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OneRouge Community Check-In - Week 170

Since March 2020 during the Covid outbreak a rotating group of 400+ community leaders from the business, municipal, and nonprofit sectors have gathered every Friday morning via Zoom to listen and discuss issues that are impacting the Capital Region in Louisiana. These conversations cover a wide range of topics connected to the Nine Drivers of Poverty. From the beginning, the objective has been to provide a brave space for honest dialogue and identify systematic challenges, but most importantly to present collective impact solutions. This week we will be diving into the three drivers whose coalitions have fully launched! Join us as our co-chairs for Capital Area Food Equity, Education to Career, and Transportation and Mobility Coalitions give an update on who we are, what we do, and how you can be involved!

Enlight, Unite, & Ignite!



Casey Phillips: One of the things that we like to do inside the Walls and every once in a while on the OneRouge calls is start with a moment of joy. And I believe Dustin, I'm going to come over to you and Adonica. Cause I feel like this week, the two of you all could maybe really benefit from this moment of thinking about a moment of joy to celebrate with everyone.

And that's it. And we'll get to the challenges during the call, but what's some moments of joy for the two of y'all that have come up?

Adonica Duggan: I'll jump in first. I wasn't hesitating on the joy because I do have a lot of joy, but I was trying to see if my partner in crime was going to jump in first. I will just say we had the announcement of our 6th Changemakers Cohort earlier this week, and I jokingly say New Changemakers Day is always my favorite day of the year because it reminds me that there are a lot of amazing people.

In Baton Rouge who want kids to be better and who want us to be better, rather who want us to be better as adults in the way that we serve our children. And so I'm just grateful that every year we have a hundred people, almost a hundred people who are, who raise their hand and say, I want to be a part of the solution for kids.

So I think that's just a tremendous thing, testament to our city.

Casey Phillips: Absolutely. And if I may add this one bit, it was a really joyous room to be in when y'all announced all the change makers, but on a personal tip, I love the fact that I knew only 10% of the people in the room and they were all like all people who have never seen I always joke that one of all of our titles is professional meeting takers, right?

There was just a lot of humans that I just, I tried to sit at different tables throughout the morning and I appreciated the brevity of your program too, by the way and I said, and learned about a lot of work in the city that I had no idea was going on. As I said, it was it was a joyous room and you should be celebrated for having that moment.

Dustin, how about you? I've given you a little time to think with give us a moment of joy.

Dustin LaFont: Yes, I had years ago a student who very unfortunately had to go into the foster care system and I didn't really get to have a relationship with him for a few years. And he gave me a call on Monday and he said, "Hey, Mr. Dustin I need something from me. I need a favor". And I'm like, "Man, whatever you need, you got it. What is it?" He's I just enrolled at Southern. And it's too hot to walk. "I need a bike" and I was like, "What? Get over here, Man. It's yours. It's yours. Whatever you need." It was just a moment where he was definitely in a space where it was a really rough road ahead and to see that he's trailed that and I got to just check in with him a little bit.

It was just like, seeds planted. You never, you don't see every seed that's planted grow. Yeah. And when you get to see it on sometimes it's just such a joy to step back and be pleased by the good things that happen some, most times when you're not even around.

Casey Phillips: That's well that's the, I would say from my own perspective, those are the best moments of joy, right?

When you're not even around and the work is just working. I think it's that's an awesome story. A lot of times in education. There's a lot of adult conversations being had with a bunch of adults, and it's easy to get really frustrated by the systems in that way, but if you ever, it's a real simple act, you just turn around and stop listening to adults, and just refocus on the young people that, all of our organizations serve.

And that is really all you need to refill your cup. And I'm guessing that the moment that doesn't refill your cup, it's time to move on and do something different with your heartbeats. And and I know that I know that's those moments are important to you, Dustin. And also, I want to share that SK is the one who brought this practice into our organization of by before we start meetings, we always start with, ask everybody to share a moment of joy and or other things.

And I'd like to give credit where credit's due. And SK really helped bring that into our culture and brought it into our Friday morning. So With that being said, happy Friday morning, everyone. This is this is today is part of the work, right? The work. I love that there's a lot of folks that still think that One Rouge and the One Rouge coalitions is only this Friday calls and they really get a lot out of the Friday calls and it makes a lot of community connections and that's fantastic.

But It's like how people thought that the Walls, all we did was paint murals. That was okay with me because it allowed us the space to learn how to do the deeper work in the community that we wanted to be a part of and we had to earn that trust and earn that space to do that kind of work.

