach tech skills but it’s really hard to teach those personal skills. In terms of outlook, LED keeps bringing in new companies, we’ve seen an emphasis on technology jobs because every job these days seems to be a technology job.

Patrick Tuck (4H): With soft skills, I don’t think that we codify those skills and I think that’s an issue when after school programs are looking for ways to acknowledge that we can measure how well we do that part of what we do. That could make us much more attractive as partners for these kinds of certifications. You’re talking about a program that consistently reports back to local, state, and federal agencies on data collected over several years. Helpful to measure the things we learn when we work with kids. The other part is engaging the agents and the staff and the kids in the schools to make sure they’re part of the ongoing work. Doing great work to get Exxon in the room, takes it from the theoretical to intentional collaborative programming.

Lindi Spalatin: I have a general question, we’ve been talking a lot about access and equity and diversity. I work at McMains Children's Development Center and I haven't heard a lot about how the access will work for that community because these kids will age up into that workforce. I’m just curious what the game plan is so these communities also have access.

Dave Dartez: We have a number of employees who have had children come through McMains as well. I think that’s an area for us to explore, what are the best opportunities for them? There are tons, we just have to find ways to get them involved and engaged and given access.

Sarah Haneline: I would agree, we love McMains too, we are involved as much as we can be. I think we have a lot of work to do in this area. Internally we’ve just launched an employee resource group for employees with disabilities because many of them are hidden. We have to start inside to build up a culture and awareness of what the gaps are and how we can address them. We’ve seen over the last year that a lot of roles can be done from home, from a computer. I think that could potentially change and open up more access.

Gwen Hamilton (New Schools for Baton Rouge): I think we have a lot of work to do, there’s been very little conversation about the special needs population. We should look very very hard at how we provide services or don’t provide services to children with special needs and that is a very broad category. I do think there's an opportunity to elevate that conversation as to how we as a community are providing appropriate services for children with special needs.

Lindi Spalatin: I’m the director of development so I don’t work directly with the kids but part of my responsibility is advocacy with our donors. If you are interested please reach out to me, I would love to give you a tour and show you the technology we use here at the center. Kids deserve to have access to everything regardless of financial income and capabilities. I encourage everyone to keep that in mind when we talk about diversity and inclusion.

Reverend Anderson (PREACH): Because we have such a large incarceration impacted population, what leading employers are doing actively to break down those barriers? We are continually leaving out such a large percentage of people in moving forward in our community. It’s time for employers to start thinking about this proactively. What are companies doing specifically to try to address inclusion of these populations?

Dave Dartez: All I can tell you is that I agree with you, there’s more we could do. Small steps but we’re making progress. I’ve had conversations with James Windom, who used to work with Exxon, I know the work he’s done with the Reentry Coalition. We gotta continue to look for the ways to do that.

Sarah Haneline: I was just going to say I agree with what Dave said. There are things within our control and out of our control, there are things we can do but outside of that we have to work with our government officials, Department of Homeland Security, groups that help certify us for safety and security purposes.

Dr. Donald Andrews (SU): There’s a lot of discussion in terms of moving to a hydrogen economy, is ExxonMobil involved in that kind of research?

Dave Dartez: I’m not aware that we’re directly involved but we have a huge research and development arm that’s always looking into new opportunities.

Kelly Welch: We are very heavily invested in carbon recapture technology and have been since the 70s. We’ve dedicated resources to create an arm of our company that’s solely focused on carbon recapture, putting money on making it more efficient and cost effective so that others can do it.

Final Thoughts

Sarah Haneline: I think that it’s important for everyone to know we’re with you, we’re concerned about the same things you are. The things that impact our community impact us. We’re all in this together. If BASF can be a part of future conversations, we’re happy to do that. Our employees come from all over this region and we impact this region, we’re

Dave Dartez: Echo that, appreciate the opportunity to talk with you guys this morning. I know we don’t have all the answers but our organizations are committed to being in this community in whatever way we can. We have a tremendous network of employees here, we’ve got a ton of employees with a ton of energy. Great to know there’s resources out here that we can connect them with.

Zoom Chat

08:38:59 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone : Welcome, Dr. Narcisse!

08:39:04 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone : Welcome

08:39:15 From Monica Vela-Vick to Everyone : Good morning!

08:40:18 From Patrick Tuck to Everyone : Welcome Dr. Narcisse!

08:40:45 From Dr. Sito Narcisse to Everyone : Thank you everyone for letting me join you!

