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One Rouge Community Check -In - Week 148

It is almost surreal to think that the onset of COVID spurred our Friday calls and the OneRouge Coalition. We have made friends and forged alliances to tear down the Nine Drivers of Poverty. Not sure whether you recall, but the first driver is “Lack of educational attainment” and it’s a doozy! So much of the capacity to advance is tied to education. “Fun facts” about Louisiana residents:

  • 20% of residents cannot read or write

  • 33% of residents never finish high school

  • 48% of college graduates leave school in debt

However, it is important to understand that getting a job is not the end of education. There are many reasons for continuous learning. Whether it be for the sake of knowledge or a professional requirement, education is an integral part of living and working. And that is precisely the message from the leaders of the Education to Career Coalition! Tomorrow we celebrate the launch of the Education to Career Coalition in the fight to remedy the drivers of poverty. Our featured speakers are:

  • Adonica Pelichet Duggan – CEO at Baton Rouge Alliance for Students and E2C Co-Chair

  • Dustin LaFont – Founder Front Yard Bikes and E2C Co-Chair

  • Casey Phillips – Director of The Walls Project and Co-Chair Capital Region Workforce Ecosystem

Enlight, Unite, & Ignite!



Emily Chatelain: So the three o'clock project and the child nutrition team at E B R are really excited and proud to be moving forward with a partnership. We've spent the last several months working together on a really important policy. This policy is going to be voted on at the April 6th e b r board meeting which is the next board meeting. The policy is called the Good Food Purchasing Policy. It was started in Los Angeles with the LA Unified School District. It's since been adopted by 11 school districts and cities across the US and there are seven active campaigns, one being ours. This policy will allow the child nutrition team to take a values-based approach to food procurement with a focus on kind of five pillars, animal welfare, valued workforce, environmental sustainability, local economies and nutrition. The policy is aligned with many initiatives that are being pushed right now at a federal level from U S D A that are focusing on local procurement updated nutrition standards, scratch cooking, and increased farm to school programs. There's been a lot of announcements if are tuned in to any of that. A big announcement yesterday, about 50 million that the U S D A will be pushing down on organization, school districts that are adopting some of these. So by passing this policy E B R would be a leading example in the entire Gulf South region. The closest district to us that has adopted this is in Austin, Texas. And there's no no one else doing it. We'd be a leading example for improved food procurement standards as well as setting EBR R up to be a strong candidate for larger federal and private grants to continue investing in child nutrition education and high quality food moving forward. With an enrollment of almost 40,000 or around 40,000 students all receiving free meals this policy has or will have a really huge impact on not only the kids that E B R serves, but also our local community and economy. So there's a few ways to get involved. That's why I'm speaking to all you guys today. I'm gonna drop a link in the chat that's gonna go to a Google Doc that'll have some of these for you. But if you're if you wanna learn more about the good food purchasing policy in general, right? There's a whole website and lots of stuff out there on Google explaining what it is. It's nothing new, right? We just wanna bring it here to Louisiana. But we would love your support. So whether that's your organization's logo that we can put on some board documents a letter of support from your organization or this policy. A brief testimonial from your org to be used right to support child nutrition and education. Or you can come join us at the E B R School Board meeting on April 6th. So I will drop that into the link from here. And that is my announcement.

Adonica Pelichet Duggan: We're super excited to announce the launch of the Education Coalition. And Dustin and I have worked together with the Whole One Rouge team because we know how much of a lot of the nine drivers of poverty run through schools. And we wanna be really mindful of the role that schools and education play in this work. And so we're just really excited to work together. The aspirational statement for the group is to build a culture of quality instruction, lifelong learning and equitable access to opportunity that makes success and prosperity inevitable. So I'll just let y'all sit with that for a minute. But. Have kicked the tires on this and worked really to make sure that we are all aligned on what we're trying to accomplish here. So I'll let Dustin jump in and share the goals there.

Dustin LaFont: Thank you, Adonica and your voice always sounds great regardless. It's just always nice to hear Adonica getting things done and showing up and helping out cause she's amazing. Our goals are to create a culture that values literacy and increases literacy rates. We really wanna focus on that possibility of making our city have a culture, not just a focus, but really that it's normal for everyone to say, oh yeah we're working and learning and growing and reading at higher levels. And it's a norm, not initiative. Our second goal is to increase equitable access to safe learning spaces. That encourages a joy for learning at any level. This is once again not just trying to make a list of goals that don't have breathe life, but see that we're encouraging that there's a joy in excitement and learning and not a mundane task. We wanna expand awareness and access to early childhood education. It's astonishing that kindergarten became a law very recently. My wife, who's a kindergarten teacher, has been advocating for that for all 11 years. And early childhood education is not just kindergarten. We have to cons keep thinking and imagining how do we get the younger kids involved? And lastly, we want to increase the opportunities of, for continuous learning. It doesn't make sense that students stop learning. At two 30 or three 30 when the bell rings or when they're at the cusp of graduating high school. I think we all understood that adult education is a real need and value, and we're not cultivating higher ed in that in our spaces. Aside from the universities. We have been meeting quite often this has been a labor of love. This has been a lot of support credit to Casey, Pepper, Helena and Samantha. They've been keeping us to try to really work and focus on how to get this kind of coalition, really an education coalition and had to expand it to careers. Cause it was a realization that we're not connecting those dots very well for what happens as a result of getting quality education that you're actually on a pathway. To personal development and personal growth that's gonna get you an opportunity for a job or a career in education. So these realizations came out outta many meetings, many jam boards, many conversations. There's been a lot of editing, and we're now the point that we believe we have a solid foundation and we're ready to pull in. Coalition members a Donna and myself are really proud to co-chair and co-lead. But I can't say we have all the answers to these big initiatives and goals or this big dream. We need to pull on individuals who are willing to do this weeds work on frequent basis. We're trying to figure. Best ways of engagement, best ways of making action items from these goals to begin to make small steps and that these steps can lead to a transformative culture in Baton Rouge. Casey said it, 48,000 kids sounds like a lot, but it's perfect to pilot success. It's just the perfect size that we can pilot a really successful strategy of how education can really matter and lead to a belief system of we need to learn because it creates opportunity and not the other way around where we have high school diplomas and uncertainty of now what. So that's just a snapshot of our vision and our goals.

