OneRouge Community Check-In - Week 134
Join us this Friday for OneRouge Week#134 at 8:30 am via Zoom. We will be talking about the ‘Quality of Place from Within - Scotlandville' as a counter to the driver Growing number of neighborhoods in poverty. Our featured speakers are:
Byron Washington - creative genius behind Scotland Saturdays, a monthly festive market in Scotlandville featuring small local businesses, food, music, and lively conversation.
Pat LeDuff – Ms. Scotlandvile CDC, community activist, and organizer
Dexter Jackson – accomplished creator, musician, and speaker
Wikipedia says Scotlandville is a community in northern Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was initially a small, independent rural community that developed along the Mississippi river in the north of East Baton Rouge Parish. Only one African-American family lived in the village in 1914 when Southern University and A&M College were relocated to this community. Originally based in New Orleans, the university was designated in 1890 as the state's land grant college for African Americans, when education was segregated in the state. Gradually Scotlandville became industrialized, beginning with a Standard Oil refinery in 1909, and was a destination for African Americans to urban areas in the Great Migration beginning around World War I. Its growth was stimulated also by the construction of railroads along the Mississippi River. While still independent, Scotlandville became the largest majority-black community in the state. In the 20th century, it was incorporated into Baton Rouge. But do you know what is happening there now? Join us on Friday to hear!
Enlight, Unite, & Ignite!
Quick Links: Notes, Zoom Chat, Community Announcements
Casey: Very rarely do you get, when you’re working on really big things, and you look in the mirror and you say “I don’t get to see the results” and it’s a part of a continuum or movement that I might actually not get to see happen in my lifetime. One of those human beings, who probably had this conversation with themselves 4 decades ago, is finally seeing the crest of their work finally now. The torchbearer and torch passer of Scotlandville.
Pat: It’s all about Scotlandville this morning! In 1993 is when all this started, the police wouldn't even come to Scotlandville then. It started with my brother when he was killed by a gun found in a ditch that comes from overgrown lots. Talk about where Scotlandville came from. The other portion of Scotlandville was doing fine with ExxonMobil, Southern University, etc.. but now it’s coming together. Scotlandville CDC and CADAV. 1 of 5 backed under Bobby Simpson time and we’re still here.
Boundaries are Airline 1-90, Plank road, and Zion City, west is the Mississippi. Scotlandville plaza that’s a priority on our list. Scotland Saturday, churches over there on the lawn. Volunteer ran. Project that is coming available to pull volunteers. Working with Turner and some of the carpenter unions. We can’t pay anyone to do it, we can only pay for the equipment. We have our Christmas tree there, for 4 years. Central train system there. Train depot to the gates of Southern University, excited about that through their campus and community plan. To Harding and 1-10. So excited about Harding being the destination route to the Southern University. Working with Human Jukebox working with us, Airport, and Coca-Cola, wanting to work with us. Flag of all nations, statues of the Jukebox players, 30 ft drum major as well.
Groups working with groups working on housing. Working with the Housing Coalition. Need 100 units, Rosenwald the old housing authority complex has been torn down and is almost up and running.
Come on board, pray next, donate, and volunteer! We have many projects coming up to help us do these updates to help reduce crime.
Casey: Without Bryon Washington, the Walls Project mural project wouldn’t have lifted off. Lift him up to get his vision and what is to come.
Byron: My name is Bryon Washington, with Scotland Saturdays, and work with a few other things in the community. Scotland Saturdays is what we’re doing to open a consistent market. Started in NBR,Scotlandville. Markets happen all over BR but we wanted to open something in NBR. So we went to Scotlandville plaza. It’s morphed into what you see here today. In Scotlandville and beyond, helped me learn what’s going on in the community. Currently we’re partnering with NBRBeyond. We did a TEDX with Scotlandville years ago. Upcoming Krewe Oshun, parade first MG parade in NBR. YEar 3, Feb 4, next year. Please sign up! All in all, just trying to find ways to use social and cultural heritage to lift up the community to lift up pride. There’s a lot of history here and trying to lift up the places that people are living in. If you don’t know the history and heritage you don’t understand the importance of it. National Leverage grant for the next 3 years to bring 30 concerts for BR in Scotlandville Plaza. Artists from all over the country and internationally, Mexico, Brazil, France, people from all over who want to come and be a part of this 3 year project. Partnering and helping with others to change and help this community.