08:48:58 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Please begin to put your questions in the chat

08:50:35 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : are there any neighborhood initiatives such as grocery store and housing initiative

08:52:30 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : As technology changes what efforts are being created to bring workplace/employment ready training to the high school level? As both the cost of higher education increases and we become a more digital economy is the effort to make a high school education more workplace ready?

08:52:48 From jennifer carwile to Everyone : excellent question, Casey. The ITEP that was approved by the school board includes 0 new jobs, but offers intern positions.

08:53:59 From jennifer carwile to Everyone : i am curious if Exxon is working on any renewable energy research, and can any of that occur in Baton Rouge?

08:54:12 From Kelly Welch P&GA to Everyone : Hi Jennifer! Actually the 30 jobs are fulltime positions not intern positions. The project will also bring an average of 600 construction jobs over the next 3 years.

08:57:52 From Gardere Initiative, Reginald to Everyone : -... As both the cost of higher education increases and we become a more digital economy is the effort to make a high school education more workplace ready

08:58:03 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : what beautification /solar farms/ flaring and smell control in the Scotlandville community and north 70805

08:59:06 From Manny Patole to Everyone :

08:59:33 From Jen Tewell (she/her) to Everyone : Does Exxon have a relationship with Apprenti Careers?

09:00:24 From Dr. Sito Narcisse to Everyone : What certifications/degrees will be needed for the new jobs and experiences?

09:01:03 From Leslie Clay to Everyone : This is a great conversation. I have another call. I can't wait for the notes. We need to really get our communities prepared for this inevitable paradigm shift.

09:02:11 From Manny Patole to Everyone :

09:03:55 From Esperanza to Everyone : IoT training will be a vital part of any technical degree especially PTEC

09:03:59 From Monica Vela-Vick to Everyone : CTEC is an important school to know about too -

09:05:40 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : that’s really awesome for the high school students

09:05:44 From Lindi Spalatin to Everyone : I'm curious about access to training and education for those in our community who are living with disabilities - both the visible and invisible. I worry about access for the kids we work with here having access to the education they need to participate in those careers.

09:06:12 From jennifer carwile to Everyone : Trade schools are SO important. Dr. Narcisse, bringing electronics and shop classes back to middle and high school to experience some of these skills would be helpful.

09:06:28 From Judith Rhodes to Everyone : Can anyone speak to the "entry-level" ACT and reading levels that are required for these workforce development training programs?

09:06:46 From Donald Andrews to Everyone : There is discussion on moving to Hydrogen as an energy source due to CO2 (climate change), how will Exxon adjust to such a change in the future.

09:07:07 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : we really need that back in our middle and high schools- that’s a wonderful decision

09:07:50 From Dustin LaFont@FYB to Everyone : Good Morning and Thank you for the great info. Question: How can we grow access to CTEC, BRCC, and other trade school outlets for students who are at risk of dropping out but have talented hands-on skills. (Skills that don't show up on paper)?

09:10:01 From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone : Thank you Casey! Apprenti, a non-profit invested by the USDOL, delivers unique registered apprenticeship programs for tech roles in any size company – both non-tech and tech companies. Apprenti creates a pipeline of highly-qualified diverse talent, sources industry-based training for very specific in-demand tech jobs, and strengthens the tech ecosystem nationwide. Apprenti manages the program and apprentices until completion, along with all regulatory compliance and reporting needed for related funding. Apprenti is successful at placing new hires, and upskilling or reskilling existing staff.

09:10:19 From Sarah Haneline to Everyone : Jacquelyn and Apprenti are great! BASF is developing an apprenticeship program in the US and have met with her to see how we can potentially partner.

09:10:30 From Orhan Mc Millan to Everyone : #BoomPat

09:10:54 From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone : For apprentice candidates, please visit

09:12:26 From Dave Dartez to Everyone :

09:12:31 From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone : Around diversity, Apprenti is leading the way in tech-centric jobs. Did you know? The national technology workforce has <5% minorities, 19% women, and <1% veterans.

Apprenti values diversity in tech with apprenticeship placement recording 56% minorities, 29% women, and 36% veterans.

09:12:43 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone : Appreciate that, Kelly...look forward to hearing updates on those projects as things unfold in 2021!

09:13:10 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Addressing mass incarceration requires employers to start thinking differently about inclusion of those that have been incarceration impacted. What is Exxon doing actively to breakdown those barriers?

09:13:18 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : that’s awesome/ thank you !

09:13:31 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone : Thank you for thinking of the whole life of your workers and their community.