Adonica Pelichet Duggan: I would just say don't you wanna work with Dustin? Because he did a great job of really encapsulating what this process has been like and his passion for education and young people in our community is so evident in everything that he does. We're excited to have other folks join us in this conversation and continue to work around solutions for our kids in Baton Rouge.

Casey Phillips: Yeah, there you go. And I think it's important to note that none of this work was done in a vacuum. It's been years of not only one-on-one in stakeholder meetings inside of community, in coffee shops. But also what we did was we built on the learnings from cafe and we conducted a series of Jamboard sessions that were we got a very wide rate of 25 to 30 people at each one of the Jamboard sessions in asking and really flushing out what that was and. The topics, the goals and the aspiration became very clear. Obviously, Dustin and Adonica really helped push peoples in the boundaries to where we want to go not just where we are now. And this will be the coalition will be driven from the ground all the way. I don't wanna say from the ground up, because there is no hierarchy in collective impact work, right? As said, it's it's driven on the ground and as said in for the people and by the people. So that that process has been it is been, it's been a tough one. I'm not gonna lie most of us who have partnered together with the walls know that if you call us on a Wednesday and say you need to do something on a Saturday, we're like, and we roll up with ladders and paint buckets or gardening materials or laptops to be able to teach coding. And we're very agile. We're very spring forward, sprint focused. This work has been very systematic. It's been very methodical, and it's the way to do the the work all together. So I said again if anything, I just wanna publicly thank Dustin and Adonica for not jumping out of their skin on all of these meetings and to remain in their human vessels and continue to do this work while they're also pushing forward everything they're doing. Just as a quick one, two on what the coalition is and what the coalition isn't. Pepper, our, one of our resident Collective Impact 3.0 experts is gonna jump in and just give a little brief overview of that. And then we're gonna really get down to the nitty gritty on what the work groups are and then open up the floor to the larger tent as we

Pepper Roussel: To echo the sentiment we did build off of how it is that cafe came to be. Part of that was Jamboard Sessions bringing folks in. And from those sessions we got an opportunity to hear from our stakeholders, right? So these are folks who enter into education from from birth to encore careers. What does it look like? What does it need to be? And when we ask questions around what is, what should the coalition be right? What is it not, what do we aspire to be? We got some pretty great themes out of it, but some of the answers were that it's focused on improving student outcomes. Now, these outcomes for a student defining student is not just someone who's elementary age, but also somebody who may be going through some sort of continuing learning con, continuous learning for professional growth, for professional development to actually switch careers or to improve or to exceed in the career in which you've already had. This coalition is multi-generational, right? So we are looking to not just those who are in elementary, but also those who are actually working or who are trying to obtain jobs that it's, that af after school, after elementary school, after secondary school is not an afterthought. That it is rather inclusive of all the streams of education and learning. That ultimately it's collaborative. That the idea is to collaborate with organizations, whether they be institutions or government or private organizations in order to ensure that we do have some sort of a stream, not just for folks to get jobs, but also to understand that the value of learning and the value of continuous learning is something that is priced in and you does have a place as opposed to an approach of simply, we are going to train you to get a job somewhere, cuz that is not the end all, be all of existence. But what we're not is also just K through 12 education. And the objective again is simply that we go from education through career to second careers, what have you. We are not a lobbying organization. We have folks who do that sort of thing. Yes we do have policy components, but those are really about educating. We are also not intending to rehash the school board or any. Political sticking points. The objective here is not to bring in the things that don't work. It is to figure out the things that do and then find a way to push those out. And we are also not isolated from other coalitions. We just like every other one Rouge coalition, we work with others, we try to reach across. This is not about being in a silo. This is certainly not to bring folks out of where they are and to put them into someplace where they simply cannot reach or see or understand what's going on in the larger picture, the framework as Casey loves to say, building the table as large as a Superdome, we wanna make sure that everyone is underneath this tent, and we cannot do that if we act in isolation. But some of the things that I thought were really interesting around what we aspire to be is that we aspire to create a. For all of these different entities, whether they are government or NGOs or private or institutions, to understand what does it look like to collaborate and how do we get from mandating or legislating kindergarten as as a requirement to ensuring that folks who are coming out of secondary school or who are even finding that their jobs have been downsized or they just wanna switch careers, that there needs to be a space for them and we have some place for them to be educated, to thrive. We are, we also aspire that all students graduating are not only college, but career ready. And I thought this was rather specific. So if you're into that sort of thing that we get to the least number two on the US education list, every single year y'all, we are scraping the bottom of the barrel. And it's fun to say that there's no place to go but up. But if we could just get to the middle we aspire to be a coalition at number 22. If we could get to the middle and. Be and ensure that the families and the children in particular, the co, those who are being educated, those who are moving into careers, those who wanna go to college, that all of our folks and our people in East Parish, excuse me, east Baton Rouge Parish and the Capital Region can be educated, can find a space for themselves, can be fully br realized human beings because they are educated and they are prepared. That's it. That's what we aspire to be. We aspire to be the launchpad.

