#OneRouge Friday Community Check-In (Weeks 38-41)

Updated: Mar 29


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.



#ONEROUGE Week #41

'The Education & Workforce Continuum'

IBM Skills Build Announcement & Capital Area Promise Update

Meeting Notes Prepared by Zoe Haddad (Walls Project)

Philip Smith

(Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the BRCC Foundation) : smithp@mybrcc.edu

  • Refocused the mission at BRCC to be the preferred provider of talent for the global marketplace

  • BRCC has done a phenomenal job - over 95% of graduates remain in the BR area

  • Significant socially and economically

  • Focus on high demand high wage programs (nursing, construction management, electrical, automotive training among others)

  • Early career academy, in line with P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) program at Tara High supported by IBM offers students the ability to move into the workforce immediately upon high school graduation or pursue two more years at a four year institution

  • Students receive an Associate’s Degree from BRCC upon graduating high school through the program

  • BRCC transfers over 2,000 students to 4 year institutions each year

  • Well on the way to becoming the preferred provider of talent for a global marketplace, but there are gaps that exist in terms of individuals who are underemployed or unemployed

  • BRCC Foundation and IBM have partnered for Skills Build, an adult learning program free of charge that covers areas of IT, customer service, soft skills, mindfulness, and a broad range of professional development opportunities

  • Over 11,000 training modules in the portal

  • Extends as well to an IBM badge that can be earned through the platform to be added to LinkedIn pages, resumes, etc.

  • Easy registration provided through BRCC Foundation

  • Baton Rouge is one of 12 cities that are part of the initial national rollout

  • The City of BR will partner with us to introduce the program to the community in coming weeks

  • Wanted to do a pre-announcement to this group - opportunity for your organization to become a part of this opportunity!

  • There’s a cost that IBM absorbs - it’s an investment in BR. This opportunity can change the landscape in our community. It’s incumbent on us to engage and get citizens to participate.

Sherry Wynn (IBM Corporate Social Responsibility Manager) : Sherry.wynn@ibm.com

  • Work with four states in the South Central region (TX, LA, OK, AR)

  • PTECH school (link in chat)

  • Been in this role about a year, starting in February after years working in Public Affairs in the Air Force

  • The core principles of IBM are “Be Essential” and “Innovation that matters”

  • Aligns with business strategy - we want a diverse workforce with applicants prepared for the roles we have in the future

  • Upscaled the platform that IBM uses, originally used for veterans, and reinvisioned it to be Skills Build

  • IBM invests heavily in its programs. Austin, Dallas, and Baton Rouge have been chosen for the Skills Build program - Baton Rouge is a city with a strong IBM presence

  • Skills Build helps folks who are under or unemployed or those interested in upscaling or rescaling to entry level tech positions

  • Tech based but also includes professional digital skills that any job seeker in today’s workforce needs (interview skills for example)

  • Assessment when you log in (5 part test, 1 hour) that tests what you’re good at (not what you know, but what your skills are) and what you enjoy doing and then recommends jobs for you

  • Hoping to connect adult learners in this community with a curated path of job learning

  • Feature tech job role learning paths, professional and digital job training

  • This program is at no cost to the user! Go through BRCC Foundation link for a robust assortment of tools offered

Dr. Pamela Ravare-Jones (Assistant Chief Administrative Office, Office of Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome) : prjones@brla.gov

  • Skills Build is free - many companies, especially during hard times, lose professional development and training funding first

  • Individuals who are dislocated workers or are seeking jobs due to COVID can get prep and certification in advance

  • There is no one who is going to be hindered by cost

  • Demographic of who you are trying to target - veterans, refugees, individuals seeking long term employment

  • An advantage for anyone in the city in need of that boost, that focus, that preparation

  • Sometimes individuals are not clear that some of their interests can be redirected into a new pathway for a career!

  • Would love to see more communication going out about this into the community and the Mayor’s office will work to pilot it with individuals in the city and make sure IBM is recognized for choosing Baton Rouge

Brandon Smith, MPA (LSU Office of Community-University Partnerships): bsmit31@lsu.edu

  • Phil and I met around 4 years ago with President King Alexander and had the idea to replicate the Long Beach College Promise

  • Came back from visiting California intent on creating a promise that is reflective of our community, that fits perfectly into everything you just heard

  • Our economy is not such that you have to tell people to go to a four year college, you can go to a two year school and get industry based credential

  • Capital Area Promise focuses on five pillars: college access, affordability, teacher preparation, workforce credentials and job training, and parental engagement

  • The beautiful thing about the promise is that its not necessarily a new initiative but an umbrella - a local business, a k-12, it gives different people opportunities to plug into the one of those five pillars they need

  • Core team of LSU, SU, BRCC, EBR with many partners

  • Keep building the method of the promise and make sure people understand that this is the message, the brand of Baton Rouge - What is our message, our common thing? Why is BR a great place to be?

  • The intersection of education and economic development is the key

  • Must be more intentional about showing our efforts are no longer siloed, something we all can belong to

Casey Phillips (The Walls Project)

  • With the alignment between the workforce training and universities, one of the most frustrating things for young people and adults is knowing you want to move forward but not knowing how

  • This allows people to come in and make their own pathway

  • We just want to make sure that everyone who wants to move ahead can

Questions and Discussion


Q: Reverend Anderson: How do we reach low or no income populations? We have digital access, transportation, and cultural competency issues. Has that outside the box thinking been considered? If I’m a parent this would be great information but I might not be in the spaces where this information is passed on.

Philip Smith: Yes, one of the reasons I think that [IBM] engaged BRCC to participate in this had to do with our bandwidth of partnerships around the city. We have community partners that serve all segments of our population. The mayor's office and other institutions will be a part of getting this platform into the eyes of those individuals who need it the most. We can use your help in doing that.