The same can be said with the One Rouge Coalition, right? Sure, we're just hopping on Zoom on Fridays and just talking. Sure. That's all that we're doing. But the reality is that for the last three years with our partners with MetroMorphosis we have been, the Walls team has been learning Collective Impact 3.0.

Not only from a protocol standpoint, but in spirit, right? The letter in the spirit of the law. For all of our law fans on the call, and there seems to be a lot of lawyers here, actually, which is which is interesting and in that way and I said, and the work behind the scenes of the Fridays is starting to become the work that's in the front of the scene of Friday and Friday is becoming taking its rightful place as part of our community connection, but it's not the, it's not the focus.

And today we are our leadership team and our co-chairs. Are firmly galvanized in this work, and you're gonna see that today in our report out. So I'm gonna turn it over to Miss Pepper to guide us through. And we welcome everybody's questions, everybody's input and just know that there is a ton of room to get in and fit in and get involved in this work.

Our co-chairs will be happy to create the space for you to take an active role in the coalitions. And I said, so be listening with that and let us know if you'd like to get more involved. Pepper, after you.

Pepper Roussel: Yes, please. Happy Friday. Thank you. So we all know because we are interested in eradicating poverty.

We as one coalition see through the lens of nine different drivers, but our leadership council where's my bestie leadership council has identified an aspirational statement of fostering an inclusive community culture in our city that leads to equity, equitable opportunities for all.

So Sherreta is our shepherd and caretaker of the leadership council. She's working with the leadership member leadership team and leadership members in order to ensure that we do actually achieve this aspirational statement.

And so Sherreta is going to kick us off talking about what The leadership council has planned for the next quarter or so what came out of the last series of or the last in person meeting and then we will move on to the coalitions. So Sharita, in one rush fashion, your five minutes starts now. Let us know who you are, what you do and how we can be involved.

Sherreta Harrison: Hi everyone, I'm Sherreta and I serve as part of the backbone team with the Walls Project and MetroMorphosis and I get to help the leadership council achieve the shared aspiration of one rouge. As Pepper mentioned, the aspiration for the entire collective of coalitions is. "to foster an inclusive community culture in our city that leads to equitable opportunities for all."

And you all may be more familiar with the existing and emerging coalitions that correspond to the nine drivers of poverty but maybe less familiar with the leadership council and why they exist. And so I thought I'd focus my time really on what we hope the leadership council will be able to do in support of the One Rouge coalitions.

And so in our aspiration, we have this phrase "an inclusive community culture" or better yet "foster an inclusive community culture", right? We know that we want the outcome for One Rouge to be equitable opportunities. Yeah.

Ultimately to eradicate poverty but we also were very focused on what we wanted, how we wanted our city to look and feel as a result of our work.

And so that inclusive community culture piece is was the focus, the brainchild in the focus of the leadership council. In a minute, I'll ask the leadership council to do something fancy on zoom, either with the reactions or your fingers. so that people know who you are. But before we get there I wanted to give you the briefings of what has been happening over the last few months. So in addition to this shared aspiration, the Leadership Council has adopted three tactics that they really feel will build this inclusive community culture. So it's about having formed leadership massive, maximizing our current assets and developing needed assets and then also working to sustain this work and sustain the practices, best practices for the future.

And so we've identified those three tactics. We have objectives. We have brainstormed outcomes to measure our success that we will be happy to report back to this group on. And the next. the end of this year and beginning next year will be about developing those plans and putting those things into action.

And then, of course, that means contacting and engaging all of you to talk about what you're already doing and how we can leverage amplify those resources to make sure that we have people in leadership positions that are really championing our work around eradicating poverty, to make sure we have those community assets, those resources that families and children need to really leave poverty and thrive and then also that we have a secure funding source so that we don't revisit this conversation every 10 years.

So I don't know if that was 5 minutes, but I'll stop now. I can take questions and maybe I'll say something later if it pops into my head.

Pepper Roussel: So thank you so much. I really appreciate you level setting. So that's. That's the core, right? So these are the folks who are looking through a lens of how do we want for how do we want for this look at the end of the day?

They are establishing and putting up the umbrella. And one of the first prongs is or I suppose the most recent. The next to be lifted up is the Transportation and Mobility Coalition. And leaders of the Transportation and Mobility Coalition are Raymond and Cheri on the line.