Casey Phillips: So folks, let's now it's time to roll the sleeves up, right? We're gonna get into just as far as the process goes, What we will actually, cuz some folks I'm sure like, that's a lot of words. So like what? What are y'all doing? This is how it will basically shake out. We'll be doing quarterly convenings, which will announce the first one here in a second. We'll be doing quarterly in-person convenings where everyone comes together cuz it's important to lay hands on one another and in. Mutually approved way and and be able to look at each other in the eyes and understand and like really talk through where everyone's organizational agendas are what you are all moving towards. And I said, and to into hookup and together and collaborate together in that way. But also these are gonna be working sessions, right? These aren't just like networking sessions. These are actually working sessions on these quarterly events. Then every month we'll be doing a monthly zoom check-in these this is the same that we do, if any of you all are already part of the capital region, workforce ecosystem, exactly the same cadence, 45 minutes mid, like late morning before you get to bounce in theory, have a nice healthy lunch. And I said, and be able to just get in there, talk about some issues that are happening, share what you're doing. Chop it up together and stay connected to each other on a monthly basis. We'll also be either on a bimonthly or quarterly basis, we will be selecting a preexisting event that's already happening, that we can all come together and stack hands together, bring all of our energy to, and amplify things that are already, that are really great in the community and make them extraordinary. And that's really one of the things that I just wanna of get back to again, is that this is a really large endeavor. And we'll talk about the working groups. I'm gonna turn it over to Adonica and Dustin. But everyone is welcome at the table and it's going to be all about taking things that are already good and great and making them. Class, the standard in Ban Rouge is no longer to keep pace with other cities or to be like whatever other city it is to create a world class expectation for every single human being in the city in our respective work. We're gonna fall short on a monthly basis, but hopefully as time goes on, year after year, we begin hitting those triple gold stars as said all together. And if that's not what we're aiming for, then what the hell are we doing, right? I said that's what we're all here to contribute to our heartbeat. So for the two most action-oriented humans, two of the most action oriented humans in the city, Dustin and Adonica, maybe y'all can talk about the working groups and give everybody kind of a sneak peek to that. And then and then we'll issue the invitation to everybody.

Adonica Pelichet Duggan: We lovingly say at the Alliance that we have a bias towards action, and I think that is also shared at Front Yard Bikes by Dustin and his team. But we spent a lot of time thinking about the composition of the different working groups. There are a lot of ways to slice education. We could go early childhood k12. we should, we could break it up by grade levels, but we really settled on making sure that we were focused around particular areas that we wanted to serve. And so the working groups that we've proposed are schools as community hubs or centers. We recognize that there are so many resources that run through schools and that there are touchpoint to connect the community for with families. We focused on equity of access, including access to jobs and access to education, and really making sure that our schools are serving everyone in the community equitably. In addition, we have a Bridging the Gap Coalition that focuses on the connection between education and industry. Connecting our community partners with our business partners and making sure that they're providing that Pipeline of workforce development. And then finally community outreach, which is that educa that advanced component, which is connecting with all of the community activities that are taking place and making sure that we are connecting our education partners there. So again, that's schools as community hubs are centers. Equity of access, bridging the gap between industry and education. And then finally the advanced coalition or community outreach.

Casey Phillips: Awesome. Dustin, anything that you would like to add to the conversation?

Dustin LaFont: No, except that we really dug deep into trying to figure out what was the best benefit for the, for our community from these working groups so that they would've actionable steps. Some of these are pretty big. E equity and access is a really big focus for a working group, but we wanna see access to jobs and access to education that and trying to sustain that as e equitably as possible. And what we mentioned earlier, bridging the gap between education and industry. There's way too many people saying we need to hire more. We're having hiring gaps in our city and industry and not providing the education necessary for young people or community members to get there. So that's just seems a very big focus I think of this coalition to make sure that we see more of Baton Rouge people getting high paying Baton Rouge jobs that are just down the street from us.

