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#OneRouge Friday Community Check-In (Week 66, 67)

Updated: Aug 2, 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.


'Equal Pay For All - Part II'

Meeting Notes Prepared by Zoë Haddad (Walls Project)

Vivian Broussard Guillory (Director, AAUW of LA)

  • Been a member AAUW for about 20 years (nationwide organization in LA for 100+ years)

  • Mission is advancing equity for women and girls through education, advocacy, research, and philanthropy

  • Defining equal pay/the gender pay gap: comparison of the median salaries of workers (men and women) working full time all year long; sometimes measured yearly, sometimes weekly

  • According to the Bureau of Labor statistics women earned a median income of $42k while men earned $52k in 2020

  • Median earnings for all Louisiana women in 2020 was $37k and $51k for men

  • That’s a pay gap in LA of 28%

  • We have one of the largest pay gaps in the country and it has dire effects for women - it’s one one of the most persistent issues affecting women today

  • Going through the pandemic, compare $51k vs. $ much easier would that make your life? One of the first things we have to do is convince people how important this number really is

  • We can use these numbers to identify how it's impacting different ethnicities - it affects women of color and different ethnicities more

  • It’s important to understand the persistence of this problem and that it affects each one of us

  • The pay gap has gotten smaller over time, from 1960 to 2000, due to gains women have made over pay gap causes (for example, occupational segregation, work patterns, childcare and family care)

  • This pay gap may change with the pandemic because the whole way we work is changing but women have always needed accommodations and many times employers have not been willing to do that

  • Discrimination is another aspect of the pay gap - AAUW did a study looking at males and females one year after college comparing for college major, part of the country, age, etc. and there was already a 7% pay gap one year after graduation

Julie Schwam Harris (Advocate, Louisiana Women’s Policy and Research Commission)

  • We know that women don’t make as much as men for doing similar work and there are a lot of things that contribute to it

  • Not having a family friendly workplace - women are the predominant family caregivers. They need paid sick leave and we do not as a country mandate paid maternity or family leave...We don’t have affordable, quality childcare

  • Women are overrepresented in the lower wage jobs - they have historically been in service jobs and we don’t pay anyone in service jobs enough

  • Girls may or may not be pulled into STEM work which is higher pay - there’s room for growth there but that’s not the be all end all

  • One of the items we’ve talked about is salary history - when you start a new job, what’s the first thing they ask you? What were you making at your old job? Instead of paying you what you’re worth, they’re already calculating how much less they can pay you because you’ll be glad to make anything

  • Violence against women and harassment are other factors - there’s a climate of if you complain, you’re going to get fired

  • One of the aspects we work on the most legislatively is pay secrecy and fighting retaliation for discussing wages

  • You’re told you’re supposed to negotiate for higher wages but you don’t know what’s acceptable. You’re taught by society to not be too brash, too forceful, otherwise you’ll be criticized

  • Many businesses are finding out that it pays to have a more open workplace where people are not afraid to talk about their wages and are not retaliated against if they do ask

  • We often talk about this as male/female but it’s also a race issue - for example, there’s something called a Mommy Penalty and a Daddy Bump. Men are respected and sometimes paid better because they are fathers whereas women having kids is seen as a penalty

  • It’s beneficial for businesses to be more transparent and have better policies on all these issues. There’s less turnover, there’s more productivity, there’s a climate of honesty

  • Action items:

  • If you are a working person or have a business, look at the policies you are working under. Make sure they don’t automatically say you can’t talk about wages in the workplace. The United Way found that they repressed speaking about wages and they’re one of the most progressive organizations working for well being. They changed their policy and their workplace is better for it.

  • Do a self audit. Add it up. Are there differences that can’t really be attributed to productivity?

  • Speak up. Get to know the legislators. Get to know the people who are influencing your work.

Vivian Broussard Guillory

  • According to’s research in 2020, 6 Louisiana metro areas were among the 15 metro areas with the largest wage gap in the nation

  • Houma and Thibodeaux had the largest in the nation with women making $0.59 on the dollar. Lake Charles was fourth with $0.64 on the dollar. Lafayette was fifth with $0.65, Hammond 11th, Baton Rouge 12th, Monroe 14th

  • Large race and gender gaps remain in the US

  • Between Black women wage earners and Black men, there is a pay gap. Between hispanic women and men there is a pay gap. The largest gap is actually in white women and white men. White men and Asian males have the largest earnings.

  • So how do we continue to narrow the gap?

  • Things that have been obstacles do have to do with the fact that the minimum wage is $7.25 and Louisiana has defaulted to it

  • We need to convince people to give others a living wage

  • August 3 is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day - that means that last year compared to white male earnings, it took a Black woman all of last year and all the way up to August of this year to earn what comparable male workers were earning

  • There was a union organizer on a story I heard talking about organizing for construction workers - a lot of us have stereotypes about this. We have to open up our minds that women are going into fields that are more male dominated. And the truth is that the more women are in the field the lower the salaries are. That goes to the value of work. Why are we not valuing service work? During this pandemic, some of this will be shifting. People out to be able to make a living wage.

  • There is a lack of support for women who may not have the education or training to go into a field because they need quality childcare. They need paid medical leave. They need to be able to take off some time and still be able to get back to their jobs

  • In terms of takeaways...regarding the gender gap, one way is for women to learn and work and research to pull themselves out of this. Go to and you can research your job, how much you should be making. AAUW does this research and provides free salary negotiating training. Go to I urge everyone to take the training whether you’re in college and starting off, changing jobs...all these problems impact our ability to go to our employer and say “I am not making what my peers are making”.

  • There is federal legislation trying to address some of these issues. If you’re not going to use money to enforce these laws and make corporations and states submit required reports, we need to fully implement these. We need more legislation.

  • In 2013 Louisiana did pass a Pay Equity Act but it only applied to state employees. State and federal employees have a smaller pay gap because of the transparency. Every year since 2000 legislation has been introduced to bring businesses into more transparency and to attack pay secrecy and none of that has really stuck to the wall

  • We need equal pay to apply to the businesses, policies that apply equal pay to contractors, to keep chipping away at it, and we need to raise the minimum wage.

Community Discussion

Julie Harris: We need to get people on the list to help get this fully discussed and vetted to move us forward...we have real specific legislation. It fails frequently but we need more people contacting legislators to get it out of committee. These committees are stacked. We’ve got this one piece of legislation from 2013. But there’s still a need for transparency even in the public workspace. The difference in pay in Louisiana in the private workspace compared to the public workspace is in the 80 cents on the dollar in the public and 60 in private. Just making these laws apply to private workers does not cut it. Reverend Anderson asked a question about, are women paid more fairly in women-owned businesses and I don’t know that. I know many women-owned businesses are small businesses not subject to the federal or state law.

Vivian Guillory: I do know when we go to the legislature they tend to get women lobbyists to come attack us and our bills but I don’t have an answer on any research.

Julie Harris: We tried asking some of those lobbyists if they have paid sick days...they have them at their job but they don't want them for everybody. Or at least they’re being paid to say that.

Leslie Clay (LPHI): I just wanted to ask when people are negotiating their salaries, are they seen as hostile? As opposed to men.

Vivian Guillory: Women do not negotiate nearly as much as men do for salaries. It is very possible in some environments or with some business owners/bosses that asking for a raise is challenging to them. The arguments we run into at the legislature is that this is bad for business and that is not true. Research has shown that in transparent organizations employees feel more valued and are more loyal. States that have raised the minimum wage have not seen the detrimental impacts that the business industry claims is going to happen. AAUW has ways to find accurate information and practice. There are programs for people getting out of college and for people who are working so you can know how to approach this topic in a way that is not seen as aggressive on your part

Julie Harris: I wanted to note that Pam Wall talked about her granddaughters in Arkansas - the wages were raised in Arkansas and they’ve had very positive responses to raising the minimum wage twice now. We know that over 70% of people in this state want a higher minimum wage. But our legislators won’t do it. And the majority of our legislators are elected by entities that don’t want to see it raised. So they’re not voting in the ways their constituents want them to vote.

Reverend Anderson (PREACH): We have a lot of low wage service jobs but because of that it’s not just minimum wage issues. It’s employers specifically making sure workers don’t get more than 30 hours to qualify for benefits. They create jobs that in fact force at the lowest level people to work crazy schedules that require private transportation. There’s a lot of these ancillary issues that drive a lot of women into really bad employment situations. As a state, how do we start focusing on a different kind of work that women can go into and how do we disincentivize employers from these policies? We know they’re pretty pervasive particularly in health care and the service industries that really do penalize women around the issues of the “hidden paycheck”.