Sherry Wynn: That is why we chose BRCC as a partner. IBM tends to not get into spaces where we aren’t specialists. We are presenting this as a partnership because we need help getting to those individuals. Those individuals may need basic training to help them operate in a digital learning platform - we would love to work with your organizations to provide access to computers, etc. Would love to brainstorm ideas and bring our design thinking - we have people who’s entire job is thinking outside of the box.

Casey Phillips: The Walls Project has committed to working with Skills Build and Open P-Tech platform as a training partner for our Futures Fund Coding Boot Camp and youth Tech Academy. Encourage you all to contact the BRCC and IBM team to get engaged!

Janel Washington (The Walls Project): Our partnerships with BRCC and IBM will allow for our trainees to upscale and be more equipped for the job industry. For our youth program we are developing a full program as they go into mentorship once they’ve completed their levels of coding or photography. They will then be exposed to these programs as far as their development goes. Income is determinant in qualifications for our programs and we are looking to put these programs in the faces of those who need it.

Cat McGraw (Empower 225): We serve the community that Reverend Anderson was speaking of. We can come together to serve the youth but also their parents. I’m going to reach out to see how we can complete the virtual employment program. Even with a hybrid methodology, how can we bridge that gap with employment and employment skills? We serve youth from 13-24 years old but if we don’t move their families as well there is nothing we have gained. I can’t wait to come to the table to see how we can partner together.

Sarah Walsh (IBM): To clarify, Open P-TECH is a digital platform designed for students to begin as freshman with up to six years to finish (ages 14-20). Textbooks, transportation, and mentoring with IBMers are all available for free. We have 51 students currently enrolled. And we can take up to 60 new students this year! We also have 25 students participating in a paid internship at IBM this summer. Applications open this Monday.

Skills Build is for anyone 18+. As we get those students coming into P-TECH can we also engage parents in Skills Build and get the whole family engaged together?

Discussing the role of Skills Build for Small Business

Sherry Wynn: SkillsBuild does also include some trainings that are specifically designed for small businesses. For example, digital marketing, HR, COVID response, financial/budgeting and more

Manny Patole: Great to see community colleges being leveraged for their potential these days. I think that there is definitely synergy in the idea of small business and internships and leveraging the design thinking behind these programs, having students who are more creative help think outside the box to improve user experience and interface and how to bring in more customers than beyond a ten block radius

SW: I love the idea of figuring out a way to connect someone with a design thinking badge with a small business. Current paths that result in IBM badges are foundational understanding in cyber security, web development, customer service, and we are constantly working on new ones. Adding in some green job training eventually.


Community Announcements

February 4 the EBR Prison Reform Coalition with a host of national groups will be hosting “Mapping Injustice, Navigating the Criminal Legal System 101”, a three part series taking people from what happens when people get arrested all the way through the criminal justice system

February 11 there is a virtual discussion with the fifteen 2nd Congressional District candidates for the March 20 Special Election.

Metromorphosis is working with Elite Sports to put together after school tutoring and abstinence decision making programs. Available on Zoom and at the Cadillac Street BREC. Contact tyra@metromorphosis.net for more information.

Shared Resources

Corporate Internship Leadership Institute

The Opportunity Network

LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DEVELOPS NEW PROGRAM TO SUPPORT SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SUCCESS OF STUDENTS

Behave by Dr. Robert Sapolsky


Zoom Chat

08:27:00 From Capitol Park Museum to Everyone : rhart@crt.la.gov

08:27:03 From Sherry Wynn, IBM CSR Manager to Everyone : Sherry.wynn@ibm.com

08:27:28 From Sara Landreneau Kleinpeter to Everyone : Hey Phil! Go BRCC!

08:33:28 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : ’The Education & Workforce Continuum’ with featured speakers:

- Phil Smith (BRCC Foundation)

- Sherry Wynn (IBM Corporate Social Responsibility)

- Dr. Pamela Ravare-Jones (ACAO Office of Mayor President Sharon Weston Broome)

- Brandon Smith, MPA (LSU Office of Community-University Partnerships)

08:36:15 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Yes indeed Tara High! Standing O for Sarah Walsh/IBM for her work there

08:37:02 From Sarah Walsh to Everyone : Check out P-TECH at Tara High also know as Cy-Tech Magnet Academy: https://taratrojans.org/departments-programs/cytech/

08:38:53 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : The Walls Project has committed to working with Skills Build and Open P-Tech platform as a training partner for our Futures Fund Coding Boot Camp and youth Tech Academy. Encourage you all to contact the BRCC and IBM team to get engaged!

08:40:40 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Thank you for your service.

08:41:59 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Does diversity include formerly incarcerated persons?

08:43:29 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Awesome to have Baton Rouge ahead!! Thank you for your service Sherry!!

08:46:17 From Sherry Wynn, IBM CSR Manager to Everyone : Rev Anderson, yes absolutely it includes formerly incarcerated persons. It also includes parents returning to the workforce after a break from work outside of the home.

08:48:17 From Tyra Banks to Everyone : This is awesome!

08:48:35 From Tyra Banks to Everyone : Please repeat the date that it’s available?

08:48:54 From Perry Sholes to Everyone : this is awesome

08:51:15 From Manny Patole to Everyone : I am so happy to see folks understanding the important role that community colleges play in our community and people learning about these opportunities.

08:51:22 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Will you be reaching out to our wonderful library system, society for human resource development of greater Baton Rouge and our small business community.

08:54:31 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : How will our issues around digital access impact low and no income communities to fully utilize this program?

08:55:02 From John Daniel to Everyone : The IBM P-TECH Program is housed in the Center for Undergraduate Student Achievement at BRCC. (Center-USA). Center-USA is sponsored by the United States Department of Education. It serves as a wrap-around support system that promotes student retention and persistence. Please review the brochure attached and feel free to contact us. JGD

08:55:35 From Jasmine Pogue (she/her) to Everyone : How will this be rolled out to the community? In what ways will community members be informed about these solutions?