Casey Phillips: So in conclusion with the overview, and then we are going to open some space for a few of the partners to demonstrate the larger Superdome tent, and yes, we're making sure and saying that over and over so that everyone really understands the size and scope of this coalition. Folks, there is a place for everyone in this work. This is most likely going to be one of the. Wide range, a wide range of reaching coalitions that we have inside of One Rouge. You said this is gonna be everybody from early Childhood to Headstart. It's gonna be K through 12, which in Colludes, EBR, R P S in S B R private schools, homeschool everybody working with K through 12. After school, right? Which is a great component with everything that everyone's been doing with Brain. All of that collective work that brain has been doing in getting on the same page with the district. They're welcome under the tent post-secondary B R C R P C, Southern L s u Southeastern on a regional approach. The private business sector workforce training programs and networks, as I've already mentioned. The in partnership with Trey Godfrey at brac, and our friends at the Louisiana Technical College System and the Board of Regions. We've already we've already been convening the capital region, workforce ecosystem for the past year. There's over 155 members inside of just that network inside of that ecosystem. So these are gonna be hundreds and hundreds of organizations that are going to be coming together to really think about that entire continuum, right? As said, from almost from cradle. I don't like the cradle to grave thing. It's really super dark, right? That's cool. Mortality is a real thing. But how about the idea of working with young humans is from the cradle all the way through everyone's encore career, right? People are working longer. People are having many lifetimes of of careers, and that requires continuous learning. We just wanna keep, continue to harp on that phrase. Continuous learning is a part of life. And as said, so it impacts, I said all the way from the little ones littlest of the humans in our community, all the way to the elders the elders in our city's tribe. So I said, in everybody deserves access and opportunity. If you like what you hear now and you wanna be a part of it the first convening is going to be obviously a lot of introductions and a lot of groundwork. And Adonica has been kind enough to open up the alliance's offices on Lafayette Street here in downtown. We will be launching our first in-person meeting not months down the road. It's gonna be in weeks, y'all, April 21st. As said, it's gonna be a really festive time in the city between the 20th and the 22nd with birthday activities and everything that's going on. It's a great way to start it. It's gonna happen right at the end of this call as in on Friday, April 21st at 10:00 AM and we'll be sending an invite in the meeting notes and everyone is welcome. Not only the folks that are on the call, but everyone in your circle, come on, be a part of it. And yeah, that's that's that, right? We're gonna get to questions. We absolutely are gonna get to questions, so if y'all can just hang on a little bit. I already see Reverend Anderson and a few folks have it in there, but I wanted to go ahead and turn it over to one of our partners Tanisha as said with the Band Rouge Area Chamber, to demonstrate how this coalition is as it is trying to create a space wider to the left and to the right of great initiatives that are already happening.

Tonnisha Ellis: I'm actually loving the conversation around the education and the workforce alliance piece that is pivotal to our economy and also our region. So one of the initiatives that we have here at BRAC is we've taken them a step further. We are asking leaders to provide opportunities for students to expose 'em to the careers in our industry sectors. And the question I continuously ask them is, if you had the roadmap to success, would you take it? Absolutely. And if you had the chance to give it to someone, would you do it? And they say yes. So we partner with E B R schools to launch a thousand internship placements. They have challenged us by having over 700 kids apply. The downside to all of this is we only have 70, 70 businesses. So we have a huge gap to fill. So what my ask of this group is, and I'll put the information in our, in the chat is to reach out to your networks to see how they can either a, host a student, or b sponsor a student. And in doing this, it provides a students with what we have in the region, helps us retain our talent and helps students align their educational aspirations to careers. And also for those students who are not choosing a four year path or community college they'll be able to jumpstart their career and find, define their version of success. So that is my ask. Thank you Casey and Pepper for giving me a few moments. I'm gonna pop all this information in the chat. We are also hosting a webinar on April 4th. I'll pop that in there as well if anyone has any questions. Questions on the internships, like the details of it. We're happy to answer that.

Pepper Roussel: Tanisha, you said that there are 700 applicants, but only 70 businesses that have offered internships, is my math on this, right? Where that we need at least 530 more, 630 more, 630 more businesses is what we need.

Tonnisha Ellis: We need placements.

Pepper Roussel: Okay? And that's just for the applicants you already had, that doesn't even meet the challenge of a thousand internships.

Tonnisha Ellis: It does not meet the challenge. And the last thing we wanna do is to turn any of these babies away. That is not the goal. They're out here. They're calling to us. We, they want to work, they want to learn. So are we going to answer.

Casey Phillips: We need to all come together and we need to stack hands together and we need to get these businesses on board in the private sector. That's period, that's that's a direct need. It's a direct ask. And we need to work with the Business Report. We need to work with everybody and every network that we can. There's a really great thought piece that came out this morning from. From Tanisha's colleague, Jake Tanisha, it might be really good to maybe forward that over to Pepper so we can include that. And it makes the case on why you should ha hire high school interns. And if I had to guess, you could also like just take Dustin's face and just put Amen above it and like every other paragraph. Because not only is it what he's been saying for the past decade, but it actually has a ton of data that actually backs it up. He knows that he does it every day. But at the end of the day it's a really compelling art article. So let's let's all get behind the district and let's get behind what Brock is doing and get these young people into careers. It's an important one.