Julie Harris: We live in a state with weak protections in general - weak reimbursements for unemployment, rules about who is covered by certain laws...our first equal pay that ended up being state workers was amended to be fifty or above but most businesses are small businesses at less than fifty. They were trying to make the bill before it became only public employment to not apply to most businesses. Things like predictable schedules, if there was some sort of regulation or policy...we as a state do not protect workers period. All of our outcomes show that. We have some of the worst outcomes with healthcare, education, violence against women, violence in general...a lot of it has to do with things not being well in Louisiana. Part of it is trying to work one by one with the legislators you have and make sure they’re on board and that they’re a spokesperson.

Vivian Guillory: Our state is majority women and I feel like we don’t even have women on our side. The Center for American Progress outlines several steps we can take to address the wage gap and one of them is promoting political involvement for women. We have a leadership gap. Women are 51% of the population and 16% of elected officials. We have a population of 20% Black women, but 6% elected Black women officials. It’s a societal impact. Women are not supporting women and we are not supporting our workers.

Pam Wall: I have had a lot of experience with both men and women supervisors and my experience, and I will admit part of it is my aggressive personality...I'm a pushy lady and I do not stay in my lane. So I acknowledge that. But I have always had a much harder time working with women bosses and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm always on of the last ones in the office, I come in on weekends...but male bosses think that's fine while women bosses want to know well why were you here this weekend? It's probably somewhat generational. Maybe younger people don't experience that. Vivian Guillory: I don't know of any research specific to that but I do think people in the workforce of different ages...there is an age group that has the smallest pay gap of the rest of wage earners. I think things are changing and changing slowly. Most women and men are getting used to new perceptions about work and supervision in the field. Julie Harris: There are going to be fluctuations in how bosses are supervising and treat employees. I like Vivian don't know of any studies where women in positions of power are better or worse. There are some people who are better at supervising other people. But what you need to protect you are laws and policies. So regardless of how they are interpreted, you have to be protected by the rules. And the rules are what Louisiana is so bad on...for women, if there were a more level playing field in law, it wouldn't cure everything but it would be one thing to start lowering this gap.

Rachelle Sanderson (CRPCLA): Is this a part of an overall cultural devaluing of women? If so, what would shifting that narrative look like?

Vivian Guillory: Absolutely agree. The jobs that women work on, the more women in the field the lower the wages are. I just think of the fact that housework, service work at $7.25 sounds like slave wages to me.

Julie Harris: We can get into some really interesting discussion of how women and women's work has been undervalued forever. As we have evolved into a capitalist society, the society has not evolved for that kind of differentiation, that standardization if people are working they should be paid. Historically that overlay of racism and what jobs were even covered by minimum wage in the early 20th held by women and people of color weren't covered. So as times have evolved our laws have not evolved as much. And women are just controlled differently - their bodies, their lives...we were a head of household state where women couldn't even have credit cards. We've got a lot of things that have changed but many that have not.

Vivian Guillory: As we look to the future, work is changing. We are certainly not prepared to move our workforce into the 21st century where robotics will take over many of these jobs and we can’t dump on people who haven't been trained ...but the whole image of what work is, where it’s going, it will amaze you because we all have to rethink the value of work and not use it as a weapon and use it to pick winners and losers.

Casey Phillips: Alfredo (Cruz) put it into the chat and Zoë (Haddad) lifted it back up asking if employers or small businesses should invest in management training to help people give those roles both male and female better prepared for salary negotiations? The reality is, you start out a small business as an army of one and then add people one person at a time. So whatever skills you learn on the ground, that can be missed.

Vivian Guillory: I know there are places like that provide tools for small businesses. There are resources available. A lot of small businesses have that choice - either it's in your heart to treat people a certain way or it's just the bottom line and I understand that, too.

Julie Harris: There are self-audit tools. There are a lot of resources especially if you're in a major city. The small business administration under this administration is probably going to ramp back up some the tools that used to be available in the past. I would be happy to try to find a point person for you but self-audits are out there and there's a lot of legal expertise online talking about pay transparency and best practice policies. And all of this is precluded with access to the internet - in a state like Louisiana where huge swaths of our population don't have easy or free can't afford internet on minimum wage.

SK Groll (Baton Roots): I think a lot about, in our work, the organizations, communities, and networks we move in where we're trying to build that better world for the future, how are we modeling that right now in our organizations in the tangible things we do internally? I want to think about this from a nonprofit, state organization, advocacy are we modeling these things, how are we critiquing the ways we project the gender binary onto the conversation even while addressing the historical devaluement of women's work? How are we advocating for racial inequity as people who hold different positional power leverage that so it's not just on women to negotiate but on all people to have this conversation and advocate for transparency, to actually be a colleague and a community member and an ally to people you work with? And I think about this from self-auditing as well as interpersonally on a day to day basis?

Julie Harris: Thank you for bringing up those issues - I'm 69 so I've been working in the area of Women's Rights and Women's Equality for decades. And the last ten/twenty years or so - the issues of people who do not identify as men or women or who are trans and face others issues...those are big issues and there's a lack of knowledge of the non binary way of looking at things. If you see my name, I put my pronouns she/her. And it was only five or so years ago that I started hearing about this. It's not an easy thing to learn to use that naturally but we must in policy learn to use that because the kind of discrimination women have historically faced is also faced racially and in gender identification. I appreciate your bringing it up. If we put in policies about objective criteria about how people are paid and treated as people with leave, with subsidies needed for childcare, with access to nonjudgemental and person-centered healthcare...we've got to work toward that.

Lindi Spalatin (McMains): I'm curious what we can do to encourage employees to talk about salaries among themselves because I think employers really do depend on the fact that they don't talk about it in order to prohibit negotiation, getting value for your work...on our local AFP chapter, in order to post a job on our board you have to put the salary range. It's required now. What can we do to encourage that across the board so people aren't blindly trying to figure out what the value is for their position and their worth?

Julie Harris: We live in a state that has very weak protections for employees. They call it an "at will" state or a "right to work" state. I think "right to work" is a misnomer. The effort to limit the power of unions and the power of workers...we've gone too far overboard. It's really kind of a "right to fire" state. There is some protection...there's federal law geared towards labor organizing. It's not always interpreted to be specific protection for wages and salary. There is not guarantee that you will be protected. We should encourage it and we should encourage people to know the law and talk to their legislators and ask that it be changed. As far as putting salary ranges up, do what you can with businesses that you have influence with.

Boo Milton: Something that really sparked my interest was the predictive schedule. Is that as simple as putting out a schedule that is consistent or is there a strategy behind it?

Reverend Anderson: One of the challenges with different types of businesses is what your work needs are vs. what you staffing requirements are...the schedules primarily given were being given to people to keep them under thirty hours and keep them from getting benefits. They'd get a daily schedule meaning they couldn't plan for childcare, for transportation. Honestly just basic business allocation in terms of how you schedule labor and consistency on how you schedule. If your business doesn't require people to work outside of an 8-5 schedule but you keep scheduling people for those times, you limit the number of people who can take those jobs. Businesses need to be honest about core needs and core responsibilities. I don't pretend to be an expert, but I was an HR manager for 20 years and that's what we looked at. Stability works on both sides. The less stability people have, the less they can meet that. It really is just a foundational skillset of what your real business needs are and when they occur.

Alfreda Tillman Bester: Predictive scheduling really has to do with putting the onus on the employer to give people adequate notice so they could plan their own lives. One other thing I wanted to say is that a lot of our challenges always come back to voting. These things end up being political determinants that are based on a patriarchal society. Many women benefit from these systems being in place and support that mess. I want to put that out there. These things are not in a vacuum. It’s systemic because it benefits some people.

Julie Harris: I know that predictive schedules are one of the issues in places like restaurants, these large businesses that should be able to know when to schedule people. The other issue is misclassification of wages. A lot of businesses will hire contractors that work as if they were employees. There's tests where you can ask is this really an independent contractor or is this an employee? You owe employees certain things. You own the state unemployment insurance if it is an employee. If a business is misclassifying employees, the state is missing out, the employee is missing out and the business is getting away with breaking rules. There's so many aspects to work that some states are doing a better job of establishing protection for their residents...and our state is behind the curve on this and it is evident in all the outcomes we are suffering, including crime. To me, this is how we tackle crime. Until we make families able to thrive, we are never going to be rid of crime. It's not just education and policing. It's a factor of economics.

Pat LeDuff (CADAV): I'm just thinking of the large corporations that hire you as a salary employee and then you work as an hourly employee...the state has come in in some cases to move those jobs to hourly wage jobs and not pay you overtime. We push for hourly wage increase but as some point we have to get a cap on the increase in housing. Housing is out of the roof. With insurance, everyone charged what they wanted to charge and then Medicare came in and set a standard. I feel like we need to do that with rental. We may need to adapt some of that.