08:55:48 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : I love that model! It’s Magical... The PROMISE!!!

08:57:11 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Will some of the groups addressing food insecurity and youth programming be partnered with to get the word out?

08:57:48 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : please provide contact in Chat

08:58:39 From Susan Rogers to Everyone : Empower225 would love to partner with these efforts.

08:59:58 From Brandon Smith to Everyone : To learn more about the Capital Area Promise, contact Brandon M Smith - bsmit31@lsu.edu

09:01:01 From Brandon Smith to Everyone : website: capitalareapromise.org, our latest report was released yesterday and is available on the site

09:02:24 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Awesome sauce!

09:02:31 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Traveling work stations in local communities that are socially distant, provide sign up for this and other wrap-around services.

09:03:06 From Rinaldi to Everyone : I am a little lost on how a small business can use this in their business

09:03:54 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Partner with ISP, power provider, and someone to provide workstations, highlight local areas where target populations are and select days. Just a thought on the brainstorming idea.

09:04:03 From Aishala Burgess to Everyone : This is great!

09:04:18 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Calling on Janel then Katherina next

09:04:23 From Katherina McGraw to Everyone : ok

09:05:43 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : How soon can we zoom round table with partners to be trained to get the information out

09:05:56 From Sherry Wynn, IBM CSR Manager to Everyone : Feel free to reach out to me at sherry.wynn@ibm.com regarding SkillsBuild, Open P-TECH, P-TECH or just to introduce your organization and discuss collaboration ideas.

09:06:12 From Brittany (ARCH) to Everyone : I suggest getting the word out to aging out foster care youth living at Youth Oasis (on S. Acadian where I have previously been employed)! I have contacts there. Also, this is my first meeting and it is absolutely electrifying seeing these actions take place in the community :)

09:06:19 From Philip Smith to Everyone : Philip Smith - smithp@mybrcc.edu

09:06:49 From christopherspalatin to Everyone : Will do Sherry, thanks!

09:07:01 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Phil & Sherry, please email me information today to distribute to the coalition in the meeting notes.

09:07:08 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Brandon, same with Capital Area Promise please sir.

09:08:54 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Intergenerational Training!

09:09:59 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Amen, Kat!!!

09:10:28 From Sarah Walsh, IBM to Everyone : Check out Open PTECH Free Digital Learning Platform: Open.PTECH.org

We can connect you with a digital success manager to help onboard your group and learn how to utilize the platform.

09:12:14 From Aishala Burgess to Everyone : Zoom Roundtable sounds great!

09:12:32 From Sherry Wynn, IBM CSR Manager to Everyone : SkillsBuild does include some trainings that are specifically designed for small businesses. For example, digital marketing, HR, Covid response, financial / budgeting and more

09:12:32 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Great Concept and collaboration opportunity for us all but it must transfer to an actual JOB

09:14:37 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Zoom Roundtable Idea seems like a winner! Team BRCC and IBM, recommend you all schedule this around the press conference launch!

09:14:52 From tammy brown to Everyone : SkillsBuild Point of Contact: smithp@mybrcc.edu

09:15:32 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Q: are these programs looking at helping connect small businesses with students working/learning about UX/UI and can be a create complimentary collaboration

09:16:00 From Jennifer Carwile to Everyone : Sherry- I am sharing your information with Gaylynne Mack at the Big Buddy Program- they do work with high school students and career building

09:16:12 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Manny you are up next

09:17:20 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : How many young people have participated in the Tara program?

09:17:43 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : What are the success metrics?

09:19:10 From Sarah Walsh, IBM to Everyone : Cy-Tech Magnet Academy (P-TECH @ Tara High)

Apply Here: https://apply.ebrmagnet.org/login

Sarah Walsh P-TECH Program Manager Louisiana

Sarah.Walsh@ibm.com

09:19:18 From Sherry Wynn, IBM CSR Manager to Everyone : SkillsBuild Learning channels for small businesses include: (1) Virtual Business Management (2) Manage your business (including return to work after Covid-19 and Cybersecurity training), and (3) Grow Your Business.

09:19:41 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : We have many small businesses that due to the pandemic must pivot to new models. Can this program be utilized to assist them?

09:19:56 From Manny Patole to Everyone : I don’t need to ask my Q.

09:20:38 From John Daniel to Everyone : Thank you, Casey! Keep pushing, brother!

09:21:43 From Sarah Walsh, IBM to Everyone : Our students participate in Design Thinking sessions regularly, I am a Design Thinking Coach for IBM if anyone has questions about Design Thinking!

09:22:40 From Judith Rhodes to Everyone : I have another meeting. LOVE all of this. Thanks all.

09:23:03 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Or even a group of small businesses to help the student develop a customer base.

09:24:03 From Rinaldi to Everyone : casey this help small businesses cluster services lack customer service and not out sources by our corporate clients

09:24:04 From Sarah Walsh, IBM to Everyone : @Rev Anderson, We have 51 students currently enrolled. And we can take up to 60 new students this year! I can share data if you are looking for specific metrics. We do have one of our students graduating with their AAS Degree this year a month before they graduate from High School! We also have 25 students participating in a paid internship at IBM this summer.

09:24:51 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Open to work with folks if interested - Manny.patole@nyu.edu

09:27:15 From Manny Patole to Everyone : +1000 Casey. I love doing this here in NYC at NYU. Also combine this with Take your Child to work or other cultural days your institution to understand the multiculturalism at places of learning.

09:27:20 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : 529 is amazing!

09:28:08 From Alfredo Cruz to Everyone : Absolutely start further upriver with young students!

09:28:52 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : any programs for mature 9 year olds in SBA in starting their own business

09:29:05 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Q: are there programs like POSSE, HEOP or Opportunity Network that help shepherd middle school students through college graduation?

