OneRouge Community Check-In - Week 136
Join us this Friday for OneRouge Week #136 at 8:30 am via Zoom. We are talking about Baton Rouge and making it the place we all know she can be! Baton Rouge is the state capital of Louisiana; home to two land grant universities; and is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, research, motion picture, and growing technology center of the American South (so says Wikipedia). It is also a place a lot of people leave. With all the talent flowing through the city, it could be the creative epicenter of the South. But in order to be that, we have to broaden our gaze and see the beauty in the diversity that is Baton Rouge. Is there a way we can change how we tolerate ideas that are weird or unusual? What is keeping us from moving past getting people here to keeping people here? Well, that is exactly the conversation we intend to have on 12/16. Our featured speakers are:
Kenny Nguyen - CEO/co-founder of ThreeSixtyEight
Adrian Owen Jones - Chief Growth Officer ThreeSixtyEight
Hillary Melara - Dancer and hometown girl
Enlight, Unite, & Ignite!
Quick Links: Notes, Zoom Chat, Community Announcements
Leading us off, Kenny Nguyen spoke about learning about what made Baton Rouge special. He used to think of the ties to the family as an excuse for not leaving Baton Rouge but came to understand that it was the key to what made our city stand out. Our next challenge as a city is to retain the workforce that maintains a thriving city.
With ThreeSixtyEight’s upcoming Assembly Required conference, Kenny and other speakers are looking to examine and explore how to retain the creatives in Baton Rouge and provide them with a prosperous wage. Kenny contends that the only way to develop our city is to get unstuck from the traditional-formatted ideas of the past and elevate creatives in every sector, to bring new ideas and resolutions to longstanding issues.
ThreeSixtyEight’s Chief Growth Officer, Adrian Owen Jones also joined the conversation to emphasize what it has been like to learn about the city of Baton Rouge, where a positive mindset is the most critical missing piece. Adrian offers us to no longer think of Baton Rouge as a failing city to joke about, but to encourage ourselves to see the ample opportunities that lie untouched. Ideas that were once considered unfeasible can be returned to and reinvigorated, such as a River Walk concept that sister cities like Monroe have been able to pull off with great success.
Rounding off the conversation introduction, was Hillary Melara, a dance instructor, but an all-around creative entrepreneur in Baton Rouge. Hillary spoke on the magnificence that Baton Rouge retains, all needing extra light being shed on it. Hillary mentions that it’s important for us to understand and shift our own personal stereotypes and stigmas, to understand the ways that everyone in the city can elevate us as a whole.
Importantly, the conversation guided into how can this be addressed. What is the bigger picture intended to look like? Kenny is not coy to answer that he sees this as a city that is on par with Los Angeles or other artists or creative attractive cities. With this education becomes critical, understanding that even literacy is a place to improve in Baton Rouge and Louisiana. Adrian amplifies that her view is closely aligned with Kenny’s but to also imagines the inclusionary importance of LGBTQ+ and differently-abled individuals. With this in mind, concepts that would never be raised begin to see light, and an overall city for not just the people who are already here but want to be here emerges. Hillary felt that the OneRouge space allowed for her to learn a lot just as a citizen of Baton Rouge. She beams in the concept of finding places like this to continue to grow, critical for the emergence of a city that residents don’t want to migrate from. .
08:28:40 From Helena Williams to Everyone:
Guess how my GPA was
08:28:41 From ThreeSixtyEight to Everyone:
Going to restart my computer real quick cant hear audio
08:30:28 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:
Helena - 1.2?
08:32:19 From Kenny Nguyen to Everyone:
Am I getting ambushed about my GPA?
08:32:39 From Chris Spalatin to Everyone:
08:32:50 From ashli’s ognelodh to Everyone:
I think mine was a 3.6 and then it went down from there lol
08:33:39 From Helena Williams to Everyone:
I’m just obsessive about scores and it instantly leaves me after the exams
08:33:39 From Marcela Hernandez, LMSW- LORI to Everyone:
I was an honor student best GPA in both undergrad degrees (social work and sociology)
08:33:53 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:
I started a business and dropped out, then went back years later 🙂
08:34:12 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:
Marcela I am not surprised!!!