Reverend Anderson: I had mentioned to you this morning that EBRP has a new chief public defender Lisa Parker, hopefully she'll be on the call next week. Yesterday a large group of community organizations came together to welcome her. There's been some very powerful work being done on know your rights information specifically for young people. This is available on the website and the EBRPRC has a bail infographic in BREC facilities so people can start understanding these topics. The library is also a resource where people can grab these tools free of charge. It's really important, and I know a lot of people think "I don't have anything to do with the criminal justice system" but we are the 7th I believe grandparents raising grandchildren state because of interaction with the criminal justice system. We have a lot of school folks here who engage with children in the juvenile system and I just want to let everyone know we have those resources available.

Gwen Hamilton: I understand it is often about economics, but we need to make sure that our education programs in our schools are preparing women and girls to be able to deal with these challenges that we talked about this morning. I heard the resources but maybe an opportunity to think about high school girls in particularly getting connected to those resources at an early age, giving them opportunities to speak before the legislature so they can affect change. C. Kelly (EBR Schools): We are having conversations about entrepreneurial course work in our schools - I can mentioned maybe starting a girls club that supports what it's like to be a working female, to have conversations about being a female in the workforce and how to handle opposition in a healthy way. I think starting with middle and high school clubs can foster an atmosphere of preparation and maybe even foster mentorships.

Taryn Branson: I have a program called the Queen Esther Academy that I just started that is really centered around that in addition to helping girls with self esteem and self respect. I'd love to connect with you on that type of work.

Boo Milton: Does anyone know where to find minimum wage numbers for Baton Rouge?

Julie Harris: You can manipulate the data - in New Orleans there’s a nonprofit that works on data people need in this region. Not sure what resources are needed in Baton rouge but I can put you in contact with the center. Might also want to look into the Louisiana Budget Project.

Alfreda Tillman Bester: I want people to look at the level of abject poverty we rethink some of the things presented to us on the news. This week we had a family that almost died due to carbon monoxide poisoning because they had to use a generator because they were relocating to another house and could not afford to turn their electricity on. The father came home just in time. The conversation centered around safety as opposed to the conversation around why these people were so poor that they couldn't turn their electricity on. These things are systemic and interrelated and in the richest country in the world people should not be dying because they can't afford to turn on electricity.

08:27:30 From Reginald Brown to Everyone: Casey HELLO!

08:31:03 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone: Hi everyone! Happy to see you

08:31:31 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Good Morning

Happy Friday!!

08:31:38 From Leslie Clay to Everyone: Happy to join today!!!

08:32:15 From Esperanza Zenon to Everyone: Goof morning everyone

08:32:33 From Esperanza Zenon to Everyone: oops Good*

08:32:43 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Good morning everyone

08:33:19 From Morgan Miller-Udoh to Everyone: Good morning all! This is my favorite part of the week.

08:33:30 From Leslie Clay to Everyone: Good Morning

08:40:49 From Pam Wall to Everyone: NPR had a program a week or two ago on the affect of the pandemic and quoted a data set that there are fewer women in the workplace today than at anytime in the last 30 years.....

08:42:01 From Walls Project to Everyone: Probably because of the two caregivers women would elect to watch the children during remote learning vs. men

08:42:10 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Both are amazing community and national treasures.

08:44:48 From Alfreda Tillman Bester, SULC to Everyone: Thank you, Vivian & Julie. The pay gap is even more persistent than people think. If your pay is disparate during your years of employment, it continues into RETIREMENT, because your retirement pay is calculated based on your pay rate during active employment.

08:44:54 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Amen!!

08:46:03 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Corporate says it’s a No No to discus

08:46:27 From Leslie Clay to Everyone: Are women successful when they negotiate? Or are they seen as hostile?

08:46:38 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Yes!!

08:46:57 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: The way it’s always been

08:47:43 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Is there any research on whether women use their role as shareholders to force publicly held companies release their wage scales?

08:48:09 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: It should be the same for dads as well, stop drop snd roll for their kids - women now have leadership jobs as well

08:49:32 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Only policy changes really make change

08:49:42 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Does the research show any difference in the wage disparity in female owned businesses?

08:49:58 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Awesome!!!

08:50:17 From Leslie Clay to Everyone: There is a mommy penalty. I had the privilege to stay at home for some years as a result. Many times mothers work harder to prove that they won’t be off all the time. I’m sure that many women on this call have their own testimonies.

08:51:29 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Please place that link in the chat

08:53:04 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: We know during the pandemic those who were able to work from home were so productive. However so many women are trapped in some of the lowest paid, high risk jobs in the economy. Going forward what do the speakers see as the progress not just on minimum wage, but low hour allocation jobs (under 30 hours per week) and low or no benefit job?

08:53:50 From Pam Wall to Everyone: My granddaughters (ages 16 and 18) have been working since March around their school schedule...they both make $11 and hour in Arkansas......a decent living wage is a good beginning because everyone is required to be paid the same, no matter ethnicity or gender.

08:54:03 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Has any of the research surveyed how formerly incarcerated women fare in these disparities?

08:54:24 From Julie Schwam Harris (she/her) to Everyone: There are links to several articles here.

08:54:47 From Leslie Clay to Everyone: We have one of the lowest minimum wages.

08:54:57 From Julie Schwam Harris (she/her) to Everyone: Julie Schwam Harris 504-650-2746

08:56:12 From Julie Schwam Harris (she/her) to Everyone:

08:57:02 From Walls Project to Everyone: Recent article that was good too

08:59:47 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: There has been a lot of conversation about how unemployment benefits are keeping people out of the workforce but how much research has gone into how many of these service jobs simply are not fit for women who need livable wages to support childcare and basic needs (housing, transporation, healthcare, etc.)?

09:01:32 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Sign me up Julie!

09:02:12 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Sign me up.

09:02:27 From Kim to Everyone: me too!

09:02:40 From Walls Project to Everyone: Same here!

09:02:47 From Rachelle "ray-chel" Sanderson (she/her) to Everyone: Me too!

09:03:19 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Thank you so much for such an honest answer.

09:04:02 From Rachelle "ray-chel" Sanderson (she/her) to Everyone: Also, I wanted to share a local resource (out of NOLA) for negotiation - Lelia has a book on negotiation and free worksheets. She helped me (and several friends) negotiation into positions that included a $20,000 + pay raise + additional benefits. Some of her resources are free!

09:05:10 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Interested. Sign me up.

09:05:22 From Emanuel Boo Milton to Everyone: Boo Milton -

09:05:36 From Matthew Pinchback - The Walls Project to Everyone: Sign me up.

09:05:36 From Darius Spurlock to Everyone:

09:05:37 From Donald Andrews to Everyone: Some of the gap in wages may relate to education and training. Some skilled crafts have rules that determine who is selected to receive the specialized training, the good old boy network. Look ay pilot boat compensation. Entrepreneurship is one way to impact this is to start your own business so you can pay according to productivity and not discriminate.

09:06:49 From Christopher Spalatin to Everyone: Chris Spalatin

09:07:19 From Leslie Clay to Everyone:

09:07:51 From Pam Wall to Everyone: As an overachiever able to work hours beyond the work day and on weekends, I had more negative reactions from women supervisors than I ever did with male supervisors.....what are your experiences with women bosses? It may be more prevalent among baby boomers....

09:11:03 From Alfreda Tillman Bester, SULC to Everyone: We have to elect candidates who VALUE the work of women. When we identify legislators who are hostile to our value, we must VOTE THEM OUT!!! Political determinants of Wage Discrimination!

09:11:37 From Matthew Pinchback - The Walls Project to Everyone: Amazing question, Rev. Anderson!

09:11:52 From edy addison-cauw to Everyone: Yes I do find that women have much higher expectations of each other professionally. Where I find women supervisors watch out for their women direct reports are in the non-pay benefits. Flexibility with working remote and alternate schedules are important parts of the compensation package that should be requested and put in writing.

09:12:03 From Rachelle "ray-chel" Sanderson (she/her) to Everyone: Speakers, do you think that this is a part of an overall cultural devaluing of women? If so, what would shifting that narrative look like?

09:12:55 From Alfredo Cruz to Everyone: since most employers are small businesses, should some emphasis be placed on accessible management training to help persons in those roles (male or female) have better preparation to handle salary negotiations? sometimes managers rise to these positions based in performance without proper training or awareness about their implicit biases that play a role in hiring and pay decisions.

09:15:17 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Great point!

09:15:33 From Pam Wall to Everyone: Louisiana should incentivize on-site childcare in corporations--Scandinavian countries and other European nations provide high quality child care/early learning starting at 12 months or childcare is a huge barrier to "working your way up" or with any new job.

09:15:40 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Predictable schedules would also ease stress; just knowing if you are going to get on the schedule- getting to work and you have been removed from the schedule- or get there and after 3 or 4 hour, you get sent home

09:17:30 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Mine experience as well

09:17:40 From Zoë - Walls Project (she/her) to Everyone: I’d love to lift up Alfredo’s question about management training - if you are coming as an employee to the negotiation but are negotiating with management who is unprepared to properly have that discussion, what are those implications?