09:29:53 From Lindi Spalatin to Everyone : Thank you so much for this discussion. I'm sorry I have to pop off. Have a great week end, y'all.

09:30:13 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : once again Awesome Call !! Making it Happen!

09:30:28 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Of course

09:30:38 From Janel Washington - FF Staff to Everyone : Thank you all for all the work you do!! I am so excited to integrate these resources into our youth and adult programs.

09:30:39 From Philip Smith to Everyone : Thank you everyone!!!

09:30:41 From Tristi Charpentier to Everyone : There's a Posse in New Orleans, but not here.

09:30:50 From Perry Sholes to Everyone : www.internshiptalent.org

09:30:56 From Sherry Wynn, IBM CSR Manager to Everyone : Thank you, Casey, Phil, Dr. Jones, Sarah and everyone on the call for great conversation!

09:30:59 From Manny Patole to Everyone : @ Trist, that would be an interesting pilot in BR

09:31:03 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : YES! Thank You Guys!!

09:31:20 From Brandon Smith to Everyone : Thanks everyone

09:31:24 From Shivonne Marshall to Everyone : Thank you !

09:32:05 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Patrick Tuck, announcement/question?

09:32:32 From Tyra Banks to Everyone : I’d like to announce the abstinence education program

09:32:46 From Patrick Tuck to Everyone : Judith Rhodes helped me out. Here is the link we are interested in:

09:33:23 From Patrick Tuck to Everyone : https://www.louisianabelieves.com/newsroom/news-releases/2021/01/25/louisiana-department-of-education-develops-new-program-to-support-social-and-emotional-success-of-students

09:33:34 From Tyra Banks to Everyone : Thanks Patrick!

09:33:37 From Brittany (ARCH) to Everyone : How can we sign up for Mapping Injustice Zoom teaching?

09:34:22 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : that was great info Rev Anderson

09:34:34 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : send fliers to Casey

09:35:37 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Hey Tyra. send flier to Casey - he will get it to us

09:36:28 From Patrick Tuck to Everyone : Quick thing to say

09:36:38 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Got you Patrick

09:37:28 From Tyra Banks to Everyone : tyra@MetroMorphosis.net

09:39:42 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Got you Gwen

09:39:46 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Got you Manny

09:40:18 From Janel Washington - FF Staff to Everyone : Have a good weekend everyone!!

09:43:18 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Amen!

09:44:06 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Absolutely, Casey

09:44:11 From Tristi Charpentier to Everyone : The parable of the three women at the river

09:44:37 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Teach us Tristi, I don’t know that one

09:45:42 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : I like the term shepherding.

09:46:56 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Good season to be an HBCU!!! VP Kamala Harris!!!

09:47:33 From Manny Patole to Everyone : The other group I volunteer with (as an example) - https://opportunitynetwork.org/

09:49:52 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : I will as soon as I get the flyer today. Thank you for your kind words.

09:50:09 From Kelli Rogers to Everyone : Have to go into another meeting. Thanks, as always, for a great meeting! Have a great meeting.

09:50:21 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Bye Kelli!

09:50:24 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Bye Gwen!

09:50:55 From Katherina McGraw to Everyone : can I speak a sec

09:51:52 From Manny Patole to Everyone : https://medium.com/steveglaveski/if-youre-anything-like-me-then-you-have-a-thirst-for-knowledge-and-consume-a-lot-of-content-2ed521149f4f

09:52:30 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Thank you for your comments Karla King

09:52:49 From Katherina McGraw to Everyone : that’s good

09:52:53 From Tyra Banks to Everyone : Amen!

09:52:56 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Mic drop!!

09:53:14 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Amen- include that in the notes

09:53:16 From Karla King to Everyone : Dr. Robert Sapolsky, Stanford University. You can find his lectures online. Book is called BEHAVE. thanks y'all

#ONEROUGE Week #40 “Health & Housing Equity - Wrap Around Services & Opportunities for the Work Poor " Meeting Notes Prepared by Danae Leake During this community check-in, we learned more about the state of affordable housing in East Baton Rouge Parish, and ways members can get involved to tackle housing instability in impoverished neighborhoods. Featured speakers are Alfredo Cruz (Let’s Fix It!) and Anthony Kimble (Kimble Properties) Speaker 1: Anthony Kimball with Kimball Properties

  • Development in South Baton Rouge

  • Develop communities from all walks of life

  • Education around housing and intergenerational wealth building

  • Single-family homes, small

  • Wants to have a positive impact on communities in neighborhoods he grew up in

  • In college, he considered being a teacher but became interested in housing issues

  • Recently opened shared office space called Legacy on 14th Street

  • To give a spot for the ecosystem in that area

  • To help revitalize the community

  • They sponsored a Walls Project mural that’s on their office building. See it here.

  • Says the goal is to bring people back into those communities and build up the business leaders in that area and expose the youth to other career fields

  • Another project he’s working on is putting crossings at Terrace and Government St. to make it a quiet zone

  • Looking to launch Impact the Block, a program that aims to help elderly residents by fixing their homes

  • Discusses “colonization” vs. gentrification

  • Group economics

  • Owner financing, etc.

Casey: Share a little about the ethos and intention of what you do Anthony: I’m a person that’s truly walking in my purpose. Really I look at my purpose as bringing resources back into these communities. To help men and women who look like myself. Not just by building generational wealth, but also by attracting people to the neighborhood. I want to show there’s value in these communities. Why did I sell grandma’s house when I could’ve built up the wealth. They want to figure out how to get ownership to homeowners. He talks about how it’s important to build up the mindset of financial literacy, and learn how to build equity to help progress these communities. Speaker 2: Alfredo Cruz with Let’s Fix It!