Hello! All right, my good people.

Please let us know who you are, what you do, how we can be involved, particularly what happened in the in person meeting so that we know what, what is happening in Transportation and Mobility.

Raymond A. Jetson: Thanks a lot, Pepper. I'm going to kick it off and then Cheri can wrap it up. I apologize in advance for not being able to be on for the whole call but this is an important moment and I am so thankful to be able to engage with this group.

I will share at the end if you are interested in contributing to the work of the Transportation and Mobility Coalition, please put your name in the chat and we'll reach out to you. Our aspirational statement is an inclusive, accessible and progressive mobility options for the present and future of our entire community.

And the thing that I would stress there is the whole notion of progressive mobility options. With all due respect to my wonderful co chair and the work that she does with CATS, we certainly want to move this conversation beyond what our buses look like and the routes for our buses. But move to a question of how people are able to navigate this community, particularly folks who are impacted by poverty.

And what does it mean to have a community where mobility is the reality rather than simply the aspiration. We've identified four goals, or one assets are consistently mapped, two barriers to mobility or regularly address. Three planning and funding structures work in coordination to increase overall mobility and four embrace and execute emerging and proven practices in mobility.

And at our last in person, we began to delve into the who and the what. Who is involved with assets and mapping assets or addressing barriers. Or who is involved in planning and funding and then the what data is being collected? What are the policies and practices that are in place? And so we're beginning to unpack the transportation and mobility architecture, infrastructure in Baton Rouge based upon these four goals.

We'd love to invite you in. We are thankful for all of the people who have invested in this work. And we look forward to you becoming a part of it going forward. Cheri.

Cheri Soileau: I'm not sure what more to say on that. That's terrific. I'm honored to be involved in this and I agree with Mr Raymond because even though I'm a transit person, it's transportation and it's giving people choices and not forcing anything on people.

And so bicycle, pedestrian access, safe passage for people, however they want to travel. And we can't forget about the cars, even though we've got too many, let's be honest, on the road. But it's about allowing people those choices and opportunities and understand those barriers and how we can help.

The other agencies and a little selfishly CATS. Let's, I'm not going to be so altruistic to say this doesn't help my work. What I do for the transit agency either, but help everybody because when transportation works, it's a foundational part of the economic development of a city, no matter where you live, no matter what your socioeconomic status is.

So please join us. We have a lot of stuff happening in cats. Don't believe everything you read in the news lately. We're not sure what's going on ourselves sometimes. But we're still here and it's transportation as a whole. Ideas, thoughts perspectives are very important. And everybody's perspectives are important, no matter what.

And I'll leave it at that.

Pepper Roussel: Thank you guys. And I mean that non gender specifically. I really appreciate you showing up and letting us know that Transportation is not just about the cars. I know that sometimes when we think about moving from one place to the next, the first thing we think about is driving, but Transportation and Mobility, the coalition really is trying to incorporate all modes of mobility, no matter how it is that you get from point A to point B.

And so your voices are very necessary. Next, we have our flagship coalition Capital Area Food Equity Coalition, and so my food friends, where are you? And you know what? Speaking of food friends, Nicola, your shiny earrings are giving me life! Alright, sorry for that moment. Anyways, CAFE Helena, Jan, I know, Caitlyn and Emily were on a minute ago. So I'm here. Yay. Please, your 5 minutes starts now. Let us know who you are, what you do, and how we can be involved.

Jan Ross: Thanks Pepper. Appreciate that. CAFE is tackling one of those really easy barriers to to poverty food insecurity, and I am definitely being facetious on that one.

Ending hunger has been, going on for generations and it will continue. for generations to come. But whatever we can do today is really the goal of CAFE. So as what has been said, I'm Jan Ross one of the co leaders of CAFE. Helena provides great support and I'm always appreciative of her her assistance.

But we also have co chairs including Caitlyn Scales and Emily Chatelaine with Three O'Clock Project. They're the brains of the group. CAFE is really focused on, as I said, ending hunger in the greater Baton Rouge area. And that is through access to nutritious food teaching others how to grow food having greater utilization of our community resources, government assistance, and also supportive programming.

So as what has been described there are global goals of the Of the coalition, but they're more some of the more recent work that we have done, we've created more short term goals and that we have three short term goals right now. And that is the first is to promote greater access to benefits such as snap recognizing that, SNAP is a governmental a national governmental benefit, but the application process is difficult.