09:17:49 From SK Groll to Everyone: Really appreciate the information everyone is bringing to this conversation. I am really thinking about the following questions: How are men in our organizations leveraging their positional and interpersonal power to call for organizational audits which address org culture and inequity? Same question for white people (of all genders) when it comes to the racial inequity in all of these topics. How are we modeling pay equity in our organizations? How are we creating more human-centric work places for staff and contractors at all levels? How are we moving this conversation beyond projecting a gender binary onto every person at our organization while staying deeply attuned to the ways that gender inequity affects us all?

09:18:57 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Questions cue: 1) Rachelle, 2) Alfredo, 3) SK

09:19:13 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Also, keep in mind as wages go up housing prices go up and food goes up

09:19:21 From Zoë - Walls Project (she/her) to Everyone: SK thank you for bringing up the conversation around the gender binary - another incredibly important part of the discussion

09:19:25 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone: Workers coming to professional development in the information age have access to more tools. When you know better you can do better.

09:20:49 From Zoë - Walls Project (she/her) to Everyone: When you know better you can do better, amen Rodneyna!

09:21:48 From Pam Wall to Everyone: And higher wages for child care workers will ensure better care and more accessible child care....another reason to support for higher minimum wage.

09:22:16 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Here is the Q&A from the last Equal Pay conversation on March 27:

09:22:22 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Casey: It’s 2021 and part of this conversation needs to be on Non binary and Transgender citizens...gender identity is a fluid part of the Equal Pay conversation that's already difficult to wrap our heads around. How is that impacting this conversation?

09:22:35 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Summer: Louisiana has no protections when it comes to trans and non binary folks. You can be fired at anytime. Unless you have a contract you are in a precarious situation. Particularly for trans and non binary folks who don’t "pass" might look at someone and in your mind you think you know what their identity is but it doesn’t align with what the other person’s gender identity is. We're in a very conservative state. We have lots of trans folks leaving our state for friendlier places, for communities where there are protections in place. A lot of large corporations are seeing the trends and offering recognitions and protections. PEW just came out with a study that said 1 in 6 members of Gen Z identity as LGBTQIA+. We’re going to have to adapt or lose because the best talent will go places where they are seen and valued for who they are. In LA it will likely be a struggle with small - medium sized businesses and our government entities as well.

09:22:41 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone: I was late to this conversation (I apologize - was stuck on the phone) and am not sure this has been covered. But I'm wondering what if, anything, we can do to encourage employees to talk about their salary. I feel like employers depend on people not wanting to talk about money issues...if you know what your other people are making in your office, it can help negotiate a better salary.

09:22:41 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Monica: One of the articles I sent on the wage gap references intersectional oppression. Trans women make less after they transition, lesbians make less than gay or straight men, gay men make less than straight men.

09:22:45 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Amen

09:24:04 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone: Our local AFP chapter now requires salaries range to be listed on job postings to post that job on their dashboard. Is there a way to encourage other sectors to do this?

09:24:45 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone: These were some of my favorite notes from the last disucssion. "office housework" is a concept I will now be cognizant of. Do you plan the parties, buy the cards, any of those things that are unpaid additional work taking away from your time the men are not expected to do but take away from your time.

Wage Gap: Who, How, Why, and What to Do

Paycheck Fairness Act

Raising the Wage Act

Asking Salary History Perpetuates Pay Discrimination

Living Wage by Parish:

Wage gap by state with March 2021 overall figures and by race:

Also, do not forget about Pink Taxes

We don't have the bill number yet but it will be by Rep.

09:25:09 From Rachelle "ray-chel" Sanderson (she/her) to Everyone: Thanks Julie and Vivian! Appreciate y'all's thoughts and knowledge!

09:28:42 From Mary Bergeron to Everyone: What a great meeting. Fridays at 8:30 are always the highlight of my week, giving me such hope for our community. Thank you to the presenters. Running to another meeting.

09:29:01 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Most small businesses have access to their trade organizations which often have trainings and training tools available. There are also huge training opportunities with SBA and other groups.

09:30:18 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Thank you so much

09:30:22 From Zoë - Walls Project (she/her) to Everyone: Thank you both

09:30:25 From Christopher Spalatin to Everyone: Any opinion on a stipend for stay at home parents? This wouldn’t necessarily shrink the wage gap directly, but it would allow parents to chose to stay home with their kids, instead of working undesirable jobs to be able to afford childcare. This could lead to employers needing to offer higher wages to coax people back into the workforce. I’ve only ever heard conservatives advocate for this, but wonder if there is any backing among progressives

09:30:25 From Leslie Clay to Everyone: Thank you. This was awesome. Have a great weekend..

09:32:29 From Kim to Everyone: Thanks for the great start to the day!

09:32:30 From Pam Wall to Everyone: Christopher, in Europe, this is called "mother's money," and the fees are paid by corporations and employers into a government fund---not all companies do it, but it's considered an employment benefit that makes companies super competitive.

09:33:26 From Christopher Spalatin to Everyone: Cool! Thanks Pam. It seems like we need some new ideas to try out, as I agree with the consensus among the group that progress has been too slow

09:35:08 From SK Groll to Everyone: I also want to uplift the energy and effort that everyone is bringing into this conversation. This is the work of undoing centuries of white supremacy, colonialism, gender violence, etc. While we can’t escape these systems we are working to shift resources, power, and equity together and build worlds otherwise, better and more supportive and so much more equitable. I appreciate the energy and care that all the stakeholders here are bringing to the table.

09:40:33 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone: Association of Fundraising Professionals

09:45:28 From Emanuel Boo Milton to Everyone: Very insightful Thank you Rev Anderson and Alfreda

09:46:16 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Walmart and the mall is the worst

09:46:29 From Walls Project to Everyone: FriotLay?

09:46:53 From Alfreda Tillman Bester, SULC to Everyone: WE. NEED. UNIONS, Y'all!!!

09:47:06 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Yes! Huge issue!

09:47:32 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Asking everyone to bring their Covid Wave 4 policies to the conversation next week: 8/06 - Special Topic - ‘BR Get Proactive for this Hurricane Season during Covid & Beyond’

09:48:03 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Or hire as a salary position to avoid over time and treat them as hourly

09:48:30 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Scotland Saturday tomorrow

09:48:42 From Flitcher R. Bell to Everyone: Our state is always "behind" in good categories, and always leaders in negative categories!...….. Sad but true.

09:48:42 From Alfreda Tillman Bester, SULC to Everyone: It is all interrelated and inextricably tied to economics.

09:50:11 From Morgan Miller-Udoh to Everyone: I have been in one of those jobs. I had to report my weekly hours but I was told I was salaried… so no overtime.

09:50:28 From Alfreda Tillman Bester, SULC to Everyone: If a job is hourly as opposed to "salaried exempt", employers ARE REQUIRED to pay overtime because the hourly employee is non-exempt.

09:50:55 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Good job Pat!

09:51:33 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone: Still open to folks who want to be a part of the Community Resource Fair at Capitol Park Museum August 21! email me

09:52:56 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Continue to use 311 to get our City cleaned up

09:53:24 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: That’s correct

09:54:10 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone: YES!

09:54:19 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: My apologies. I have to leave. Rev. Alexis Anderson

09:54:45 From Pam Wall to Everyone: GREAT thought, Gwen! High school coaching to prepare young women for work and equity!!

09:54:47 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone: Got to run - love you guys

Have a good weekend

09:55:05 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Love you too Pat!

09:55:09 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone: Each one, teach one. If we can also take responsibility with our young ladies and make sure they undertand how to advocate for themselves and their pay.

09:56:31 From Morgan Miller-Udoh to Everyone: I would expand that definition to include all marginalized genders

09:56:54 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Absolutely! Drop me an email In addition to Ms. Branson, work with several groups that could build on this.

09:56:56 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone: Yes, Morgan!

09:56:58 From Kelli Rogers to Everyone: Fantastic meeting today! Thanks so much to everyone for great information and insight.

09:57:34 From ckelly1 to Everyone:

09:59:09 From SK Groll to Everyone: Capital Area United Way may have that in their jobs data too

09:59:20 From Emanuel Boo Milton to Everyone: Thanks SK

09:59:41 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

09:59:58 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

10:00:15 From Emanuel Boo Milton to Everyone: - Boo Milton

10:00:33 From Casey Phillips to Everyone: Jan Moller <>

10:02:27 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: I'm back!