  • Worked in philanthropy for 20 years

  • Worked in Florida legislature while attending Florida State, studied urban planning

  • Came to Louisiana 10 years ago to work for Foundation for Louisiana

  • He’s passionate about how philanthropy plays a role during times of disaster

  • Left the world of philanthropy to work in communities in need, and became interested in learning about housing issues

  • “For us to be healthy and safe, we need a home,” Cruz said.

  • But for some families, staying home was not the healthiest choice

  • He says we need to work with communities when it comes to risk so residents can better understand it.

  • He started a company with the initial purpose of helping his landlord and his 21 tenants

  • But now the company has transitioned strives to develop a contract connecting communities with municipalities

  • Some of the initiatives his company is involved with:

  1. Healthy Housing Initiative

  2. New Program to address hazards in North Baton Rouge homes

  3. They received a 3.4 million grant, and are still looking for funding.

  4. Housing first alliance- a group that cares about housing accessibility in East Baton Rouge Parish. Spent the last 10 months with the University of North Carolina in Greensboro working on a study that has housing data to help better understand housing gaps in the parish. Alfredo wants the study to be a tool that is owned by the community and includes community voices to negotiate what they need in their neighborhood. It involves developing a new social contract with the city and its residents.

  • He needs help with launching a community survey to capture those voices. Needs host organizations to connect them with people to talk about their experiences. He also asked anyone in the group to join the alliance.

  • Study will be released by the end of March

Q & A: Erick Porter, Southern University Creative Sustainable Neighborhood Developers

  • 8-week program to learn about development, secure property, etc.

  • Teaches the basic functions of acquiring blighted properties and how to put them into commerce

  • Program is in its 4th year and has an impact of 28 million of bringing back properties to new construction. Has over 200 students over the years.

  • He wanted to learn more about the study.

Alfredo in response to Porter: We were very intentional with how the impact sub-standard has on the community. The study will help the community become a party-ready to advocate more effectively for redevelopment. David Summers, Chief Operating Officer at Partners Southeast, to all and Alfredo:

  • Offered to provide help to Alfredo

  • Porter said he’d love to learn more about that program. Says he’s looking to expand the capacity and looks for talent from that program.

Question from Rev. Alexis Anderson with the EBR Prison Reform coalition:

  • In many of our areas that need the most work are still concentrated with high incarceration rates

  • Can the speakers talk about how those people who were formerly incarcerated can be helped?

Anthony: In my opinion, when you talk about mass incarceration, we need to give some of these same people opportunities. He says he hopes the current work will create opportunities for that demographic. “We need other people’s perspective to make it work.” Casey: Community-based redevelopment is key to community sustainability. Chelsey Morgan, American Heart Association:

  • Marginalized housing has health impacts, and unhealthy housing can lead to an unhealthy heart.

  • Link to study

Elizabeth Perry with Our Lady of the Lake/LSU Health:

  • Says patients are not concerned about health when they’re worried about their home, or not having access to housing. She says they have had a recent increase in housing resources. Some have been staying with friends and family just to get off the streets. She says resources have been stretched thin due to the pandemic.

Alfredo: Wanted to address structural inequities in racism. Study with a university has a section that shines a light on lending practices and their impact on the formerly incarcerated population. In communities of color, there is a lot of housing instability and that's a major reason for covid spread, according to the CDC. Housing instability leads to stress, and the stress creates a greater risk of contracting the disease. Lou Guthrie w/ LED FastStart:

  • Recommended Raj Chetty’s work in social mobility. Does a lot of research about housing and how it impacts people’s lives.

Pam Wall:

  • There are multiple follow up studies of "mobility projects'' funded by HUD and the Zuckerbergs to move public housing families into zip codes with better opportunity stats. These make interesting reading for anyone looking to relocate these families into census tracks with better outcomes for families (per the 30-year study released in the last couple of years).

Geno McLaughlin with Build Baton Rouge:

  • Rolling out a resident leader program

  • Identify 25 people in specific neighborhoods around a number of different issues

  • Community building and organization training

  • Help them solve their neighborhood-specific issues

  • Says building better advocates is always the best tool

Casey: What is the role of philanthropy in housing issues? Jan Ross with Huey & Angelina Wilson Foundation:

  • Says what we have learned over time, it has to be driven by the community and not driven by the funder who is in the arena, funding wise. It involves getting the community together, getting a plan, and soliciting a donation. It requires the buy-in of that local group.

Pat LeDuff with CADAV

  • Scotlandville is ready! And that the community is prepared and ready to jump into action.

Jeremy Pleasant with Grapevine Church:

  • What is the pathway for people struggling with housing instability? Any resources I can share with people now?

Alfredo: Think of this as your issue.



#ONEROUGE Week #39 “Economic Development & Community Health" Meeting Notes Prepared by Zoe Haddad

Veneeth Iyengar, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer with the Office of the Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome

  • Began working in January of 2018 with Mayor Broome - working on metrics and goals surrounding economic development

  • As Mayor Broome described, a fluid situation - the best laid plans set in January or February will get thrown out when you have global challenges arise

  • The original intent was building public/private partnerships that have not yet existed

  • Build relationships with the business community to work with North BR

  • Structure a fair share program that will help lock in the ability for disadvantaged enterprises

  • Project in North BR - Howell Place is a 76,000 square foot hospital built with the best of intentions to provide health care in North BR but was starcrossed. Two years ago one of the mayor’s priorities was health care growth in and around that entire region

  • Howell Place took two years but in July of last year we put that building back into commerce - Ochsner moved in, hoping to see 10,000 patients this year alone, opening up in March hopefully

  • Large behavioral health building also creating 85-90 jobs

  • Importance of public/private partnerships with solving healthcare, community, and economic development needs

  • Specific to last year with respect to COVID, we quickly brought together different segments of the economic development spectrum

  • In the beginning with manufacturers and oil and gas, it was creating alcohol gel and hand sanitizers and PPE

  • With restaurants, what can you do from an executive order perspective?