Courtney Scott: My name is Courtney Scott, assistant Chief Administrative Officer for the Office of Mayor Broom, but also the strategic director for safe, hopeful, healthy and working in partnership with Ms. Jessica Matthews. We are double teaming today, who is a director of programs and operations. Safe, hopeful, healthy exists to create a platform for community to be able to rally around violence. Intervention. Violence is a public safety concern, but of course it is a public health epidemic. We believe that violence can be cured. Violence is not random. And we want to employ a long-term approach that operates through the public health lens to make sure that we're highlighting evidence backed solutions that we can adopt. Organizations can adopt and add capacity to. We're looking for everyone to offer the supports that they are building for the social determinants of health, whether that be education, employment, transportation, housing, social services, and bring that to a table so that way we can create safe, hopeful, and healthy futures for all of our community, but primarily young black men and boys and their families. This work has been happening since 2020, but we've been working primarily for the last year to operate in the path of operating programs, building very prosperous partnerships, and then also creating advocacy and pathways for organizations such as yourselves to work together on a regular basis to build sustainability. Join your priorities together. To address a few key issues. We have four key pillars that we work within. One is stabilizing individuals, youth, family, and community. The second is creating a community led public safety ecosystem. The third is creating equitable community development, and the fourth is creating a culture of health that is trauma informed. Collaboration, and you all know this more than anyone, collaboration is at the core of how we all work. And one of the biggest pieces for our ecosystem is it creates a seat at the table for everyone to work towards common goals. Our hope for Safe, Hopeful, Healthy is that stakeholders will find value in the ecosystem partnerships that we have, that they'll examine their own particular perspectives and align them with those of other stakeholders to work in concert with similar engaged stakeholders. Sounds a lot like One Rouge, and we'll share more opportunities of how those alignments will come into place. But when we talk about stakeholders, we mean those who are affected by or influence youth violence and wellbeing. It's the individuals themselves, primarily youth, their parents and extended families, communities, legislators, media, faith and community-based agencies, business and private sector, philanthropy, public agencies at the federal, state, and local level. And in this work we've been working to compliment our law enforcement partners. We're so excited that we have so many entities concerned about public safety and recognizing that it takes the community to be able to move this work. We operate with a three-pronged approach to public safety, which is of course our law enforcement agencies continued effort to protect and serve. And then we have our community-based public safety programs that we've been building for the last two years. And I'm gonna share a little bit of that data, of those outcomes. And through that community-based public safety ecosystem, we want to empower community to protect their neighborhoods through violence production strategies. And when we empower them. That may be through funding grant management and training, fiscal agency and support and connectivity to those local, state and federal partners that can drive the needle of change for and with them. And then lastly, we wanna make sure that we're always utilizing a mental health approach to address unresolved trauma and ongoing mental health issues that lead to a cycle of violence. Faithful Healthy has four categories of hope that we operate in. One is street engagement. This is grassroot level community engagement that puts individuals and families directly in touch with services through high risk interventionists and community navigators. Most of these community navigators and interventionists are community based. We make sure that we are reaching out to people who have lived experiences and are from, or have influence in key areas of our community. It's very important that it's community led. We have programs and initiatives that provide summer employment, personal and professional development opportunities for our youth. And also initiatives based in the four categories that I mentioned, whether that's community development and neighborhood revitalization, public safety initiatives, mental health, trauma supports, and then of course also operating within community development and education. And then lastly, we also operate in our fourth category of hope, which is panels, conversations, and awareness. That's courageous. Conversations and discussions, excuse me, that challenge our thinking around issues of public safety. And I apologize, I said, I was saying the fourth one. That was the third. The fourth, which is one of my favorites, is Joy and Hope events. We wanna make sure that we are engaging in events that spark joy, creativity, and fun because these events cultivate a spirit of hope in communities that are traditionally hyperpolarized with only negativity. So we want to show folks that there is joy and hope, and that those things create opportunities for people to see more opportunity for themselves. This work has been happening since 2017 when we started with our recast partnership and collective healing. These are two grants that the city received based upon events that had happened dramatically in 2016, the Great Flood, Alton Sterling, and then the assault of our officers that we had as well. When you look at all of those traumas, we knew that Baton Rouge needed to heal. And when you start to look at what happened in 2020 with Covid 19, all of these opportunities honestly just ripped the bandaid off of social issues that our community was already facing. It was very important that we made investments to ha give vulnerable populations and opportunity to build, sustain, to know that there are other options out there for them, how they can connect to resources and make sure that the organizations on the ground that were doing love work anyway, had opportunities to connect. One of the biggest differences here is that we wanna make sure that we are collaborating and making people come to the table in a way that we are open to partner with each other and create joint solutions During this time when we looked at, we started to track our data from 2022 to 2023. We started to look at the categories of fatal shootings, non-fatal shootings, specifically to gun violence. So as many of you do this work day-to-day, there are so many lenses that we can look at how we create a more safe, hopeful, and healthy baton rouge. But for safe, hopeful, healthy, we exist primarily to reduce gun violence. So although we've observed many reductions in both non-fatal and fatal categories from 20 20 20 21 to 2022, the levels today are still higher than our historical five year average. So in 2023, we did see in inside of the parish a 20.49% decrease. Excuse me, in city limits 20.49 decrease in the parish, we saw a 23% decrease. However, when we do that, when we look at that across our 20 17 2 20 22 baseline, our average is 83.75 homicides, 83.75 homicides in that five year average because year to year we know that there are so many incidents polarizing events, crises that may happen in a community that may allow anything to be able to happen. But when you start to look at that five year baseline, it really tells you where you're sitting. So when you look at 83.75 and knowing that within city parish limits, we had 97 homicides, we're still about 15% over that baseline average. So for this year, we're looking to sustain that 23% in the parish, but also decrease another 15%. When you start to look at non-fatal shootings, we had about 294 inside of the city limits. That's a decrease of 14.4%. Now, this is not anything that we're touting or standing on to share that this is a win. We do know that we've made positive progress, but we know that means that we need to double down to sustain and continue to add more partnerships to the table. Safe Hope for healthy is not just about grant funding. We do not have a gazillion dollars to be able to make this happen, but we do know that we need to make sure we are leveraging every resource to make sure we're being the most efficient with local government dollars, state and federal government dollars, as well as making an opportunity to build evidence-based data collectively. Many of you are very familiar with the collective impact model and how this. One of the biggest pieces that we're looking to do this year for Safe, hopeful, healthy is to collectively gather as much data to report out so everyone can leverage that data for their own benefit and use. When we start to track all of the positive reinforcements that are happening in these communities, we're able to see and track which areas and which neighborhoods are seeing the decreases based upon the positive reinforcement that are in the community. We're working with VIN Informatics as our data partner, and for example, we saw this summer in areas where we did three to five events per week, three to five events per week. We saw the most decreases in those areas, so it's important that we continue to join at the table together to be able to work and connect, and anyone that wants to connect with. I will drop my email in the chat and I will also share details about our monthly meeting. Casey, thank you for the six and a half minutes at this point and I'll turn it back over to you.