10:03:09 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone: Rest well Casey

10:03:43 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Yes

10:03:50 From Emanuel Boo Milton to Everyone: Yes, , Rest well Casey

10:04:16 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Poverty

10:05:00 From Rev Anderson to Everyone: Absolutely


'Our Kids, Covid, and School Safety'

Meeting Notes Prepared by Zoë Haddad (Walls Project)

Charles Lussier (The Advocate)

  • Covering schools in EBR for about 20 years

  • Article I wrote last fall on the history of EBR schools going back to the days of integration in the late 60s/early 70s: 50 years after desegregation order, Baton Rouge schools look nothing like what was intended

  • Gives context for how we got to where we are today

  • To summarize, East Baton Rouge was a growing community after WWII with a massive influx of people into the area. But as with all the south we had separate schools for Black and white children. That started to change incrementally in the 60s with a massive integration shift in September 1970, at least on paper. Just because you tell people you’re going to school together doesn’t mean you do. Baton Rouge High is an example - all white, quickly became majority Black, then the community turned it into a Magnet and it became mostly white again.This started the movement of families to private schools. The state actually funded segregation academies that were all white. We had a pre-existing parochial system. The fragmentation started then and has continued. We had a desegregation order in 1981, the cross town busing, further fragmentation with suburban movement, and then the charter school movement in the 90s. School accountability, schools closing...that’s about the time I came in. I spent most of my early days in federal court trying to figure out what was going on. After federal control of the school district left, we saw a lot of changes. That’s when those charter schools really kicked into gear. We also saw with the Jindal administration the arrival of vouchers, we’ve seen a major movement towards virtual schooling even before the pandemic...choice has become the thing. You go to suburban areas and you don’t see choice like you do in the city. Baton Rouge has a traditional school district but layered on top is a whole variety of choices that didn’t use to exist. And now with the pandemic we have even more choices that have popped up. It’s a long way from 1970 when there was one school district and not too many private schools.

  • We’re seeing a lot of the same shifts as other metropolitan areas.

  • Everyone’s trying to find good educational choices for their children, they’re trying to find a workplace, something that brings the community together and uplift the community

  • It’s a massively more complex than it was

  • You have a whole lot of independent schools, online schools, etc.

East Baton Rouge School Updates

Superintendent Narcisse (East Baton Rouge School System)

  • Three major areas we’re going to focus on moving forward:

    • All schools are our schools - it doesn’t matter where you are, what type. We’re trying to make sure we unify our school systems.

    • Pushing hard on early childhood across the system. Pushing hard on our literacy work. Started meeting with our school leaders trying to get our folks into a mind set to understand it’s important to expand our partnerships.

    • Pushing into the space of Associates Degree and industry based credentials, working hard with our partners on that and making an announcement later in the year about dual enrollment

  • Also put positions adding spaces in our community work, working with Out of School providers, trying to gear up in a way that we can start getting the system closer to communities, getting partners connected in the work we’re doing regardless of the school

  • Huge Back to School bash coming up at the Raising Cane’s River Center from 10:00 - 4:00. If you are interested in being a part of that let us know! Trying to get a lot of community services and things in that space. Super excited to have sponsors like ExxonMobil and other great sponsors

  • Some of the major things I know on the mind of our community would be COVID - the Governor’s actually going to say something today to help guide it but we’re going to announce the full COVID rules August 3 with our Health Advisory Committee.

  • Once we’re clear on that I’ll make sure we have specific things we’re going to do - there’s some pieces we’re not going to change like frequent hand washing and additional cleaning. I know people really want to know what the spacing is going to look like, if kids are going to wear masks or not wear masks. We’re going to talk through that.

  • The Strategic Plan was approved yesterday. We have some data/test scores...we wanted to try to show the road map for the next five years. I hope everybody sees that every school that’s a part of EBR - whether traditional, magnet, charter, whatever - all these kids are our kids. It’s important we’re pushing them to have clear performance metrics so that performance is happening in a way that families and communities can feel we are getting progress in our system

  • We want our partners to see where they fit in the plan - we’re using the plan as a platform around how we do everything. I’ve seen a lot of aspirational but not performance driven plans so we’re going to make sure we’re monitoring and updating what our performance is for every child, and moving towards a growth metric. It’s important we have kids measure themselves and not this school vs. school. And as many of you already know, we’ve broken the city up into five regions and within those five regions look at how we allocate resources, support and work with partners

  • We are working with Social Emotional Learning, we’re going to have a Fair Assessment of the School system in that way, talk about what our next moves will be in terms of that work...we’ve added additional social workers across the system

  • It’s going to feel a little different - we have to have a quality of standard and then we work with community and school leaders to get to that standard

  • Last night also gave a Facilities Review, started working with a facilities master plan...Going to have board members go out to communities to get feedback on what we should be doing with land and be more efficient

  • One ask to the group: continue to make our conversations about children, and not about other stuff. I’m excited that this group keeps that focus and that work. I’ve been trying to make sure I get to every space to talk to people and get engaged in our work every day. We can’t do this work without all of you.

  • Finally, I’m pushing to create the first Performing Arts 6-12 in the city - we want to engage the communities a little more for the next month or two, take some board members to see some around the country. We want to keep folks engaged in that process.

Chris Meyer (New Schools for Baton Rouge)

  • For decades, as Charles pointed out, we’ve seen opportunities for really the wealthy and well informed in our communities. And nobody begrudges any family for doing what they’ve got to do to get their kids access to the most quality education they can but the reality here in BR is that many of our students and families have been left behind

  • Particularly with what we’ve seen over the last year with the pandemic, nationally I think a reckoning is coming. There are polls that public school enrollment may be down 15% come this fall, you’ve seen a rise in new school opportunities across the country that families taking advantage of

  • Here in BR we’ve been fortunate that we’ve had a city that, while many have exercised by moving to the suburbs, taking advantage of private schools, enrolling in magnet schools, we’re finally a city that over the last decade has begun to open up and proven quality options

  • We’ve scoured the community and the country to find the best school options we can to help those schools grow

  • This fall we’re opening four new schools which are already fully enrolled - specifically BASIS in Mid City, Helix which operates the mentorships school and are starting two new middle schools to ultimately grow to high school models, really innovative aviation and legal academy, and then IDEA is opening its third campus and taking on a formerly struggling charter school that it’s adopting

  • Excited about these opportunities to continue and grow in partnership with the school district and the state

  • Ultimately Baton Rouge will be a leader offering families that have typically not been able to either navigate those processes or don’t have the ability to write a tuition check

  • We want all kids, all families to have access to great schools and not be defined by where you live and how much money is in your bank account

  • I’m really proud that some of the schools we’ve been fortunate to work with have shown the fastest growth in the state

  • One thing Tyler and I wanted to highlight today is that we’ve been deepening our schools partnerships with families

Tyler Litt (New Schools for Baton Rouge)

  • Families, Schools, and Communities Connect has expanded from a pilot that Mrs. Gwen has lead

  • Started off with three schools - Basis, Emerge, and Redesign - in 2019 where we were able to support 125 families to a truncated spring session this past spring where we supported 1,000 students and their families

  • Hoping to gain new partnerships with our schools and the community

  • OneRouge has really shown us the power of working groups - we want to have whole group sessions but also breakout sessions that focus just on affinity groups like ELL students, students with exceptionalities, etc.

  • Unleashing our community asset resource map this year to support school liaisons with access to social services and other resources

  • Genius is evenly distributed but opportunity is not

  • As part of my shameless plug, if you impact children, if there’s anything you can do to support the betterment of our community, contact me.

Dr. Sarah Barlow (Baton Rouge Community College)

  • One of the most exciting things for us is that we’ve sought and gained approval from the nursing board to admit our largest and most diverse nursing cohort for the Fall of 21 (90 students)

  • Game changer for the college and region in terms of ability to respond to the current need

  • This is something we hope to continue to grow upon

  • Going to begin building a new nursing building at the Mid City site...Great opportunity to grow the RN and LPN program

  • Also had a couple additional programs in our Computer Science field with Cybersecurity and Application Software Developer

  • Working every day to respond to workforce need

  • For the fall, right now we’re continuing to offer courses in multiple modalities: we have high flex, hybrid, face-to-face

  • Plans A, B, C, etc in place to pivot as our daily monitoring impacts the look of the fall

  • Another exciting component that has come out is that students now have the ability to go in and make modifications to their stated income for financial ai, so if you have a student who submitted their 21/22 FAFSA but have experienced an alteration in income you can go in and change that

  • We’ve combined Division of Adult Education with Technical Education

  • Provides more access to those pursuing their high set equivalency to earn IBCs to complete the high school classes and get credentials needed to enter the workforce

  • We’re very excited for the Glen Oaks opportunity that will begin this fall - students entering the ninth grade will begin their first college class in pursuit of ending high school with an associate's degree

Dr. Girard Melancon (Baton Rouge Community College)

  • Average age of our students is around 28/29, previous years 30-40% of our students had some experience of college and are looking to re pivot or accelerate their careers

  • 60-70% are disconnected young adults

  • Now in our 8th month piloting the Snap 50/50 training program

  • Also dealing with disconnected populations with our ExxonMobil partnerships since 2012

  • That has grown into the Baton Rouge Healthcare training initiative focusing on pathways with very competitive hospitals working with commonalities in allied healthcares

  • Three new programs:

    • CDL launching in September. Nationwide there’s a driver shortage. The average wage is $61k. In Baton Rouge alone there’s been a shortage of about 1,200.