The stigma is difficult. One government entity doesn't always talk to another. So what can we do through studying the process of some of these applications to help the government entities understand the challenges of the The participants in the program and also what can be done to even create a universal application.

The next goal is creating a culture that really helps with the stigma in receiving government benefits and even using the youth, teaching the youth as to the importance and the availability of different resources and helping them. to encourage their senior relations their grandparents there, even their parents access and, just the availability of these different benefits and encourage them and help them to apply to to the benefits.

We know that by having family members help the senior population we They're have a greater chance of being able to encourage them and also to be able to help the caregiver take care of a senior that may be having issues because of food insecurity. And our last goal is to teach to grow and that is in working with individuals that are interested in becoming farmers.

What is necessary? What are the basics that are needed in order to uplift the operation. And that is through creating what we'll call a farmer's document, which includes information not only on the operations of a farm, whatever size that may be, but also what are some of the resources, including funding or loans?

Some of the legal opportunities that may be necessary in order to start up a business. And then also trying to create opportunities to, the legal system because in gaining access to property, that is always a great challenge for farmers that are wanting to, get into the business.

We have an additional goal. And that is more of a global goal for One Rouge. And that is working to see how CAFE as a part of one Rouge can help in creating the partnership with those that are in the disaster response arena. What can we do today to make sure that We're all connected, talking with each other and are ready to kick off a response in times of disaster.

So I will stop there and if Caitlyn or Emily want to add in and also Nicola, if you want to add in on the status of feeding insecurity in the school system, recognizing that there's just a few challenges in the district right now please.

I'll just add that we're really

Caitlyn Scales: grateful for the teamwork. Jan, you did a really wonderful, comprehensive job of answering things, so I don't have a whole lot else to add, but if anybody on here is interested in being a part of those goals or doing the work together or getting involved and being active on the community fill out that link that Helena put in the chat and we are all here to welcome you.

Pepper Roussel: Teamwork makes the dream work. Alright, kids. Thank you so much. Really appreciate it as as Jan just mentioned. Yes. Go ahead, Casey.

Casey Phillips: I see Nichola. I see Nicola off mute. It felt like maybe she wanted to speak speak and add to the conversation.

Pepper Roussel: Go ahead, shiny earrings. Carry on.

Nichola Hall: Yes. Good morning, everyone. From EBR perspective. Challenges are actually opportunities.

It's still a great day. It's just for us to get back to the table and just keep pushing away and plugging away and we will get there eventually. It's going to take us collaborative spirits like this for us to keep pushing and going back and, dismantling and trying again and keep trying again.

We're not going to get it right in the first day or two or three years, but we'll get there. So for me, the opportunity opportunities are very limited, and I'm actually very excited. It's still a great day. Every day. And I, what I love about what the position that we're in. It's not the same redundant work, right?

We mix it up a little bit, throw a little fire in there, and see what happens and see if we come out on top and see if we're able to move forward and bring the entire district to the next level. And I am super excited with the work that we've been doing with the Wilson Foundation and Caitlyn and her team from 3 o'Clock Project and the work that we're doing with CAFE and the Walls Project

we are literally getting better, right? And we have a few items on the agenda for next month. I'm super excited about that. Y'all need to come on down and join in because we have some policies that are way overdue for this district for us to move the needle a little bit closer to better nutrition.

So we're getting there. I'm excited. So thank you all.

Casey Phillips: Yeah. Yeah. There you go. And Nichola I don't know. As we transition to the education and career coalition, which is what we're doing right now, we really, we find the intersectionality between the work of transportation and mobility and education and food insecurity and career.

That's the secret sauce of the OneRouge coalitions that we're all building together. But in a week that I'm in a let's just say in two weeks where I know that you have felt the brunt force of the sledgehammer coming in a lot of directions. I want to make sure and like in this space, recognize the fact that we have someone who's who ain't from here, who cares about kids and is the easiest person to work with and pretty much any of the systems that we have in the city.

Nicola is not just involved in HR. And in food nutrition Nicola is down for basically helping anything that's going to help the kids in the city parish, and she is not alone. There are a lot of people who work inside of our schools inside central office. And then, of course, it NSPR inside of private schools that are here for the kids and you have to find those individuals.

You have to work with them and you have to support them and sometimes that means that you stand by your homies when the winds of political change are blowing against them. So Nicola, I stand right next to you just as I do during the blue skies and I wish you peace and and speedy resolution to a lot of the things that are going on right now.