09:13:58 From Jen Tewell (she/her) to Everyone : Great conversation y'all - thanks for ALL you do. Headed to the next session.

09:14:40 From Patrick Tuck 4-H to Everyone : There are a number of afterschool and out of school partners on this call. Is there an intentional plan to bring these programs in not just on the conversation but day-to-day?

09:14:44 From jennifer carwile to Everyone : Spot on, Ms. Rhodes!!

09:16:09 From Patrick Tuck 4-H to Everyone : Related -- Sarah had discussed the importance of soft skills/power skills.

09:16:24 From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone : EmployBR has an adult literacy WIOA partner to assist persons in securing opportunities.

09:21:47 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : It would be great to to have them concentrate on rebuilding the community in which they live and work Let’s make sure the employees also want to play here

09:22:32 From Karla King to Everyone : Replying to Dustin's comment - Get young students interested through plant tours to see what is happening at the work place. Meeting with plant employees that faced some of the same difficulties.

09:23:23 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Geaux Casey!! great stats

09:23:30 From Gardere Initiative, Reginald to Everyone : Consider the Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School model of internships/work for a public school

09:23:31 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Funding conversations is a slippery slope. We can’t find 100M for a viable education to create an attractive workforce to create urban agglomerations. However, the vision is so short sited. But based on former conversations we can find 1B for prisons and penal systems. It is a skewed system.

09:23:36 From Dustin LaFont@FYB to Everyone : We agree with you Dr. Narcisse since FYB hires 12 High school youth anually. If more companies were willing to create more paid internships that would be great!

Futures Fund, Big Buddy, and the Mayor hire alot of Youth!

09:24:00 From Esperanza to Everyone : there are great organizations that focus on girls in STEM like the National Girls Collaborative

09:24:45 From Dr. Sito Narcisse to Everyone : I would love to help figure out how we can make that connection @SarahHaneline and @DaveDartez for middle school to high school pipeline

09:27:15 From Esperanza to Everyone : partnering with organizations that have a foundation in the community like libraries and museums is vital

09:28:16 From Manny Patole to Everyone : *Transferrable skills are not valued. It is why so hard to find good administrative help across sectors.

09:30:11 From Lou Guthrie to Everyone : Critical thinking and problem solving very difficult to measure.

09:30:24 From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone : Hey, just wanted to share too that Apprenti is launching UI/UX, and video gaming software developer apprenticeship. We are hosting a industry collective with NOLABA and NexusLA for NOLA and BR industry to jump onboard with Activision's apprenticeship. This is different than tech-industrial apprenticeship, but ExxonMobil has an Innovation Lab utilizing VR which has the same skill sets as video gaming SWD.

09:30:28 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : FYB - Front Yard Bikes

09:30:32 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone : I want to make sure that my museum Capitol Park Musuem, to be integral to our communty. Please partner with us.

09:31:12 From Lou Guthrie to Everyone : UNO has a UX course available through their PACE program.

09:31:15 From Manny Patole to Everyone : +1 Lou BUT the American education system does not teach how to think, it is made to read/test/repeat

09:32:03 From Esperanza to Everyone : a big part of Perkins V addresses populations with disabilities

09:32:43 From Lindi Spalatin to Everyone : BASF is a wonderful supporter of our center!

09:32:43 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : good answer Dave!!!

09:33:57 From Lindi Spalatin to Everyone : We have a really amazing technology based program here at the center called Capable Play. If anyone would like a tour of our center please reach out to me.

09:34:06 From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone : Linda, yes, I have been working with Tulane for inclusion of neurodiversity into tech apprenticeship. I'm happy to connect with you, share contacts and introduce. Please email me at if interested.

09:35:00 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : AMEN!

09:36:45 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Yes

09:40:09 From Lou Guthrie to Everyone : Covers some information on FastStart's C4M (manufacturing education) program.

09:40:14 From Dr. Sito Narcisse to Everyone : Thank you everyone. I have to hop off. Thank you again for letting me join you!

09:41:07 From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone : Thank you everyone, stay safe and warm. Thank you Casey for your leadership.

09:41:10 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Thank you !

09:42:33 From Karla King to Everyone : Thank you to everyone involved in representing the concerns of our community.

09:42:42 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : thank you guys for your support!!

09:42:47 From Patrick Tuck 4-H to Everyone : Thank you all! Great meeting today!

09:42:56 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : we do appreciate you guys!!

09:43:06 From Dave Dartez to Everyone : thanks everyone!

09:43:08 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone : Another wonderful week, thank you everyone

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