    • Civil Infrastructure Training Program

    • Enhanced our Electrical program with the Green Energy Sector - solar installation paneling in the fall, HVAC program

  • Tuition incentives and resources to help offset costs as well

Dean Donald Andrews (Southern University and A&M College)

  • Dean of the College of Business

  • Learned to be flexible over the last year

  • People are looking for talent - that’s the key factor driving the new economy

  • We have positioned our students through various programs - accounting, management, finance, marketing, etc.

  • We have to show that we are engaged, innovative and having an impact

  • Positioning the school to be involved in the community

  • We’ve run various programs out into the community, many of which are now virtual...It’s been a major pivot for us

  • We have to more or less build trust in the community

  • I think the OneRouge program is moving us in that way in terms of helping us to all realize we have the same problems. Education, as Mandela said, is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.I think we all want to see Baton Rouge change and be successful and this coalition is one way to do that

  • We have to realize the opportunities we have and the ability to move the community forward

Brandon Smith (Louisiana State University)

  • Update on some COVID protocols: Still doing our daily symptom checker as well as vaccination survey

  • We expect a decision to made in the next two weeks for specific social distancing protocols but we are looking forward as Dean Andrews stated to getting back in person as much as we possibly can

  • In general, moving forward you’ll hear more about us enhancing our research portfolio

  • We want to grow our graduate student population

  • That also involved increasing opportunities for postdocs

  • We realize at LSU we have the most diverse freshmen class and that is because we had an enrollment management team come in to say we need to do a better job of introducing LSU to schools and districts and places we typically haven’t gone or sent recruiters. There’s been a total shift in the last three years. You get a more diverse student population when you start trying different things.

Community Discussion

Casey Phillips: With EBR Schools, I think the questions of Reverend Anderson’s that I really want to lift up are; What is being done to service immunocompromised, special abilities and ESL students this fall with the resurgence of Covid? What is being done to accommodate their families, and are our school facilities and protocols prepared for this 4th surge of COVID?

Nadine Mann (Child Nutrition Program Director, EBRPSS): EBR Child Nutrition Program works with parents that have children with special dietary needs. We have one person in my department that receives those orders. Our normal year would be about 500 special diets across the system. Alexandra Deiro Stubbs (Chief of Communications and Public Relations, EBRPSS): In terms of meeting the needs of our students with exceptionalities as well as English language learners, I’d like to elevate that they are thinking really holistic about how we’re meeting the growing needs of English language learners throughout the school system. We are ensuring that we are meeting the language needs of all of our students and families, making them a lot more visible. For our ESS students as well we’ve done additional structuring and support there as well. They’ve been doing a lot of work in trying to engage the community around what the additional needs are for those students and how we can better meet those needs. We’ve heard from the community that we could be doing a better job. I think you’ll start seeing a lot of that work. We’re working on getting more nurses and counselors in schools as well. As we jump into that school year, I think you’re going to start seeing and feeling differences. As it relates to compromised children, every decision we make is hand in hand with the leading health officials in the state. We have been clear that we will lead with data and science to keep our children and families safe. Eligible students and staff who would like to can receive the vaccine...we’ve been really encouraging folks to receive the vaccine and continue with mitigation measures. We have not made the official announcement yet. We want to ensure that we’re watching the most current and recent data.

Chris Meyer: We’re blessed as a community to now have a diversity of options and availability for families….the important work for groups like this is how are we reaching families so they’re informed about what their options are, how are we expanding options that have long waitlists and demands...there were questions about students with dyslexia, Louisiana Key Academy’s waitlist is overflowing, same with the Emerge school for students with autism. Are we ensuring students are funded at the right level they need to be so that when families make a choice to move their student to a particular school or not the appropriate amount of funds follow that student. A lot of comments here about looking to other cities and states that have done the state level we differentiate funding based on unique needs, we could do that on the local level as well. Choice is here and growing and families should not be disempowered from that because of their unique needs.

Alfreda Tillman Bester (Dept. of Children and Family Services): I’m concerned because...all of the parents want their children to be back in school. A lot of the conversation circles around the socialization of children but the emphasis definitely needs to be on the health and safety of the children. We’re having this surge of COVID coming back into communities, breakthroughs in some of the people that have already been vaccinated...We need to look at how we have 20-30 students in a classroom and maintain the safety of those children, especially the ones who are 12 and under and not eligible for vaccinations and also talk about the health and safety of teachers, administrators, and support staff. I’ve not heard enough conversation around emphasizing the health and safety of the children. I’d like for anyone who has information or thoughts to please share with us whether you’re private, parochial, charter, or EBRPSS.

Charles Lussier: I'm not the expert on this but there is some money that has been used this summer for ventilation upgrades in schools. There's been some debate, you have some very old schools and systems so there's some limits to how much you can improve them with new filters and what not. There's a lot of activity on that front.

Alexandra Deiro Stubbs: We are upgrading the HVAC systems because that is one piece of the puzzle, but there are multiple recommendations that have been made by the CDC. And again, every decision we’re making as it relates to the health and safety of our children and families is driven by the recommendations of healthcare professionals at the federal and state level. We’re making sure we’re doing the correct distancing, that masks are worn properly, temperature checks, isolation rooms...we’re actively tracking the vaccination efforts and clinics we have offered throughout the school year. I think as it relates to facilities, one of the goals of the facilities plan that we discussed yesterday was to determine and get a full picture of what our facilities look like, what needs repair, figuring out how we can best meet the needs of students and families and doing that in an equitable and thoughtful way.

Casey Phillips: Next topic, the federal unemployment stipends are coming to an end, the moratorium on evictions is about to expire...we’re headed for catastrophe. We’re going to have some serious flux in housing in August and that’s going to greatly impact the fall semester. What’s being done to reach out to families living in EBRPHA affordable housing sites and with the district's socioeconomically vulnerable population?

Gwen Hamilton (NSBR): That is a topic we discussed several months ago and it may be timely that we bring J Daniels and Chris Tyson, the Office of Community Development...Louisiana has more federal dollars in its coffers than ever before. There was a discussion with Mid City and Alfredo Cruz about a comprehensive housing plan for Baton Rouge and that may be a topic we need to bring forward.

Pam Wall: I will say, HUD is not creating more apartments for people to live in. Their philosophy is switching from public housing to private investment. I think the Housing Authority got a few hundred more housing vouchers which we refer mostly to Section 8, opened up the list which is already 1000 people...the Housing Authority does not have apartments that are empty to meet this need. We have units that are sitting empty across town because the rent is so high that nobody can live there. The Housing Authority wait list is very long. We’re trying to develop 434 new units over the next few years but we haven’t broken ground on that. The private sector is now where the help has to come from.

Adonica Duggan: I think both the district and NSBR schools have been really forward thinking in working with the Housing Authority to see this as a part of their role. I think there are things we can do to create these safety nets around families and there are policy changes we can think about that allow families to have continuity in the services children get - not having students have to move schools when they move a block over...mobility becomes a huge issue for these families. Making sure you have an open enrollment process...make sure you’re addressing some of those challenges. There have been some efforts around that. We can take it the next step forward and be really thoughtful about how we’re engaging community partners.