Thank you for all in the space. Thank you for all in the space. And so I asked Pepper to transition over to the education and career coalition, which I work really closely with all of our incredible co chairs Tonnisha Ellis and Trey Godfrey from the Baton Rouge area chamber and Dustin Lafont from Front Yard Bikes and Youth City Labs, as well as the one and only Adonica all the way across the board.

AD she has other titles, but move change maker, extraordinary and relentless human being fighting for every kid in the world, but also our city parish. Adonica, I'd like to turn it over to you and Dustin and if Tonnisha is in the space to talk about the progress of the coalition and I'll fill in anything on the backside.

Adonica Duggan: Yeah. Casey, just want to echo your sentiment on understanding how inner woven the problems that we face in the city are and why it's so important to have spaces like this. We are right now experiencing so much of the interconnectedness between education and transportation and not having a good set of solutions for our city.

And it was in the space with Nichola last night, very late, maybe until this morning. And so I also want to send her a lot of peace around this moment. But I do think, groups like this and groups like the Education to Career Coalition I think provide an opportunity to look at this from the lens of how we can be partners to support our schools and doing better to serve our children.

I'll just run through our goals, Dustin, and then turn it over to you. The first goal is raising literacy rates. We had a successful meeting on August 15th where the group gathered and had a whiteboard session on each of the goals and just brainstormed ideas. Casey, thanks for facilitating that.

We also, the second goal is school buildings as community hubs. And the third goal is early childhood. The group didn't get to goal four, continuous learning. But at the next meeting, the goal will be to identify metrics for how we'll measure success for each of these goals. And so there's just a lot of work to be done around education in our city, as we all know.

This is not a one institution problem. This is a whole community challenge that we have to work together to solve. And I think that spaces like this create the opportunity for folks to come together and offer the resources and supports that they can for our students. I'm just grateful to be in this space.

That's it.

Dustin LaFont: Thank you, Adonica. You really outlined it really well. I only want to share one thing to draw everybody's attention to and that is the aspiration or mission of sorts for our education to career coalition. We want to build a culture of high quality continuous learning that is both accessible and equitable.

We're trying to build a culture of high quality learning that's accessible and equitable. And I only say that because You don't get a culture by leadership telling everybody top down how we're going to move. This doesn't happen with our co chairs sitting here and then trying to inform all you all on the goals and the best practices that we want to proceed with.

It's a lot of collaboration and problem solving where we have stakeholders at the table, not to be tokenized, but to be included in actionable research driven practices that we're going to get to a goal. And I say that. Yes, with the current climate, but to be totally transparent collaboration and really hearing each other's voices there's some problems that have been here for 30 plus years and longer.

And there's some problems here that may be recent. None of them gets solved by us constantly changing hats. It only gets there by us unifying that these are our youth. These are our kids. This is our community and this is our challenge. And we're not the problem. We're the solution. We're the solution, folks, as a team.

And so that culture is going to be built at this coalition. And I hope you understand that building culture is slow. It's hard. But when it catches on, it's a beautiful thing. Because then we all believe and can believe in a goal together. So that's really a heartbeat of us taking on these goals. And I know some of you probably saw those goals and said, Oh that's big stuff.

And it is. But if you want to be at the table we'd love to have you and we got great leaderships. And I say that because Adonica's at the table with me, not just because I'm not influencing myself and Casey and Pepper and everybody who's at the table who's really focused on getting to the weeds in our future working groups and our action items.

We won't just be looking at these high level things. We'll be digging deep and I hope you will be interested in joining.

Casey Phillips: Awesome. Thank you, Dustin. Thank you, Adonica. I appreciate you. I want to go ahead and also talk about the other side of education to the career in the coalition work is the business, the private sector is the career side of what we are doing. On behalf of Tonnisha and Trey from the chamber, the other side of our coalition is around career in the business sector, and we're building on the work that the chamber's been doing with EBRPSS, with TAC.

And really also bringing in the Capital Region workforce ecosystem which our next convening is on September 19th at 11 a. m. at the Chambers at their conference room and let's pack it out like we normally do. But anyway, with that being said, there's a, there's a big emphasis on education, but there's also a really big emphasis on the workforce and specifically our four, there's four.

We're pillar industries right now and we're coming out of the manufacturing quarter that we've been covering with the Capital Region Workforce Ecosystem, but we're then transitioning into the healthcare sector and arguably this is one of, one of the greatest job suppliers in the region.