  • That way we were able to create partnerships to help small businesses to the tune of over $20 million

  • Call to action: I often feel like I’m not spending enough time on the streets and on the ground level to understand at a granular level what the challenges are. Oftentimes people come to us - part of the clunkiness of last year was not being able to be out there and see what those challenges were. Technology has helped but as we roll into 2021. Let's spend as much time together to bring in relevant partners to address those problems and solutions

Jared Hymowitz, Coordinator, Mayor's Healthy City Initiative with the Office of the Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome

  • Director of the Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative/Healthy BR

  • We don’t have local health departments, we go by region (we’re Region 2 of the LDH)

  • My role is to be that local policy person (housing, complete streets, economic development, jobs in different areas where health department would fit)

  • When COVID hit, people understood that I connect people, coordinate efforts, and communicate them to the public

  • We had relationships with hospitals and community partners that allowed for a stand up testing site in 6 days

  • Also the executive director of non profit totally separate from the Mayor’s office, Healthy BR

  • 18 CEOs and execs on that board

  • Communicate, collaborate, coordinate to make BR a healthy place for all

  • The glue or road map that holds together the coalition is the Community Health Needs Assessment

  • All non profit hospitals have to prove they can remain non profit under the Affordable Care Act

  • 5 priorities over the next three years launching in 2021

  • HIV/STIs are number one health concern outside of COVID in our community

  • Behavioral health

  • Violence prevention

  • Health equity and racial disparity

  • Maternal and infant health (engaging with Woman’s Hospital and One BReath Project)

  • All five hospitals have identified those as significant health needs - that does not happen! It’s very progressive. We need people to engage because we’re only as good as the partners at the table.

  • We also have Geaux Get Healthy, Move with the Mayor...there’s a large breadth of work we’re working on. Reach out and engage!

Coalition Questions


Casey Phillips: How thin is the line of going back to Phase 1? Jared Hymowitz: It’s about personal responsibility. We can shut down every restaurant, every bar, but people still have freedom of choice. People are still going to do things, hang out. There’s a fine line between us affecting the economy and personal choice. Mayor Broome is serious - she has no problem taking the next step if we need to but there’s the fine line of personal responsibility. If you choose to go to a restaurant with someone you don’t live with, it’s a chain reaction. What would happen if we shut down restaurants? People will still hang out at their homes. What we hope we got across to the community (in the press conference) was that Mama Bear...we’re disappointed, time to step up.

Jen Tewell (Grief Recovery Center): How is poverty and systematic failure being addressed? JH: Systemic changes don’t get fixed overnight. 60% of the Geaux Get Healthy grants have gone to minority, women owned businesses in the zip codes we’re trying to target. 5 CEOs and boards of hospitals have approved racial disparity as a health need. That wouldn’t have happened two years ago. Woman’s Hospital brought on a national expert. These are the types of slow changes...the other piece is being intentional with programs. With Ochsner, there's an MA Now Program that partners with the city to help people become medical assistants and then nurses. How do we create pathways and internally lift people within our organization? OLOL worked with Metromorphosis to create a payday loan account to help people affected by predatory lending. There are all of these institutional initiatives happening that take time to grow.

Reverend Anderson (PREACH): Priority of violence...is that also going to address the issues we have with policing violence and the continuing crises of the deaths in the jails? JH: You may have seen an article in the paper that talked about an RFP with the prison medical contract - that’s an institutional change. The contract was in place before Mayor Broome took office but she wanted to go through an RFP process...we have medical experts, the warden, mental health professionals...We brought a coalition together to write the RFP and will be releasing it in the near future. From a systemic level, our initial attempt is to look at violence through the public health lense. There is a whole system with policing and Mayor Broome has created training through partnerships with Capital Area Services, body cams, rules and expectations...in terms of root causes, it’s poverty. How do we uplift communities and provide opportunities? In terms of the prison specifically, reentry jail diversion and homelessnes through a continuum lens will be addressed.

Pat LeDuff (CADAV): Where are we with Housing projects, the grocery store, street overlay in Scotlandville? Veneeth Iyenger: Addressing grocery stores...there is a food gap in North BR. An A+++ priority for the Mayor and the community. One thing we quickly did with public/private partnerships a few years ago was to lean on dollar stores, particularly Dollar General, to sell fresh produce. The Mayor was pretty aggressive with Dollar General. On Scenic Highway across from Exxon they now sell fresh produce. That’s not going to solve all the problems but is a very quick way to provide some amount of grocery items. We are confident we’ll announce a partnership with one or two national grocers to set up a store in North BR this year. What’s really important is..there’s often this broad brush painted of North BR. The assumption and generalization is that the entire place is a wasteland. Yes there are challenging pockets to North BR but there is also enormous opportunity. The argument we’re making for momentum is resonating with some of these grocers. Jared is also working another angel of the grocery piece he can maybe address JH: I think there’s a two pronged approach. A brick and mortar grocery store is both an economic and equity play. There's also the actual “how do we address food insecurity”, and we think Geaux Get Healthy will help. Having access to a delivery service that can get to your house is more equitable than going to the grocery store. There’s the culture shift where we have partners like AHA and OLOL addressing the culture of fresh food and that it’s not something unattainable. How do we access fresh food now and look at the long term equitable factor? Here's my request. When, and Mayor Broome has announced it twice, we get the grocery store, we need the community to support it. There’s a long game around being able to get produce in a grocery store and having it not spoil.