Alfreda Tillman Bester: One of the things we’ve done at Southern University Law Center's Vulnerable Communities and Peoples Initiative... We've kind of shifted the conversation away from the moratorium and unemployment...those things are ending and we’re anticipating a deluge of evictions so we’ve shifted that conversation to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. There are challenges there, but it’s the last great hope for many people who may lose their housing. Alfredo Cruz (Housing First Alliance): We may do a follow up session on housing and I think it is critical. The housing study I spoke about a few months ago is complete. We’re just doing a few final revisions on maps so that it can be really accessible to folks. I want to clarify that this is not a housing plan. That’s the next step. What we have completed is a housing study that puts together all the things that have happened throughout the history of this community that has created this crisis. And that includes the segregation by design of our education system, the economic segregation...all of that data is in this report that makes a strong case of what we need to do to change this housing crisis including education, which is what we’ve talked about this morning. We have partners in place with the Housing First Alliance and they’re the ones that are going to be part of the solution. I wanted to lift up two reports... The Out of Reach Report just published last week shows there is a huge gap between what people earn and what they need to earn to pay for a market rate two bedroom apartment. In Louisiana that wage is over $17. This crisis is not just about the number of units. It’s about the wage we need to pay families to pay for the housing that they need. The second report is a Gap Report that shows that nowhere in the country is there a community that has sufficient affordable housing for people that earn 50% or less of medium income. In Louisiana we have a shortage of over 52% of housing for people who make 50% or below AMI. Finding affordable’s not there. The solution for now has to be the wage. We have to figure out a way to pay those wages or create jobs. Adonica Duggan: One thing we know is that the issues around education, just like the other issues in our community, are very deep and complex. We are currently sourcing our Changemakers cohort that’s dedicated to K-12 education. If you’re looking for an opportunity to go deep on these issues, we ask for one day a month really unpacking the challenges and how it got to this point. Applications are due August 10th. Reverend Anderson: (On the Veto session) That was very disturbing to me, that when we talk about these districts, it is adult centric. The Transgender story was about our children - a population most at risk for suicide, bullying, every negative. And I saw - good and bad - the faith community come out with no hesitation, all sorts of people come out. And what I found interesting was the people that, when it's about money and tax dollars, say they are the experts on youth development and children seem to constantly be absent in these very real conversations, whether it's the role of sports, helping children socialize...not get careers, socialize and learn. And they weren't there. And I say the same thing constantly about the issue around mass incarceration. We have thousands of children who are in our systems and yet the people who are supposed to be our child development specialists are hugely absent in weighing in. I'm really concerned because none of the issues that are the 9 Drivers of Poverty...they don't start with our children and don't have the most impact on our children. I heard a lot of things about adults, but whether it's putting school supplies where they belong, without having to do all these other things...the special needs children getting services met no matter which door they come through. Why our schools didn't jump into the argument because it was "political difficult"...these children were left out to dry when it came to our school systems. And I'm really concerned about schools not wanting to take that role, using the research, the one on one knowledge they have. Being student centric at the lowest levels. We had people sharing opinions. We did not have educators coming in and telling legislators what they know and what the research shows. It goes to the myriad of issues our children are disproportionally impacted by. We have all these unequal systems. Are they talking to each other? Are they coming together on one accord? It's not about districts. It's about the babies. Pat LeDuff (CADAV): We talk about all the crime and the violence, we have babies and families grieving because of all the crime and shooting we have. But where's the concentration to support the children who have lost their mom, dad, caretaker? We did something, probably about ten years ago, where a grievance bus would come by the school to actually spend time with those children. Is there anything anywhere where we're doing that? I wanted to share a story - a little girl came to school when I was doing kindergarten and she didn't have a book bag and I said, "Where's your book bag?" and she said "At home", and I said "Why's it at home?" She said "Because it's got blood all over it...the man next door killed my mom yesterday." She was in kindergarten. That story has stuck with me all of my life. No one pulled her out to address that baby. I just took that on with no education, but there has to be some concentration for that. If we have a big problem with that, who's thinking about the children?

Zoom Chat

08:26:44 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : Good

08:26:46 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : Morning!

08:30:42 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : g

08:30:49 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : Great first run, Charles :)

08:37:04 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Charles’ article from last Thanksgiving:

08:38:50 From Flitcher R. Bell to Everyone : Great job Charles...…… Thanks for article info Zoe and CAsey!

08:41:25 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : YES!!!!

08:43:18 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : What’s the date

08:43:36 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Dr. Narcisse, who will be the contact at central office working on the IBC initiative? Also if someone from your office can email the Back-To-School bash flyer to include in the meeting notes.

08:43:51 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone : Is there information avail on how to have a booth at the Back to School Bash?

08:44:00 From ckelly1 to Everyone : August 7th from 10:00 to 4:00

08:44:04 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Great idea !! We have done that before with 100 Black men

08:44:17 From Kelly Welch to Everyone : Thank you, Dr. Narcisse! ExxonMobil is so very happy to do it! <3

08:44:31 From ckelly1 to Everyone : post your email and I will send the flyer

08:44:49 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone :

08:44:49 From Casey Phillips to Everyone :

08:44:52 From Heidi to Everyone : Ochsner is super excited to be doing vaccines at the Back to School Bash!!!

08:44:53 From Casey Phillips to Everyone :

08:44:55 From Ann Zanders to Everyone : Please send a flyer to

08:45:01 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Thank you ExxonMobil!!!

08:45:03 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : I would truly like to know why these school supply give aways are not done at the schools based on the student populations. This system seems very ineffective and punishes low and no wealth families with transportation issues. CATS doesn't support many of the sites.

08:45:58 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : What services for preparing for special needs students are being done? Non English speakers, etc.

08:46:20 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone : What is EBR doing to make sure immune compromised kids are safe back at school? We work with a kids in that population and I know that has been a concern and a conversation that has come up here at the center.

08:46:52 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Good thought! Maybe each school should set up snd buses should transport them

08:47:02 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : There continues to be the push to do in person events even though the metrics are going the wrong direction. Why are the schools not airing on the side of prevention.

08:48:01 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Is any plan to run concurrent vaccine clinics as part of all these back to school events, especially for low literacy parents.

08:48:07 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : What programs are in place for Dyslexia abd where

08:50:01 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Is there going to be any systemic testing to find out where all students are in terms of mental health issues. We know there have been very serious mental he?alth issues with our young people during the pandemic

08:50:30 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone : Ms LeDuff: we will be bringing on a staff member in the coming months who will be focusing on dyslexia specifically. Once that is finalized I'll be sure to let you know.

08:50:57 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Are you considering a pre-K K and 1st state of the art school in Scotlandville /.

08:51:51 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : We also need a state of the art middle school in Scotlandville

08:51:53 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Food Policy Opportunity (I know, unrelated to current topic but wanted to post) -

08:52:09 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : There is a major housing crisis looming in plain sight. Are any of the thousands of schools systems we have preparing for a crisis of homelessness, couch surfing and the related trauma that will go with this situation.

08:53:18 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : I would like to know why the school systems didn't weigh in on the trans gender ban as youth development experts?

08:53:52 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Adopt a school for every school with community businesses and partners

08:56:21 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Charter was originally designed to be a laboratory of innovation which if successful would be implemented into the public system from which these schools take money away. What happened to that purpose? Also who is accountable when these schools fail financially or educationally?

08:57:24 From Pam Wall to Everyone : Chris, have you done the hard work of communicating to families in housing authority properties to help parents understand why it is important to select a high performing school for children.....what support is available for students who will need more academic support to switch to high performing schools? Parents feel inadequate to do this themselves.

08:58:43 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : What is the percentage of special need students do our charter schools serve? What is the percentage of services provided by these specialty charters are offered to extreme low and no wealth families?

08:58:54 From Alfreda Tillman Bester, SULC to Everyone : Dr. Narcisse: We've heard a lot of conversation around the importance of getting children back to school for their socialization. Most parents want their children back in school, but are most concerned about the safety and health of their children, teachers, administrators and staff. How are those considerations being weighed in light of the most recent SURGE in COVID Infections- especially since EBR has not invested in ventilation systems as recommended by the CDC?

09:00:40 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : The issue of climate change is also part of the educational infrastructure. How are schools addressing buildings and systems that are not able to address the new and existing challenges?

09:01:17 From Claire Willis to Everyone : “Genius is evenly distributed, opportunity is not” - that’s a powerful line and motivator, Tyler!

09:01:26 From to Everyone : Yes! Count me in!

09:04:23 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : For those interested in supporting and/or connecting with Schools through NSBR’s Family, Schools, & Community Connect— please reach out :) Tyler Litt / 225.505.9174 /

09:05:11 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Of all the districts represented on the call this morning how many measure the number of students in your system impacted by a caregiver/parent incarceration system? Do you actively support these students with relationships with programs working with these populations such as Families and Friends of Incarcerated Children, Daughters of the Incarcerated, VOTE, REAL or the Louisiana Center for Children's Rights?

09:06:45 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Our public library system and recreation systems are some of the highest rated assets in the parish. How many of the districts are actively partnering with these resources?

09:06:51 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Same question as Rev Anderson for

Grieving families- Loss of a love one support

09:09:04 From Tristi Charpentier to Everyone : For more on "Potential is Universal. Opportunity is no." Check out The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore

09:11:11 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Does the Commercial Driving program allow for those who have criminal records?

09:11:53 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Awesome

09:12:11 From Alfreda Tillman Bester, SULC to Everyone : Thanks Dr. Melancon and Dr. Barlow!

09:12:21 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Could each of the districts on this call put the name of their homeless coordinator for your district's contact in the chat?

09:12:27 From Kelly Welch to Everyone : Thank you Dr. Melancon! ExxonMobil is so thankful to work with BRCC to prepare our local workforce for high demand and high paying jobs!

09:16:16 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Recently Louisiana just got a big win through a beautiful young lady winning the national spelling bee? How many of our k-12 systems are focusing on these types of great and cost out of school activities such as spelling bees, debate , competitions, science fairs, chess clubs, etc. Kudos to our universities for giving scholarship opportunities to this amazing young woman!

09:16:43 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : We have schools here in BatonRouge and Louisiana in general that are doing great

09:16:43 From Alfreda Tillman Bester, SULC to Everyone : Thanks, Dean Andrews! SUBR is well represented!!!