Casey: Couple of different things to open up and explore with you and pat. Drivers of poverty, fundamental elements of that. Access to fresh food, access to safe and affordable housing, quality education, reliable transportation. If you and Pat can talk about that. If there are deficits, yea but, so we know what needs to be a holistic community.
Pat: I like to lift up the Grocery store, a project that has been underway for 20 years. We have the funders and there’s an issue w/ the property being cleared. But we need the community behind us.
Byron: Infrastructure wise, there is things with the Plank Road project going on that will be integral. Southern University their strategic plan over the hump that will be important. Scotlandville, Scenic Hwy, Swan St. Buildings and places that were formally blighted being repainted being redone. XXX place reopening longing to be done soon. Working with people wanting to work in the community, I’m really about accountability. There’s been a lot of players over the years who have made promises, but haven't been able to follow through on. Exxon train station w/ Canada. Some things this community that have been promised 20-30 years that haven't happened, but now we have something we want to hold accountable. A plan that is not just for putting on the shelf but we want something that is going to be implemented. We have enough plan,s but now we need implementation and funding to make this happen.
Casey: We can’t talk about Scotlandville without talking about SU and green spaces, Katrina from BREC. Great things take time, but Sciotlandville is tired of plans, but now there is a great momentum to see these things happen. Krill here, GGH for access to fresh foods.
Power of change from coming from within. It’s the city of louisiana, the city of baton rouge. Everyone is a resident together. But when you talk about redevelopment, mm reminds us of change coming from within, building power from within so the renaissance is going to be experienced by the people who live there. Talk about the delicate dance, of the people from outside coming in
Byron: For me, partnering with people from outside the community, it is a delicate dance. The significance teh relevance, the need to tell a story. But also found people from the inside you have to do the same thing. Ppl on the inside have been brow beating for the past 40 years. And after hearing promises over and over at some point people don't want to gear themselves up for another broken promise. You have to earn their faith, earn their trust. If they cant lean on you to doing the starting work, the dofn’t want to get heartbroken again. Internally it’s about winning the hearts again of the community people. Externally you gotta when their minds. They need to understand the community, the narratives, have those meetings to understand why it may have working in that other city but here it’s not one size fits all. Come with me too meet someone at the barbershop, this lady from church who is 90+ years old who can help you understand.
Pat: People within our own community talking down on the projects. If you have started in 92 the projects are slowly coming, but before you can buy into the community, you have to buy in yourself. Why aren’t you using local? Well you have to prepare the local to be usd. The outsiders have to work with the insiders to prepare for so it can be used. We need to have street overlays and sidewalks so we look like a community ready to be on fire. I hadn't seen that before, but now we are seeing the blight getting taken care of, grass being cut. Now we cans ee now that their serious about the thing. Efforts are nothing if you don’t see the work, preplan to surprise you.
Casey: The unsaid stopper in then ext conversation. When people do start seeing things happen, and community trust, but the other side out of fear with i know what’s coming. WE’re hosting a panel in DFW placemaking vs colinations. How public art and mindful community development have to be together. Bc just you just said if you don't prep the local they can’t be apart of the change. We’re about to bring someone who has been a part of this conversation. It wasn't about people who came every saturday it was the slow build to get the community read to understand and be prepared for the cultural renaissance that’s coming. This visual condition setting. The enormous win w/ the levitt foundation. Bring on Dexter Jackson who cowrote the grant that brings a global, national, and who bring in to the area.