Casey Phillips: You rock. Thank you, Courtney. And folks, I just wanted to make sure and like tether the line to what we were talking about. There is the systematic work. There's the long work that's gonna be happening in the education to career coalition and then at the exact, in the exact same moment, every time we're sitting here on these Friday calls or we're getting together an in-person meetings, there are literally young people taking each other's lives in our streets. There are people who are adults that have absolutely no pathways to really reasonable living wage jobs and are doing whatever they have to do to survive. What we are suffering from is decades. Of neglect, systematic de investment and failure of our education system and our community to bring everyone along. What Courtney and them are doing with s h is, I sat in the meeting this week. It was so impressive listening to not just the overview of the data to the partners that are actually engaged in the work, talking about the work they do at Capital Scotlandville, esma, Glen Oaks the work that they're doing to intervene into, intervene and disrupt the cycle of violence in our city. It has everything to do with education and workforce access. Those education we have. How many times have we said in the last 152 weeks, how many times have we heard Dean Andrews say that until we prioritize education, things are never going to get better. And so the reason why I wanted to lift that workup today with Courtney is that there is this meta stuff that we need to do, but meanwhile back on the ground, this is the reality in our city. And so all of this work is interconnected together because what s Shh is doing is not necessarily what everybody else is focused on and has said, and that is real hard deep work. But it's following the same model, that collective impact that we're doing with one Rouge. And that's where the alignment is. And I just wanted to, quite frankly, I just wanted to bring a dose of reality of where things are on the streets right now in our city. Cuz the data doesn't lie. And so I appreciate you, Courtney, for being in the space. Tanisha, I appreciate you so much for coming and sharing everything that the Chamber has been working tirelessly on with with Tack. And I would like to turn it over before we go to questions and answers. I would like to give Adonica and Dustin the space to be able to to close this out of this session. And thank you all for being here for this exciting moment of the liftoff of the education to Career Coalition Adonica, Dustin.

Courtney Scott: I'll say thank you. Thank you for the space to share and speak, and everything that's been discussed is the real work that needs to be done together and I appreciate the energies that have been brought today and this reminder of this Friday.

Adonica Pelichet Duggan: Yeah, Casey just wanna echo what you said. I think both Dustin and I do this work on a day-to-day basis because we believe that education is one of the single biggest things that we can impact to improve our community. And so we're just excited to start this coalition to work together with other voices, to continue to lift up our young people and everybody in our community, frankly, because we know that if you are gonna solve the big problems that Baton Rouge has, it means that we're gonna have to better educate our children and better prepare for our future.

Casey Phillips: Awesome. Thank you. Thank you both. Let's get down to it. Let's we got some time for some questions. Pat, if you want to come off mute and ask your question. And Reverend Anderson, if you would like to ask the one that's with whatever one you wanna lead with. Pat, what others?

Pat Leduff: I'm concerned about the capacity building within the families, and so are we measuring that when they're going to the next level in terms of better jobs and better housing? Is anybody, is any of that data or any of the programs addressing truancy? We still have a lot of children outta school. How many more children did we get in school? How many children that we know that used to miss a lot of school and now they're going to school? So just some real time stuff good data. I do believe that the programs happening in the communities did change the trajectory, but is it, is anybody keying in to what that change looks?

Casey Phillips: As far as the truancy conversation, that's gonna be a deep one inside of this coalition. It's one that's gotten lifted up during both of the jam board sessions the definition of the word, and of course the practice and what it does. But as far as like the wrap, what I'm hearing from you is you really asking about the wraparound for family services. As said, beyond just what was discussed. Courtney, is there anything that you would like to lift up to Pat before I go to Reverend Anderson?

Courtney Scott: Sure. So we're working collectively with the DA's office, BRAC, Trey, myself, Adam, Judge Grover met with the DA's office and the school system child and welfare department was there, eyecare was there as well as their M T S department.

To look at activities that have worked traditionally in the past, whether that is like a family symposium, having community organizations knock on doors of truant homes before the DA's office engages with them to send out the letters that they share for truancy. And then additionally putting more wraparound services in the summer around these students. You have organizations like Front Yard Bikes that's on the phone. They don't work with these students for limited period of time. They're working with them all the time. Big Buddy is connected to students year round. So we're looking to find out how we can support those organizations more in sustaining those families. We are starting to look at this through high risk, at risk people who are the highest risk and most at risk for violence. And that does have some correlation to truancy. So that data is going to start to be tracked. Ms. Pat, I think that there is a conversation around how we build more com community trust and partner trust for people to share data and be able to allow that information because everyone has a bit of their own compliance and regulations that they're working through, but we have to find ways to humanize that data and share it so we can do tangible solutions.