09:17:20 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : We can start with duplication of those efforts

09:20:37 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : I would love to see our middle and high schools use the benefit of technology to insure every school has student run podcasts, radio and You Tube channels, electronic newspapers, magazines, etc. I would like to see more focus on integrating sports programs with student run services (student announcers, BETA club marketing, etc.)

09:21:07 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Based on experience, if you want more researchers/post-docs and grad students, you need to have an inclusive environment across the parish. Grad students are not coming to an area that is not welcoming and does not have opportunities.

09:21:34 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone : I am so sorry I have to go. I have a meeting. This has been a great conversation and I look forward to the email recap!

09:21:54 From Flitcher R. Bell to Everyone : In reference to getting vaccinated it was surprising to see Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (who was praised by Donald J. Trump as a great governor) she said "“Let’s be crystal clear about this issue,” Ivey told reporters on Thursday, “The new cases of COVID are because of unvaccinated folks. Almost 100% of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks. And the deaths are certainly occurring with the unvaccinated folks. These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.”,,,,,

09:23:14 From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone : Thank you! It's great to be here this morning.

09:24:23 From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone : I’m with Apprenti. We work with more than 80 companies nationally to source, train, and build tech talent pipelines, while emphasizing diversity for women, minorities, and veterans.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at or LinkedIn @JacquelynCraddock.

09:25:23 From Christopher Spalatin to Everyone : Agreed Manny. Everyone is very willing to acknowledge EBR and LA’s shortcomings, and that is a necessary step insofar as coming up with ways to make improvements, but this needs to go hand in hand with projecting a better image and implementing new programs that we can hang our hat on. What has worked in the past? Are there are other cities around the country or world that have had success?

09:26:18 From Brandon M Smith to Everyone : Manny, you are correct. we’re working toward create that inclusive environment in campus through our Roadmap to Diversity. However, I agree that BR as a whole must be inclusive

09:28:04 From Brandon M Smith to Everyone :

09:28:18 From Charles Lussier to Everyone : On K-12 school plans for COVID, I wrote something earlier this week on this topic. The quick take is that while optional masking is the norm, those plans are in flux as we see a new surge in cases. So that may change, but if it does it's predicated on new requirement coming from the governor, which may or may not happen:

09:28:34 From Walls Project to Everyone : We are thrilled and excited to announce our Fall Tech Academy with the Futures Fund happening in September! Apply now

09:28:57 From Walls Project to Everyone :

09:33:14 From herstory to Everyone : Thank you for discussing ventilation which a great need in EBR!

09:34:18 From Charles Lussier to Everyone : Dr. Narcisse and/or his staff can speak to this, but there have some ventilation upgrades this summer in EBR schools this summer paid for by federal COVID relief money.

09:36:22 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Each of the successful higher education academic centers have had various formulas but some of the common themes are great academic programs with internal services and diverse ethnic communities/representation, portfolio of wrap around services in proximity to the institution that is affordable and of good quality, greater understanding of visa concerns and related issues, proximity to other cultural hubs/cities, ease of transit access w/out needing to own cars, sense of belonging and limited incidences of xenophobic/hate crimes… I am sure there is a conversation to be had around this.

09:36:46 From Manny Patole to Everyone : @Chris, and thanks @Brandon for your info.

09:37:56 From herstory to Everyone : I have just heard that high school teachers have more than 30 per class. How will distancing be possible?

09:38:11 From Charles Lussier to Everyone : Here are the latest state guidelines on COVID safety in schools. These are continually updated. Not mandates, but recommendations.!-2021-2022-school-operational-guidelines.pdf?sfvrsn=737f6718_4

09:39:04 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Every hurricane, every flood we get monies specifically to upgrade and improve infrastructure. Why does it feel like we aren't getting ahead?

09:40:04 From Manny Patole to Everyone : @Rev Anderson, process inefficiency and bureaucracy, and addressing symptoms, not the disease/issue

09:41:05 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Exactly!

09:41:19 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Alfredo Cruz

09:41:57 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Comprehensive planning vs Zoning are also larger issues.

09:42:17 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Housing, Density and need for stuff is an issue for many places.

09:43:16 From Charles Lussier to Everyone : In answer to a question from Rev. Anderson earlier, here's a link to EBR's homeless program. Jodi Lemon is the coordinator of that particular program:

09:43:44 From Manny Patole to Everyone : The major question is what is the general consensus on Shared Equity models. Unless folks move passed the binary of capitalism vs socialism, nothing with really change

09:44:09 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : Casey, NSBR has partnered with the housing authority in the past and will continue to work toward strengthening that partnership.

09:44:28 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Waiting lists for years and segregation makes it worse. Developers choose to rent to low income seniors over families. The choose not to house immigrant or families of color. They opt to develop housing choices that don't provide for the most impacted populations, especially families.

09:45:37 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Interview with Chris Tyson and Kai Ryssdal and Richard Cunningham

09:45:39 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : Well said, Adonica. Transient and home insecure families should definitely be on the prioritization list

09:46:07 From Gwendolyn Hamilton to Everyone : AS a Community, we have to demonstrate to the "Private" sector that we are appropriately aligning our federal dollars to provide investment incentives that yield high quality housing. Much needed! Too much fragmentation in my opinion. the Data is clear on the need.

09:46:29 From Manny Patole to Everyone : @Alfredo, let me know when you are available to talk :-)

09:46:56 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : All these districts actively fight McKinney-Veto families. Part of what is troubling with this separate and very unequal k-12 system is the failure to serve at risk families through shared capacity.

09:48:16 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Mr. Cruz, please let me know if 8/13 works for you on the housing convo. To the entire coalition, please make any recommendations you all feel need to be on the call.

09:49:35 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Can't solve a problem until you understand the current issues.

09:50:14 From Charles Lussier to Everyone : Don't cover housing, but my colleague Terry Jones checked in on this issue last month and the eviction wave people have been expecting had yet to materialize. There were special reasons for that. May well have changed since. Not sure.

09:50:30 From Manny Patole to Everyone : @ Casey, highly recommend Julius Kimbrough (CCCLT), Chris Tyson (BBR) and Sheila Foster (Georgetown) if you want to bring in outside the local

09:50:53 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Thank you Charles & Manny!

09:53:30 From Alfredo Cruz to Everyone :

09:54:05 From Alfredo Cruz to Everyone : National Low Income Housing Coalition. out of reach report.

09:54:25 From Adonica Pelichet Duggan to Everyone :

09:54:34 From Jan Ross - Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation to Everyone : Off topic announcement - The Wilson Foundation has a grant deadline on August 28th. Link to application is above. If you have questions please feel free to contact me:; 225-292-1344.

09:57:39 From Christopher Spalatin to Everyone : loved to see Rep Duplessis’ comments and Governor Edwards’s sting words at his presser - felt good to be an adopted son of Louisiana

09:57:47 From Christopher Spalatin to Everyone : *strong

09:57:55 From Jan Ross - Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation to Everyone : Great conversation. Thanks for everyone's commitment and engagement to making One Rouge such an outstanding way to lift up concerns and solutions in our community. Have a great weekend. Off to another meeting.

09:58:17 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Another great call! I am heading out. Looking forward to future work :-)

09:58:21 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : This has been such a robust conversation and definitely a starting point for ways in which NSBR can better serve the community. Thank y’all—I have to hop off for another commitment. Looking forward to connecting soon and seeing y’all next Friday!

09:58:43 From SK Groll to Everyone : Thank you Rev Anderson. I’ve been heartbroken by the silences from schools and community organizations in this larger conversation.

09:58:58 From to Everyone : It was heartbreaking, I really hope that these children know that there is support for them.

10:00:29 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Exactly! When does it become about the children?

10:03:14 From Alexandra Deiro Stubbs to Everyone : Agreed on mental health! That is why you will see a lot of investment from EBRPSS in increased mental and physical healthcare supports. More nurses, more mental health care professionals in schools. Though there is always more to do!

10:03:24 From Emily Chatelain to Everyone : Thank you all, Thank you Casey, as always

10:03:27 From Morgan Udoh to Everyone : I don’t have a good segue for this thought but I’m wrestling with this and wondering if anyone else has as well and has an answer. In these talks we discuss systemic solutions to educational equity , white flight etc. but I wonder if we are pushing a boulder up a hill by not acknowledging that individual choices inevitably lead to systemic inequality. “choice” allows those with the privilege of choosing to remove themselves from districts/schools that are then decimated by their absence. Those with class/racial/political privilege are adding to the issue by leaving. How do we get people to put their values in practice in their own homes?

10:03:29 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Thank you! This is awesome!!

10:03:38 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Thank you Casey and to everyone who stepped up.

10:03:42 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Thank you Charles!!!

10:03:47 From SK Groll to Everyone : Yes Morgan! I want this coalition to continue that convo

10:03:47 From Adonica Pelichet Duggan to Everyone : Always a pleasure

10:03:50 From Judith Rhodes-LSU SREC to Everyone : Thank you!

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