Dexter: Levitt foundation basically funds about 15 concerts every 3 years to take public spaces into outdoor venues. They give you training on putin gon festivals taking you to LA to learn schema to learn about it. I’m excited to be apart of it. I didn't not grow up in Scotlandville, in BR, but I had kind of leaned into the narratives but until i worked at MM and work in schools and be in the community and see that this is not at all the narrative from my neck of the words. These are beautiful folks that I’m experiencing cool laid back chill people, narratives that describe them are so wrong. I got ot SU where all my family graduated, and i learn the history of scotlandville and learning about the history. Learning about all the artists who came in Tina Turner, BB king, Prince Michael Jackson. Started to plana festival for NBR, because that community deserves to be celebrated, to come out to the streets to celebrated. Film festivals, fairs never marketed on that side of town. A purposeful exclusion on that side of town, so i wanted to do it myself to celebrate and be seen,. Then the pandemic hit. However when this opp came up it was the most perfect thing that happened. To bring beautiful art and people together. When you ask scotlandville people where they are from they say they aren't from BR they are from SV
You’ll receive info of how to get involved and contribute this work. Be it partnerships, funding, in-kind donations, no gatekeeping, all you gotta do is say you got to perform. Bring the beautifulness of that area. Most people don't know that NBR has a planet fitness, that so much development has been going on. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Pat: Thank you for this oop, make a plea for those on the call to route for scotlandville. It helps the whole nation, the country. Movement for that the zoo, etc. Pool for the zoo, thats another destination spot. Pool for the line of florida street to be improved. Don’t separate the BR and NBR. some of the streets are the same and we all one people one purpose
Byron: thank everyone for the call, the work. NBR is such a unique place, even nationally, as we talk about black and brown communities when you look at places that you can be educated within your community, ecomnis musics, church fellowship, and from then on you can stay here to get a degree. You can stay in this community and get it all. You have a fast food worker on side and a college professor on the other side. We fight together, cry, laugh together. Community isn’t just for BR as a whole, it is a blueprint for other places around the country. NBR is what other places don’t understand that this is something to aspire to be. Other cities wish they had community schools, a historical black university, etc. we have all that we check the boxes but we got to love ourselves. Grassroots standpoint,there’s someone 5 yrs from now doing something innovative and we have to be in support of that. The village already had the village needs and we need ppl to pour into it.
Casey: lots of questions in the chat. Eric Louis put in the chat. There are 3 vacant school properties that are tremendous missed opp. What are the conversation about those being turned into community assets, buildings of education, cultural centers, incubators. Any thoughts or knowledge on that?
Pat: We have proposed that with Banks Elementary, with it being a retail or small shopping area. No boys or girls club, a place where businesses can go in or training program and share a wing with the bathroom and an office space. Instead students get sent to the other side of town. More pride when the kids got sent to Banks elementary school, parents got to meet each other. But the school board to let buildings sit unused. Its not that hard make it happen. It’s in the CPEX master plan and our master plan. It started in Banks auditorium w/ a charette SU. Masterplan in 2005, CPEX came in and used the same plan.
Casey: Understand the wifi in scotlandville is not what it needs to be, transferring the building into a data center for people to work with beyond 5G.
What is the plan for SU beyond the gates? For years to come?
Dean Andrews: In terms of the college of business, leadership is the key. Change the community you need to have people involved and that change can take place. We have a university center for economic development. Project starting in entrepreneurship. Start small business, when you talk about low income communities you need more opportunities. Schools to provide students with a quality education. People dont feel or don't see the path to being successful and that can have a impact on the community. Neighborhood sustainable development, program going on now 8 sessions about blighted properties on how tp bring those properties back into commerce to change outcomes int he community. BEAP Business Entrepreneurship Advancement program. Work with the law center on particular resources available excellent grant writers, to make those resources available to the community. Basically a national, program, taking place in terms of HBCU being seen as a resource. SU R2 Carnegeie class a research and teaching institution. We need to do more to be open to the community. Also our ag center, have the leadership to have the resources fully used.