Casey Phillips: One part of Pat’s question was about housing. Mr. Alfredo Cruz is going to be one of the speakers next week and we’re going to talk about the correlation between housing and health outcomes. Do you want to give a precursor for next week? Alfredo Cruz: Absolutely. Next week we will be talking about the intersection of housing and health, something this pandemic has raised as a critical issue for all of us. When the mayor asks everyone to stay in their homes, it’s with the assumption that everyone has a healthy home to stay in. Housing First Alliance partnership with City of Baton Rouge, and Mid City Redevelopment

Dustin LaFont (Front Yard Bikes): We are seeing COVID is having a much longer duration, anybody with relationships with youths, what are some ways we can deal with some of the challenges and help our students stay healthy mentally and behaviorally? JH: There are some resources I would suggest - Capital Area Human Services District, specifically surrounds youth opioid use. ICARE is another great resource through the school system. Those are two really good resources I’d reach out to. We’re looking to expand the knowledge of resources that exist. There’s a lot of great work happening but people don’t know because it’s so siloed. In addition to that I would look into school resources. CP: The Grief Recovery Center is another great resource Kat McGraw (Empower 225): Because of the mental health situation, we brought on board three mental health counseling facilities, Peak Counseling, I Rise Counseling. They are in our facilities every single day taking shifts just to help us navigate and how can we help our youth...just bring them to the facility if you need any help! We are available and our doors are open to anyone in the community, even the parents. Mental health is a really big concern in our youths and our families.

Community Announcements


Kevin Guittierez: I’d like to remind everyone that the deadline for applying for the Baton Rouge Charter Board Leadership Academy is today, but I’ll give grace to my friends and colleagues on this call if needed to get it in over the weekend. Here’s the link: https://lacharterschools.org/what-we-do/programs/cbla/ Contact at (504) 415-4292

Rodneyna Hart: Capital Park Museum has been working very hard to secure an exhibition on the Negro Motroist Green Book...I would love for this to be an exhibition that doesn’t just come and go but to really understand the impact of this tool. Please feel free to reach out, I want to work with everyone! Contact rhart@gmail.com

Reverend Anderson: Even though most of the events are going to be virtual, there will still be quite a few MLK events going on on Monday.

Leslie Gilliland: I am on the board of Mid City Gras. We’re trying to create socially distant activities if anyone would like to get in touch coming up on February 7

Edy Addison: Not a question, but shameless plug for Capital Area United Way's grant process that opened today. All info and RFP can be found www.cauw.org/funding-opportunities. We will be funding organizations that have capacity to provide direct financial assistance to the ALICE population for budget items in the ALICE household survival budget. Info session via Zoom at 11am today, but have a recorded session available now on the website. Contact edya@cauw.org or 225-382-3503

Casey Phillips: If we got through it last year, we can do it again. Anything you need from the Walls Project, we are here to support your vision. If you have ideas about topics to cover these Fridays or would like to speak, let me know. We will finally be revealing the action council version of the Friday calls. The calls will continue and move into a collaboration studio model that will start virtual and then manifest in a physical location in North Baton Rouge. I’m looking forward to the work together in 2021. Stay safe, stay healthy, and let’s be prosperous together. Additional Opportunities: * Facilitating Part 2 of the Louisiana Prison Industry conversation February 7th * Walls is gathering a white Paper to address everything we have accomplished during the EBR Community Check-Ins. Please contact casey@thewallsproject.org if you would like to include a quote about your experience. If anyone has stories to share of new collaborations through these Friday calls. They can stay anonymous or be published so that we can attract more people to these Friday calls and get behind everything this coalition is passionate about. * If anyone's interested in learning more about nonprofit board governance, LANO is accepting applications for the Community Leaders program through January 8. https://lano.org/training/community-leaders-and-directory/ * Baton Rouge Charter Board Leadership Academy (CBLA). Here’s a link: https://lacharterschools.org/programs-resources/the-top-shelf/cbla/charter-board-leadership-academy-application/ Also, feel free to contact me at Kguitterrez@lacharterschools.org if you’d like to know more. Applications will be taken thru mid January for our next cohort and there’s no cost to participants. Hope you’ll consider being a CBLA Fellow!