08:34:18 From Tristi Charpentier | HAWF (she/her) to Everyone:
I was the nerd who never skipped class - high school or college - because I had FOMO bad! LOL
08:34:59 From Verna Bradley-Jackson to Everyone:
08:35:22 From Alexis Jones to Everyone:
All of you are incredibly inspiring
08:35:45 From Manny Patole to Everyone:
Amazing OneRouge Executive team
08:35:56 From Danielle Mack to Everyone:
Bravo OneRouge team!
08:36:00 From Tristi Charpentier | HAWF (she/her) to Everyone:
08:36:27 From SK Groll to Everyone:
08:40:45 From Kelli Rogers to Everyone:
I loved the Innovators in Food event!!
08:41:56 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:
Kenny, when will tickets for Assembly go on sale?
08:42:03 From rodneyna Capitol Park Museum to Everyone:
Loved so many of your events!
08:42:09 From Kenny Nguyen to Everyone:
End of January - first event is March 23!
08:47:14 From SK Groll to Everyone:
I’m thinking about how creative people and creative community challenge social norms and challenge expectations. The stakes can be incredibly high in Baton Rouge and South LA when you challenge those norms. Creative people doesn’t just mean people with profitable and marketable skills, but people who are living life creatively, remaking worlds with their everyday existence. How do we make a Baton Rouge which welcomes and celebrates this?
08:47:45 From Kenny Nguyen to Everyone:
We need to change the mindset of the town from “what if it doesn’t work” to “what if it does work”
08:48:19 From Kenny Nguyen to Everyone:
SK - we will dive into that question in our first event!
08:49:04 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:
I think creativity is in the roots of what it means to be from Louisiana. How many of yall play an instrument? How many of yall love to cook or have a craft? Good music, good food, great art, building community- its in our roots!
08:49:41 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:
Baton Rouge has imposter syndrome bad!
08:49:45 From Helena Williams to Everyone:
When I think of BR I always think of “business-minded and not willing to take creative risks” and that beige is its favorite paint color. How do we push BR to want to be more interested in supporting the local creatives so they don’t have to leave?
08:50:35 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:
Helena the beige thing is so true! But i feel like thats us trying to be something we are not. The people are so colourful!
08:51:23 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:
I would kill for another late night coffee shop 🥲
08:51:23 From Tristi Charpentier | HAWF (she/her) to Everyone:
There's also a lot of "We tried that, and it didn't work, so why try it again?" Instead of determining why it didn't work and tackling those barriers.
08:51:35 From Ashli Ognelodh to Everyone:
I moved here from Atlanta two years ago. I love it here because of the calmness and community, but I enjoy being able to leave because of cultural experiences Im unable to get here. Simple things like various food options are different. I wish there was a more vibrant culture, but I love the quietness
08:51:37 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:
great point, tristi
08:52:38 From Helena Williams to Everyone:
Recently I was asked where the Arts District was… and I couldn’t answer it easily
08:55:13 From Judy Touzin to Everyone:
I so appreciate this focus on bringing people together who may not necessarily often share space. This is where magic can happen!
08:55:26 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:
Where are the poor in this conversation? Does diversity include the economically challenged?
08:55:30 From Tristi Charpentier | HAWF (she/her) to Everyone:
We've segregated ourselves to the point where you never have to come in contact with someone who doesn't look/think/earn as you do.
08:55:51 From One Rouge to Everyone:
look at you being politically correct
08:56:23 From David Summers to Everyone:
You can say it plainly here!
08:56:33 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:
08:56:40 From Manny Patole to Everyone:
08:56:46 From Kenny Nguyen to Everyone:
Not just MOPS = male, old, pale, and stale
08:56:52 From Kenny Nguyen to Everyone:
That’s what we really wanna say 🙂
08:57:03 From Manny Patole to Everyone:
LOVE MOPS! I will not steal that turn of phrase
08:57:15 From iPhone (2) to Everyone:
How to give power to people that have NEVER had the power…
08:57:17 From Tristi Charpentier | HAWF (she/her) to Everyone:
Or WORM - white, old, rich, male
08:57:47 From Patrisha’s iPhone to Everyone:
Meet each other in every setting
No matter who they are
Introduce them to folk you know in the room -we need more connectors
08:58:03 From Ashli Ognelodh to Everyone:
I think its also about just going for it and not waiting for permission to do it.
08:58:12 From Karla King - concerned citizen to Everyone:
Yes Kenny, truly 2 degrees of separation here in Baton Rouge that we should be using to our advantage. But the networking seems to stop or stall within "bubbles" and probably due to what Adrian is pointing out. Networking outside those bubbles is most important.