Flitcher Bell: OUr chancellor considers a community university, close contact offering as much as we can. Office of X office of strategic development. Pat and I talk on a daily basis talked last year about the possible play and board of directors to sit back down and get ourselves on the same page. She was talking about SU credit for ppl in school looking that type of training. Work at the grocery store and learn to run the store at the same time. WE just gotta dot our i;s etc.
SU presence, we’re in the business of scotlandville and we know our leadership, partnerships, is vital part of BR. Shoutout to Dexter for continuing to grow and LSJ young people who got their head straight to get whats need to be done.
Casey: Associated Grocers with their scholarship program. Food ecosystem, Kelli
Kelli Rogers: Most important part of the GGH is the last 4 years is the collaboration to share strengths and resource. The important thing at the beginning was looking at the barriers to access of fresh food. Access and affordability. Lack of transportation, grocery storey, impact the access to fresh food. We have addressed those, with Top Box with home deliveries, EBT match, lots of changes with how they provide that food. First it was a box but now it’s alot like shopping in a store. Working with palaces as hub. Food autonomy to not just access emergency food but access food they want for their families. BR to help supplement foods at home by growing. My dream is that for all of is that food is free and pick your dinner. WE spend a lot of money on managing ornamental plants and we could spend that on food addressing needs in the community. A lot of change over the 4 years and this is most collaborative i've seen it historical was very competitive. And before it was separate trying to get money and not its together. That work is not lost, we are standing on the shoulders of what came before us but we are not getting there. We need to share what we’re all doing to get that way. This is how we’ll get there together.
Flitcher Bell; one of the things that concerns me, I can remember when we had grocery stores in NBR. We had to walk to these back in the day because we didn't have vehicles. We used to have a fresh fruit stand on Airline, Plank rd., now to see desolate now is not only a humanistic caring reason but they need that type of stuff to maintain healthy lives.
Casey: The giants, Sadie Roberst Joseph, founder of CADAV, Rinaldi Jacobs. Keep those peoples names in mind.
Kendra: I am from SV, I am curious, i know talking about the identity. What happened to us using Scotlandville, LA on our mail. What happened? Byron: The short version, the official version is that it's been annex since the 80s its been a part of BR. So from a postal standpoint it’s a part of BR. Sometimes you can put Scotlandville or BR when you put 70807.
Rev Anderson: What needs to change in the zoning to build generational wealth?
Pat: Some of that zoning will come about we have done the redistrict, district 10 to 75th, you cut the community off, 2 council people. It can be a positive, but now it's a negative. 2 ppl not pulling for the same mission, same goal it's detrimental. We’ve done zoning on alcohol, tire shops, zoning issues we could have help with. SU can level up and have their students help.
Casey: The best part of MLK Fest 2019, was reading the history of scotlandville, we created this document we gave to all the artists. Altogether with Perry and Sisie that we created on Scenic Hwy. Public art in Scotlandville helped stop the colonization Why it's called plank road (not a good reason) to understand and share those resources. Getting unbottlenecked.
Byron: It's the enforcement of what’s already there. It's not being enforced well, the foundational part is really set. More of a policy enforcement than a rewrite.
Rev. Anderson: One of the things that I believe, not just the parish but the state. But when it's the historical nature or brainstrust of SU but when you have inequitable things to promote things that don't need those dollars. SU has world class speakers, conferences, and you can pick a month and unless I’m looking for it i can't find it. We have conomic dollars in the state level. NAtional conversations, we have a world class game coming up on saturday. That game will mean more in EBR than the game in ATL. That university already has money coming in That game in JXn is a very powerful game. What if our state tax dollars helped promote what's going on SV. WE pay millions of dollars to promote tourism and we’re at the budget season of Metro Council, where is the money going in? Where is the return on investment. Zoo and other destinations could be multiplied. That the airport isn’t considered. We have to recognize that voting matters and showing up at policy tables matter and the dept of tourism and what dollars go where. And if they aren't equitable shared and allocated. What is the formula for ROi and a community that is a jewel is being underfunded. It's a policy.
