Urban League Conference To Examine The State Of Black New Orleans 10 Years Post-Katrina

NEW ORLEANS – The Urban League of Greater New Orleans (ULGNO) in partnership with the National Urban League (NUL) will convene both local and national experts on education, housing, workforce and economic development, criminal justice, healthcare, environmental justice, disaster preparedness and civic engagement in post-Katrina New Orleans, as the organization commemorates the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

         The conference titled “RISE: Katrina 10,” will be held August 26 –29, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Ave.

         “The theme of the conference RISE: Katrina 10, symbolizes the continual growth in our city's re-emergence,” said Erika McConduit-Diggs, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans. “While there will be many worthy commemorations taking place throughout the city, the goal of this conference is to substantively evaluate the last decade and make systemic recommendations for continued improvement for all New Orleanians.”

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         Key conference sponsors include JPMorgan Chase & Co., IBERIABANK, Ford Foundation, Baptist Community Ministries and the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

         “New Orleans’ story is one of diverse community partners working together to move past recovery and spark an urban renaissance,” said Lizette Terral, New Orleans Region Market Manager of JPMorgan Chase & Co. “Our city can reach its full potential only if we promote inclusive economic growth strategies that benefit residents from all walks of life. JPMorgan Chase is proud to support the Urban League as it partners with New Orleans to chart a course for a brighter future.”

         The commemorative conference will provide a platform for a cross-section of community members, civic and industry leaders, to participate in informative and engaging sessions that address critical issues impacting communities of color post-Katrina.

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         “After Katrina, New Orleans faced the biggest challenge any city has ever faced, and we have come a long way,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “It’s safe to say we are America’s best comeback story, but we have a lot more work to do. The RISE: Katrina 10 conference will give us the opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned from our recovery and create a vision for the future of New Orleans.”

         According to National Urban League president, Marc Morial, “With cities across the United States in crisis, the National Urban League’s theme for the State of Black America and our Annual Conference is Save Our Cities: Education, Jobs + Justice. The dialogue planned for RISE Katrina 10 is critically important to helping inform national economic, educational and cultural response strategies for rebuilding urban centers.”

         The conference will begin with a special press conference to release the State of Black New Orleans: 10 Years Post Katrina report, which will establish the framework for all conference sessions. The publication will include essays, editorials and research by local scholars and will produce a clear set of recommendations for the continued recovery and development of New Orleans in a more equitable and sustainable manner. Research partners for the State of Black New Orleans publication include: The Data Center, Dillard University, Xavier University, Tulane University, Loyola University, Southern University of New Orleans, the University of New Orleans and the Urban League Washington Bureau.

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         The reformation of the New Orleans public education system over the past 10 years will be examined deeply during the conference. A live-streamed town hall will feature education leaders discussing Pre-K-12 education, outcomes and the plausibility of New Orleans’ reforms as a national strategy to close the achievement and opportunity gaps.

         During the conference, the Urban League will host a RISE: Katrina 10 luncheon which will include a national correspondent’s panel to share perspectives of the recovery from journalists who were in New Orleans during and following Hurricane Katrina.

         The RISE: Katrina 10 Commemorative Conference will also feature the Urban League Annual Gala, which will recognize the notable accomplishments of “Katrina Heroes.” The Annual Gala will take place on the evening of Thursday, August 27.

         The conference will conclude with a Youth Town Hall, providing a critical platform for youth to lend their voice to their post-Katrina experiences and vision for youth engagement in the city moving forward. Finally, conference attendees will be encouraged to take city tours to experience the spirit of “Resilience” and see first-hand how New Orleans communities have recovered post-Katrina.

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