Rev. Anderson: So my point is that we have a lot of young people that are really special needs in, in a variety of areas. Like we are one of the highest domestic violence states and parishes in the country. We have a lot of children who have undiagnosed mental illness, but not just mental illness. We have a lot of children that are led impacted that have other issues that literally result in them having challenges with learning in any capacity. We have a close to hundred percent foster child to prison pipeline. And I guess one of the things that when we talk about access and equity, particularly in the model of the nine drivers of poverty, we know that all the things that I mentioned or high drivers to everything from dropouts to self-medication to just a number o of really challenging comorbidity type things. And so one of my questions was, when we talk about equity and access I'm hoping there is a very specific space to talk about the children that are quite frankly, often left out of these conversations and the stakeholders who represent them, whether it is families, helping families, whether it is the groups that work with children that are in current incarceration. So that was really my other point. I also wanna make one last point, which is that on this call, Rosalyn Augustus is one of the people on the call with Louisiana Spirit. And Louisiana Spirit has a very special role in the state, and we have been able to get some amazing data from the work that they have come in to do, especially in the schools and after trauma. And I really would like to see, even though unfortunately they're going away as of the end of this month, that we not lose that really important data, particularly as it relates to some of these special populations that they were able to accrue and the best practices that their team can share in this work.

Casey Phillips: Yeah. Thank you Reverend Anderson and Donica and Dust. I would love to get y'all feedback on that. Ms. Rosalyn, it would be great to have you as part of it and the work that you, first of all, I commend you and your work that you've done, that you do with the Louisiana Spirit and I was actually speaking with Terry Ricks Yes. As recently as yesterday afternoon. With her role with D CFSs and I think that there's ways to continue leg, ensuring the legacy of that work continues. And I'm hoping that through that coalition we can find ways to do it cuz it's really important in our community. Donica and Dustin, anything that you would like to add to Reverend Anderson's points and questions and then we'll go to Ebony.

Courtney Scott: I just took a note on the emphasis to make sure that we are broadly defining special populations as we start to create coalitions.

Casey Phillips: Looks like Dustin's giving an amen nod right there. E Ebony, what you got?

Ebony Starks: Hi everyone. Thanks so much for the conversation and really excited about the work of this coalition and its dynamic leadership. I wanna make sure, I'm not sure how this fits into the work that we're preserving the voice of parents who students are enrolled in the system and identifying some of the structural boundaries there are as it relates to issues like truancy. We talk a lot about. Families particularly those at lower income suffering from different barriers. So what we don't talk about is how the system does not meet them where they are. For example, there is no guarantee that the bus will show up to your house every day. At the same time, there is no guarantee. So when we talk about reliable transportation as it relates to truancy, when we see families with high truancy rates, We absolutely have to look at what's happening in the household, but what are the structural barriers that are also preventing our children from getting to school? I've noticed I have one child in a magnet school and one child in a traditional public school, and the traditional public school and some other schools that are honestly more lower resource. They don't allow for electronic reporting of absences, meaning that your child has to send a note, a handwritten note, you have to send it with your child when they go to school to have an absence. Excused on the record, that's a barrier. That's a barrier. What are we doing to meet families who have challenges with transportation, who have challenges with communication? What are we doing from a structural standpoint to help address some of these issues? And for many people who don't experience this every day, it's hard. Something as little as the of having to send a handwritten note, nobody may think that may relate to an increased unexcused absence rate for a child when a parent is going to work before their child even leaves to school. Or a parent who goes to work not knowing if their child will make it to school that day on the bus. So I just think that, and my hope is that. We can really be honest with people who are on the ground. We talk a lot from a broad range about policy and outcomes in data, and all of that is, is so important. It really is. But there are really small things, small changes that we can support and advocate for to help with some of these outcomes. So I just wanted to share that and I hope that's part of the lens of this work.

Dustin LaFont: I know we are all privileged to not be in the classroom, this very minute teaching, and we have teachers everywhere who would love to be in this conversation. So I'm gonna off of Ebony Uplift my wife, who is a teacher and a parent of kids in EBR R schools. And for her to do her job, she, we have to pay for before and aftercare meaning, There's no way for us to even do our responsibilities as parents and teachers and make sure we have to spend additional dollars if that before and aftercare is offered otherwise we're now caught in a bind. There's a lot of those elements, and that's the close proximity that our coalition has that we're not so much removed from those exact conversations. Ebony of structure I got three kids in three schools. Is just of how the cards played out, and so we definitely I guess have the empathy and. Raise that concern of how do we make sure the parents have what's necessary for their kids and not more barriers.