Pat: when we talk about SV being a jewel, we have the school board, the library post office, schools, church, hotels, cocacoal, hotle,s why would a place like that be missing anything? It has everything it needs except grocery stores and retail shopping. We only have a few barriers and missing links.
Helena: Bank loans
Candice: Worked at JJN w/ Councilor banks. Excited about the potential SV has. I work in a new construction home and looking for a good neighbor. Has so much potential. Community is intergenerational. Old young, people living there for many generations. Get in there and invest. Get into the community that has an uptake. And get into the properties with a long-term return on investment.
09:30:31 From One Rouge to Everyone:
Good morning, OneRouge!
09:31:47 From Chelsea Johnson to Everyone:
Awesome Casey!!! Good morning OneRouge!!
09:32:36 From David Summers to Everyone:
Glad you're on the mend Casey!
09:45:00 From One Rouge to Everyone:
Come through Scotlandvile!
09:46:52 From One Rouge to Everyone:
I LOVE grocery stores!!!
09:54:57 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:
I remember when the Scotlandville portion of the Future BR report was completed and yet after all this time I have yet to see the parish zoning or tax policies used to develop mixed income tax bases. Can anyone of the speakers address this?
09:55:32 From One Rouge to Everyone:
are folks in Scotlandvile new to the community or are they generational community members? have they been there since the 90s?
09:56:39 From Candace Lucas to Everyone:
I live in Scotlandville. I'm proud to be 3rd generation!
09:57:32 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:
Do the speakers believe that if economic dollars were used more proactively to promote the tourism opportunities in Scotlandville the residents might be more believing in change?
09:57:34 From One Rouge to Everyone:
COOL, @candace! that says folks are invested and the easy lift is just to produce some results
09:59:48 From One Rouge to Everyone:
10:02:04 From One Rouge to Everyone:
👀 Dexter is about to get run off this call talking about Grambling
10:04:34 From rodneyna to Everyone:
In the Negro Motorist Green Book "Scotlandville" was distinctly mentioned separate from Baton Rouge. It has always been a special and unique place where most of my family has lived for decades.
10:04:44 From Mary Bergeron to Everyone:
Dexter = Rockstar (and Rockstar Grant Writer!)
10:04:45 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:
I believe a missed opportunity is the huge brain trust that exists in Southern. There are world-class conferences and speakers that come through the university and it is often not truly promoted.
10:05:11 From rodneyna to Everyone:
Way to go Dexter! Ms. Pat and Byron so much growth and this is all you and the community!
10:05:53 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:
10:06:24 From Donald Andrews to Everyone:
Like to comment Pat Leduff for her leadership. The best way to predict the future is to create it. Leadership is the Key.
10:06:34 From Dexter Jackson to Everyone:
Thanks Y’all! Dexter@thewallsproject.org hit me up with any questions or input!
10:07:26 From Eric B. Lewis | Baton Rouge STEM to Everyone:
Is the school district at the table? We have at least 3 school properties that sit idle in Scotlandville. Can they be repurposed as cultural centers?
10:08:03 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:
The only PHD nursing program in the state of Louisiana is at SU!
10:08:35 From Candace Lucas to Everyone:
Don't forget SULC!
10:09:00 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:
The largest employers exist in North Baton Rouge. Although I pray we will move to clean industries making their home in North Baton Rouge.
10:09:53 From One Rouge to Everyone:
“the village already has what the village needs!”
10:12:35 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:
Which is what the plan was to disinvest in communities with historic value.
10:12:55 From Dominique Dallas to Everyone:
“Know Your Price” by Andre Perry from NOLA discusses this is his book— using schools as community hubs https://www.amazon.com/Know-Your-Price-Property-Americas/dp/0815737270
10:15:24 From rodneyna to Everyone:
I just learned about Out of the Box LGBTQ+ Center which is a revolutionary. https://www.carpbr.com/out-of-the-box
10:18:48 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:
The AG Center is critically important!