So that, if you'd like to get involved in that work, please do. And then I also just want to make sure and lift up the intersectionality to close. There was a moment last week. In the Capital Area Food Equity Coalition that resulted in a collaboration from education, which was Dean Andrews with Southern University's College of Business, and with Monica Brown with DCFS around SNAP benefits, and then it was wrapped around with tons of resource sharing and best practices from David Beach with the Wilson Foundation.

And, and so we were talking about the healthcare sector. We were talking about social services, transportation and education all coming together to solve an issue that Christian from the YMCA lifted up as a potential solution. And that couldn't happen if we weren't all thinking about this from an intersectional standpoint.

So the power of OneRouge, it really, in these little moments, really shows itself. And for us, the point isn't to try to dictate what those moments are and what that change is. With MetroMorphosis and the walls and Pepper and everybody who's involved in the leadership team, we're focusing on the framework and the vehicle for that magic to happen.

And so if you want to get involved on the more system side and really in the logistics, there's room for that. And of course, if you want to continue just to be a magic maker, we'll come to the coalitions and bring your magic and be open hearted and open minded and vision aligned with the work of OneRouge.

So Pepper, I turn it back over to you for questions and everything else.

Pepper Roussel: Man, this makes me so happy. But I will say, right? Transitioning from E to C, something that Dean Andrews, who introduced himself as Donald and I was just like, who? Anyway, Dean Andrews has often said that success passes right outside the schoolhouse doors.

And so the idea that we would be able to mobilize to influence any sort of systems change is beginning with one coalition and reaching into the silos of each other. And that said, right? That's the beginning of it. My question for anyone of our coalition leaders is, how do you see the work coming together?

Is it, I know it's slow cuz slow is slow and steady wins the race. But how do you see the work coming together and are you happy with what we've done thus far?

Casey Phillips: None of them are going to go first. You're going to have to call on someone.

Pepper Roussel: Ah, the Socratic method. I wish there were one of you was an attorney so that I wouldn't feel so bad about it.

Adonica Duggan: I'm a glutton for punishment. I'll jump in and sacrifice myself. No, I was just going to say I think it is a function of you have to get to definitions, right?

You have to know what you're talking about and have a shared understanding of where you're going first. And I think that we've spent a lot of time defining what we mean, which I think is important foundational work, which can feel slow. Casey knows I have a bias towards action, is the joke that we say around here.

And I want to do it right. But I think that the planning is an important part of grounding folks in making sure that we're all driving at the same goals so that we can, have a shared understanding of what it will look like to achieve them. And so I've been grateful. I've been growing in the process of, just understanding that it's important to have this shared understanding because if we build things right in the beginning, then we build more effectively for the long term.

And so just. And, I think that's been my learning around the coalitions. I often struggle to, I will fully name that I often struggle to work in coalition because, I'm a doer. And so sometimes doing

Pepper Roussel: Yeah, I completely understand my favorite food friend, Jan Ross talks about doers versus planners a lot when we are in our cafe meetings. And so that resonates deeply, not just as a person who likes to be able to check things off of a checklist and planning is a lot harder to check off of a checklist, but

Adonica Duggan: I was just gonna say, I think that is both balancing the tension of the urgency of this work, which is we all want to be solutions oriented because we know that there is.

There's work to be done in the short term because we don't want to wait until the plan is perfect until to start helping, right? And so there is, I think, I love that, it's a home for builders and fixers. It is a home for doers and planners, and both things are necessary in order to be long term successful.

Casey Phillips: I felt I just, I felt like Sherreta, maybe just thinking back spontaneously combusted into space dust. Like she just had her moment of singularity. She is now moving on to the other dimension from this earth. All right, Shaa, your work is now just begun after three years. That's amazing.

Pepper Roussel: Thank you. That is absolutely perfect. Adonica, I really do appreciate your words and the sentiment mainly because we have been moving a little slower than I think some of us would like, right? But to share that not only are we doing the work but we are also planning. Thank you, Tristi. A goal without a plan is just a dream.

And we don't wanna be back here. As Sherreta mentioned in 10 years doing the same thing or was it Jan? Anyways somebody mentioned we don't want to be back here in 10 years, doing the same thing and having the same conversations as we've been doing the past 30 years, 40 years or 50 years or however many years it's been trying to figure out how it is that we get everybody to have firsts before anybody has seconds.

And so I want to use this moment. to transition into Sherreta.