08:58:16 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:
WORM!!! I die
08:58:29 From Manny Patole to Everyone:
I think the issue is not about the work you are doing, it is the fact you have to do this work to fill the gaps that others are not as part of their charge.
08:58:42 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:
I always wonder when we use the term "young business professionals" who are we excluding and more importantly who is being pushed out?
08:59:00 From One Rouge to Everyone:
@manny Yeah, You right!
08:59:23 From Marcela Hernandez, LMSW- LORI to Everyone:
Promoting an inclusive city not only benefits minorities but strengthen the community and the accomplishments of our home. However, promoting tolerance takes an effort to EDUCATE and NORMALIZE diversity.
08:59:34 From Verna Bradley-Jackson to Everyone:
08:59:56 From Kenny Nguyen to Everyone:
In economic development speak, the communities that thrive the most have TOLERANCE - the ability to be open to things that are different than the larger group
09:00:35 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone:
Love that point, Kenny!
09:00:47 From Helena Williams to Everyone:
The newer generations don’t really use Google - they use social media to know where to go
09:01:12 From Kenny Nguyen to Everyone:
In 2023, its how do you get your content number one on Tik Tok that will win you in the brand building race
09:01:13 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:
And a key indicator of growth and innovation is proximity to startups, technology and creative
09:01:30 From Manny Patole to Everyone:
Social media is not all that great either tbh especially with digital divide and tech acceptance
09:02:08 From SK Groll to Everyone:
The hill I’ll die on: You can’t have flourishing creative culture without queer and trans people (especially BIPOC queer and trans people!)
09:02:08 From Manny Patole to Everyone:
I push back on why Growth is a marker for progress. Growth is a net change, not for everyone
09:02:16 From One Rouge to Everyone:
who run the world? GIRLS!
09:02:32 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:
If you would like to add your voice to this conversation around the future of the Baton Rouge please raise your hand
09:02:34 From Kenny Nguyen to Everyone:
SK - there is an actual metric for that
09:02:34 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:
Amen SK!! I am all about the bohemian index.
09:02:38 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:
09:03:27 From Manny Patole to Everyone:
09:03:40 From Manny Patole to Everyone:
Richard Florida has had many critiques
09:03:49 From Alexis Jones to Everyone:
I would love for BR to be more green. Take advantage of the Mississippi river, the lakes, the bayous to make the city more connected through our waterways
09:04:27 From One Rouge to Everyone:
@alexis co-sign! GO GREEN
09:05:08 From rodneyna Capitol Park Museum to Everyone:
There are 6 museums in walking distance downtown, three theaters spaces, dance studios! That is just downtown. We have the infrastructure we just need the people.
09:05:20 From Mary Stein to Everyone:
ie "creative gentrification"
09:05:25 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:
09:05:35 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:
We have have so much potential -- we need to retain talent
09:05:59 From Alexis Jones to Everyone:
09:06:04 From iPhone (2) to Everyone:
The best talent is here in communities that don’t have the runway
09:06:06 From Shavon Knighten to Everyone:
09:06:11 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:
zoning is my favourite soapbox!!!
09:06:26 From One Rouge to Everyone:
break it out, adrian!
09:06:34 From Manny Patole to Everyone:
There are no homes, employment options, and basic human services.. the core critique of Florida and his work is that he makes many assumptions about what “communities” want
09:07:14 From Mary Stein to Everyone:
09:07:22 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:
09:07:34 From Manny Patole to Everyone:
Remember creative does not mean artistic
09:07:45 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone:
Truly appreciate the tenor of the conversation today! As we continue to build and capitalize on the existing members of the Baton Rouge community I’d like to share an opportunity to get involved in nonprofit charter school board development space. Here’s a link to a free training program…inviting you to apply or simply text me at 504.415.4292 if you’d like to know more.
09:07:48 From SK Groll to Everyone:
Y’all better watch libraries this year. We are about to have statewide convo about censorship vs LGBTQ representation in books
09:07:55 From Helena Williams to Everyone:
I think the importance of creating a culture of open interest rather than snobbery is critical!
09:07:57 From Kevin Guitterrez to Everyone:
09:08:17 From Kenny Nguyen to Everyone:
Kevin, im looking to join two charter school boards because of you 🙂