Casey Phillips: And take it right to the, and then pull it down the road in the continuum when you're talking about guardians, right? Guardians that do have young people in the household and they're trying to better themselves and they're trying to get certification training, they're trying to get, finish their degree, they're trying to get to a job. That aftercare piece in the transportation piece. Same problem. Opposite end of the spectrum folks. So the I and without trying to muddy the waters too much in the transportation Social Mobility Coalition, which is gonna be announced right on the heels of this, when you start thinking about our three first coalitions access to fresh and healthy food, right? And actually just having access to food education to career and transportation and social mobility. The interconnectedness of those three coalitions cannot be overstated enough, right? And it's that they are all interconnected and everyone is having the shared problems, and it's all of us. It's not those people. It's all of us, we're all having the same issues. And I said, and depending on your level of resource and access to opportunity, it is how much those challenges are amplified and multiplied, right? So I said, and and it's just it's staggering. So what I'm hearing from this conversation, both from Pat, from Courtney, from Ebony, and Reverend Anderson is that the emphasis on the families in the work of education to career is an essential component of this coalition. And I look forward to y'all helping driving that forward. Thank y'all for that. All right, good people. Yeah, Nicola, I see that you're still engaged. I w whenever I was hearing Ebony talk about the handwritten note, I wasn't gonna, I wasn't gonna put you on blast and talk about how like we need to maybe tweak a couple of little things cuz you are only one human being, although you are dynamic. It seems like I think from the coalition work we're gonna be able to lift up a lot. We're gonna be able to lift up and highlight a lot of issues that are not necessarily even policy, but just practice and be able to like work in partnership and mutual accountability with one another to move things forward to make things better for those 40,000 families that are with the young people in our community.

Ebony Starks: I do wanna say, I recognize how this work coalesces with so much other work that we're doing around the drivers of poverty. I know the struggle it's been for the school system, higher and retain bus drivers. I know the struggle there is with staffing, with hiring and attracting teachers that directly correlates to their ability to provide after school programming. I've been on the list a year. We don't have care after three o'clock, and that's because teachers are tired.

It's harder they're more overworked. It's harder to stay after school and attract teachers to get the ratios needed to be able to serve all students in a school. How can we connect families in need of work, individuals who are un or underemployed to these opportunities in the school system to help not only raise our families up economically, but fill the gaps in serving our children holistically. I'm, I am absolutely empathetic to the entire continuum of this, and I'm really excited about how all of this work really compliments each of these areas. But I think there's a lot of opportunity for us to look at this holistically and how can we better serve our children and our families and what is the synergy there, being able to do so it's really exciting. And I I know the tireless work of those who are in our school system, and I respect so much of what they do every day. But I think there's a lot of. Opportunity for us to employ individuals and help support operations of our school system in a really impactful way.

Casey Phillips: I agree. Amy, you had mentioned about the challenge with the data and your words were very carefully put into the chat I was just gonna leave it alone, but then Reverend Anderson just lifted it back up. So can you maybe speak a little bit on in Nicola as well, if you are in a position to speak to talk, and if you're not multitasking, maybe some of the challenges on sharing the data from the school system to make more precise interventions and precise wraparound services.

Aimee Moles: Yes. I'm speaking carefully of course about this because I know the challenges that the school system has, but Shrek has worked with data on truancy over the years, and most recently looking at after Covid where the kids. We were supposed to be tracking that, trying to figure out where they were. Had they changed schools? Did they move back to state? What happened to 'em? And that was kinda abruptly stopped. I think there was, I don't know all the details. You guys can fill in the blanks. And so we were pulled back on that, but it's still something that my brain is I wanna know, cause I'm such a data person, I wanna know where are those kids? What happened to 'em? Are they even in school? Where are they now? So at this point, it's far enough past that I'm gonna guess that we've begun to figure out where they were. But that was my input and I can understand their care with that. It's really sensitive data and our school system is already really struggling to stay upright.

Shayna Wilson: Hi everyone, this is Shayna Wilson. I'm here on Nicola's behalf and I certainly would agree with what Amy said and I am feverishly taking notes and manning back here in the background while Ms. Hall is out of the meeting. But you're absolutely right, it does have a lot to do with Releasing information and the ability to do that in such a way that it doesn't seem negative when it's being released. And then of course there's a privacy issue, but is that still being tracked? I honestly can't tell you if it is. That's a very interesting question that I'm anxious to ask someone because I do remember that was tracked, but all of that was happening prior to Cola Hall becoming the chief of hr. We're gonna inquire about that and see if we can get more information.

Aimee Moles: That was not meant to be negative, it's just something I thought was important. There was nothing negative about the school system there.

Shayna Wilson: That's my community announcement. Oh, I don't think there was at all. And going back to where Ebony was with the jobs, I would love any input from you guys in assisting us. We're having a big spring job fair on April 29th, and I'll send out the information to the group through Ms. Hall once everything gets going. That is a huge thing because the hours are so different. For like part-time work, and it's really not a lot of hours. We have an initiative that's going before the board to try to raise the summer salaries to $14 an hour to make 'em more competitive for those non-teaching jobs. So those are options for people in the community and we are not doing the most effective job of communicating that to all of those groups. So any ideas that you guys have that can help us bring more people into this process, we would love it. Because definitely there's a shortage throughout the city, throughout the nation, throughout the state, but how do we get people. To know this is an option. There are some people that could just work three hours every day and three hours every day at $14 an hour would be good to cover after school programs or for summer, all of our summer programs, there's positions that, okay, I think it's like 1398 or something per hour for people to work in summer programs. So it's a hard line to toe cuz you're working with kids, but there's all sorts of processes that we go through here to try to keep them safe. But those are good job opportunities that are there.

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