Sherreta Harrison: I just wanted to add in addition to and yes, Casey, I was just like yes, we have arrived because the importance of having that shared understanding because everybody is here with I think the same intention in heart right but we know that to get something done.

We also have to have together. The same understanding in the same intention in that action. And so that shared definition is certainly part of that. Just wanted to tack on and add and also shared understanding of metrics and how we are measuring success, right? And getting to a place where we can all agree that these are the metrics or the data points or whatever that we would like to see move and shift.

Yeah. So that we can have a common understanding of like our progress. So in addition to having a shared understanding of the problem, really having a shared vision and a shared understanding of what we'd like to see and how we're measuring success. And that is how we begin to move in a more collective manner.

And so just really wanted to highlight. And thank Adonica for raising that up because that is the spirit of One Rouge because when we have that shared understanding and those shared visions that allows the intersectionality to actually happen, right? And so it is no longer just that I only care if people get fed.

I understand that if people get fed, then they show up differently in school when it's time to take tests and pass exams, they are more eligible for the workforce. Then we can have a tax base that allows us to improve infrastructure, right? And then housing becomes a thing. And so when we start to have that shared vision of success, that's what allows that intersectionality.

Pepper Roussel: So thank you mentioned housing, right? Because these are things that all touch on each other.

We have some folks who so first and foremost, thank you all for being here. I know everybody can't be here all the time.

Although, I appreciate you spending your Friday morning with me. I really do. Housing is a thing that is. Hopefully going to be next on our agenda and I wanted to ask Reverend Anderson to not talk about voting

but to talk about housing cuz she she actually did a conference on last Saturday.

Rev. Alexis Anderson: Which is actually true. You cannot talk about one without the other. But, the beauty of housing, and thank you Pepper for bringing that up, is that we started with a couple of foundational points. The first one being, that we use the phrase that housing is a right. The reality is, housing is a commodity to poor wicked ghosts to the highest bidder.

And the second point we made is that there are many options on the table. What often happens is that we limit who's in the room, so we also limit how many solutions are viable. And one of the things that was so powerful, and I want to share this because it's why I always talk about when you will not expand the table, you run into an issue.

Our keynote speaker was Dauda Sese, who's the founder of the Louisiana Organization of Refugees and Immigrants. And one of the things that he lifted up for us was the challenge when you leave everything you've known, sometimes under the most dire circumstances. And you become a homeless person regardless of your education, regardless of whatever your previous status was.

But then he also transitioned to this really interesting point that I think people forget about when we talk about housing. The woman who is in a domestic violence situation and is suddenly forced to find a new home has suddenly taken on that title. That the child. that is leaving foster care to go into a world of no protection has suddenly joined the ranks of the unsheltered.

And he really laid out. And I think one of the most beautiful ways I've ever heard that we think of these terms in one definition, but until we have enough people around the table to share with us, it really does look different depending on what side of the room you're on. And how long you've been in that experience and how you got to that experience.

And so it was a wonderful opportunity, not just to hear from the normal players. And I said, one of the things that made me so happy about this particular event, we wanted directly impacted people. So one of the powers in that room was that unsheltered people were in that room. And one of the other powers that got unpeeled very quickly, whether it was a man who set us off just wonderfully.

Or Dr Bell, who explained what they were seeing at the eviction self help death was what happens when you can unpeel the onion and people are in a safe place to say certain things. And so for me, one of the challenges about housing, because I'm very steeped in that work, is that when you don't know how many hidden Unsheltered people.

There are how many people are unsafely house and how many people are desperately house. And what I mean by that is we have people paying 80 plus percent of their income for housing. We're not talking about utilities. We're not talking about food. We're not talking about transportation. We're talking about literally keeping a roof over somebody's head.

And so when we don't recognize That is housing. It's not a building. It's the circumstance. And I think one of the nice things about having that conversation was that the table had room for other voices. And so I just wanted to again, thank you Pepper for letting me share that. But when I say we started with one of my favorite academics in the world, which was Manny, And we had Addie Duvall from our amazing Stark Corporation ground us in statistics and the data of how many unsheltered people.

But then we had Dade walk us through a different level and we had Dr. Bell remind us that there before the grace of God go any of us. So it was a powerful conversation about, and I want to go back to, I think it was Adonica said it, definitions matter. They matter so much.