Zoom Chat


08:28:15 From Dominique Dallas to Everyone : Hi everyone! 08:28:22 From Dominique Dallas to Everyone : DominiqueD.Dallas@gmail.com 08:32:00 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone : Good morning and Happy New Year everyone! 08:32:18 From Kellyn LaCour-Conant to Everyone : Happy new year! 08:32:39 From Chelsea Morgan to Everyone : So great to see these faces again. Good morning! 08:36:09 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : yes!!! North Baton Rouge!!! 08:39:22 From Manny Patole to Everyone : morning from a foggy NYC 08:39:55 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : good morning Manny 08:41:12 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : awesome!!! 08:42:01 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Skynet is coming!! 08:42:06 From Veneeth to Everyone : Veneeth Iyengar - 225-389-5161 08:47:48 From iPhone to Everyone : Maternal and Infant Health is also a topic we are focusing on over the next three years 08:48:54 From Jared Hymowitz (He/Him) Baton Rouge, LA to Everyone : jhymowitz@brla.gov 08:49:38 From Jared Hymowitz (He/Him) Baton Rouge, LA to Everyone : 225-389-5108 08:49:42 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Is violence also going to include the crisis of policing violence and the continuing crisis of deaths in the jail? 08:50:47 From Jen Tewell (she/her) to Everyone : Jared - how is poverty and systemic failure being addressed? 08:54:09 From Esperanza Zenon to Everyone : Gotta run 9am meeting with the VCA 08:54:18 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Thank you Esperanza! 08:54:41 From Taylor Pettit to Everyone : My congregation (Beth Shalom Synagogue) is trying to engage in a speaker series around racial disparity and systemic racism in BR. Many of our congregants work in the medical field and have wanted to bring this topic to our congregation. How can we share this critical issue with our congregation/what information can I share with them/what are action steps I can bring to my congregation? 08:55:24 From Patrick Tuck to Everyone : I would like to connect Jared with our mental health post traumatic stress disorder partner: 7-Dippity around our planned programs and our current grant proposals. 08:56:04 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : where are we with Housimg projects, the grocery store, street over lay, in Scotlandville 08:56:37 From iPhone to Everyone : Hi Patrick please email me to connect HBR with that partner Lauren Hebert lhebert@brla.gov 08:58:53 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : raise minimum wage is the 09:01:11 From Manny Patole to Everyone : it's not a food desert, it is food apartheid. 09:01:33 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : it’s absolutely working for a short tine fix 09:02:49 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : a facade project is needed to Foster a face lift 09:03:10 From Dustin LaFont@FYB to Everyone : Thank you Veneeth and Jared! Y'all are great assets to our communities and city. 2 Questions: 1. The duration of Covid-19 has increased stress, trauma, and opioid usage. Are there any resources for that our youth can access beyond virtual meetings? 2. Jared, do you need me to connect you to a support group since the Cowboys season was so terrible? We love you and we're here for you. Who Dat! 09:04:04 From Manny Patole to Everyone : one article about the difference: https://thegreenurbanlunchbox.com/food-apartheid-why-we-should-change-the-way-we-talk-about-food-deserts/ 09:05:21 From Connor Deloach to Everyone : https://www.topboxfoods.com/baton-rouge/home 09:05:41 From Edy Addison - CAUW to Everyone : Not a question, but shameless plug for Capital Area United Way's grant process that opened today. All info and RFP can be found www.cauw.org/funding-opportunities. We will be funding organizations that have capacity to provide direct financial assistance to the ALICE population for budget items in the ALICE household survival budget. Info session via Zoom at 11am today, but have a recorded session available now on the website. 09:06:50 From Edy Addison - CAUW to Everyone : I have to hop off, but please email me with any questions edya@cauw.org or give me a call at 225-382-3503. 09:07:38 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : when ?? no grocery store in Scotandville in 40 years we spend 18M outside of our zip code determined by Together Baton Rouge research 09:08:42 From Jen Tewell (she/her) to Everyone : Thanks all - have to get to another meeting. Have a great week! 09:09:01 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Jen, please connect with Dustin at Front Yard Bikes 09:09:35 From Katherina McGraw to Everyone : 🤣 09:09:36 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone : I’d like to remind everyone that the deadline for applying for the Baton Rouge Charter Board Leadership Academy is today, but I’ll give grace to my friends and colleagues on this call if needed to get it in over the weekend. here’s the link: https://lacharterschools.org/what-we-do/programs/cbla/ 09:11:38 From Heidi Howat Wendt to Everyone : ICARE.EBRSCHOOLS.ORG 09:13:34 From Katherina McGraw to Everyone : Kat McGraw Empower 225 225-250-9233 Katherina.mcgraw@empower225.org 09:14:10 From Manny Patole to Everyone : David!! long time no see. 09:14:18 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : they are’s ll doing an awesome job!!thank you!! 09:14:30 From Katherina McGraw to Everyone : yes it was awesome 09:14:54 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : yes Thank You!! from Scotlandvilke for 225 Give 09:15:08 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Scotlandville 09:15:09 From Katherina McGraw to Everyone : amen 09:15:28 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : yes we are excited as well! 09:15:45 From Lindi Spalatin to Everyone : yes! 225 Gives was huge for us this year and were blown away by the community support. 09:16:04 From Donald Andrews to Everyone : just got my COVID-19 shot. we got to speed this process up so we can get back to a health economy. 09:16:29 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr actual birthday! 09:16:52 From David Beach l Wilson Foundation to Everyone : Peeling off. Everyone have a great weekend! 09:16:58 From Rodneyna to Everyone : Looks like Capitol Park Museum will be getting the Green Book Exhibiiton. I would love to work with as many community partners to make this a real community exhibition. 09:17:06 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : can we get contact info for Mr Cruz 09:17:28 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone : As a side note, participation in CBLA is grant funded, so there’s no cost, other than your time, effort, and advocacy! 09:17:39 From Rodneyna to Everyone : rhart@gmail.com 09:17:42 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone : https://lacharterschools.org/what-we-do/programs/cbla/ 09:18:02 From Aishala Burgess to Everyone : Yes, I will contact Hillar 09:18:26 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone : feel free to text me at 504.415.4292 as needed, too. Appreciate each of you! 09:18:59 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Super awesome! 09:19:22 From Alfredo Cruz to Everyone : Alfredo Cruz, looking forward to next week's discussion. alfredocruz466@gmail.com 09:19:24 From Manny Patole to Everyone : everyone be safe in Baton Rouge and other capitol cities as we approach inauguration on 1/20/21. 09:20:35 From shivonne to Everyone : I regret to inform you all, anyone that is familiar with community leader, Jerris Cade, he passed away yesterday. So sad and heartbreaking . 09:21:41 From Manny Patole to Everyone : All, looking for folks who want to participate in the CLT/B project. want to know more, please email me at Manny.patole@nyu.edu. Mr Cruz, love to chat as well. 09:22:19 From Kellyn LaCour-Conant to Everyone : Rest in Power Jerris Cade 09:22:28 From Patrick Tuck to Everyone : Great presentation today! Thanks all! 09:22:43 From Taylor Pettit to Everyone : Enjoyed today - thank you 09:22:58 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : can we have Shay Daniels on to update us on City projects 09:23:04 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Jay 09:23:49 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : YES!!!!! 09:24:09 From Karla King to Everyone : Thank you everyone! 09:24:21 From ktriche to Everyone : This was wonderful, I'm honored to be included. 09:26:22 From ktriche to Everyone : ktriche@ebrschools.org my cell 5042341249 09:27:48 From ktriche to Everyone : parenting an awesome responsibilitly

#ONEROUGE Week 38

No notes for this week. Happy Holidays!

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