Casey Phillips: Thank you. Thank you, Reverend Anderson. And thank you for your contributions to the the One Roots Leadership Council. And and then the only reason I was not there on Saturday, that would have been my sixth day in a row at the downtown library. And I needed a day just to Recharge my life energy, but it pained me not to hear those words and it sounds like I'm a missed out So I thank y'all for holding that space and Pepper danced around it because I think she didn't know if it was okay to say But yeah, heck yeah The next coalition is going to be based around is grounded in housing, affordable housing and mobility.

And that will that coalition that's been in the works behind the scenes for the last two years, and we will be revealing that in time. I also want to lift up that there are many people who are on this call that were in those rooms last week, and I put it in the chat, but sometimes y'all got your shy shoes on.

In this also, you don't know where to jump in. It's like watching the merry go round and you just don't know where to get in. So this is your moment to come off mute. We had a new friend join us, Allie from Brenna. She was in the cafe space, so was Dean Dean Andrews, and our board member and Bill Banruge rock star Kendra Hendricks was also in the space.

Jesse from Discovery was in the space, SK and Helena and Pat were in the space. So I just wanted to open it up to any of you all, and if you talk over each other a little bit, it's cool. Just jump in and share anything that came up for you all that was powerful during the in person meetings.

Pepper Roussel: I was there all week. And I saw people in absolutely all of these meetings, reverend Anderson, who used to be one of our co chairs for transportation mobility, doing housing work on Saturday, where Fletcher Bell was actually speaking, Alfredo Cruz, one of our leaders was there, who has been working not just in housing, but also doing work around philanthropy same meeting Dean Andrews, who showed who works in education, but showed up for cafe, there are so many ways in which the work of one Rouge, as Reverend Anderson mentioned, is really about expanding the size of the table and making that umbrella bigger.


Patrick Tuck: Yeah, I was going to say in the transportation mobility meeting, there were enough people in the room and enough organizations represented to know who was not in the room. So as we were going through our exercises of of connecting, we were actually able to get some really solid some really solid organizations.

And we had somebody step up and offer to get connected right there in the meeting, which I thought was great in the organization. It just shows that we've got the right people who are, who are at the heart of what we're doing. Thank you, Patrick. SK.

SK Groll: Yeah, I just wanted to say, I know this got mentioned earlier, the possible collaboration between Dean Andrews and Monica Brown about getting more students involved in some practical research that they can really go then to inform what community based organizations are doing.

I think that there's a real opportunity for us as a One Rouge coalition to double down on that across the board and across a lot of different topic areas to be better engaging with. Student and emerging researchers at LSU, at Southern even at BRCC and other universities and colleges in the region, I think there's a lot of students, particularly at an undergrad level that are, doing independent projects, but also at a master's or doctoral level that would be really looking for better engagement with community organizations and ways that we could structure Those students work to inform organizational decisions, as well as community policy decisions going forward.

And there's an Or an undertapped I think resource bank there that one British could really step into connecting some of those local research resources to what we're trying to do on a policy level. So I was excited to see the seeds of that kind of emerging in the CAFE meeting last week.

Casey Phillips: Thank you. That's great. Jesse.

Jesse Watson: Thanks for queuing up the response. I actually am in the middle of a emergency practice drill. So I wasn't dodging your question earlier, but I just want to appreciate you creating that space, the whole group of creating the space to help push this work through.

So I look forward to being engaged in the work. As Adonica mentioned, actually doing the workshop this is what it's about. Again, I appreciate the space, but that's my kind of short response due to what I'm in the middle of right now, but I just didn't want to dodge your question, but thanks for all the trouble you're doing.

Casey Phillips: Appreciate you, Dr. Watson. And as I said, if it's always something when you're running to school, right? It's always something. Anything come up for anyone else, Helena, you've been quiet and sometimes in the morning you are and I know that you're pensive that you've been your fingerprints are all over all this work.

So do you have any perspectives?

Helena Williams: Yeah, the only thing I really wanted to add was that in the coalition work across all the coalitions, we're really reaching a point of where we're able to have a framework and ecosystem that is translating To every coalition, no matter what the subject matter focuses, and I think that's really telling and that we're hitting a frequency that we're able to move things along in a productive manner that isn't getting stuck in figuring things out.

And just like how Adonica was saying, we're finally getting to a point where we're able to plan and be proactive and start planning for doing. Versus just ruminating on thoughts and things like that. So I'm very excited in seeing Where we're getting to and it feels like when we do launch the housing coalition.

We have really good steps already done to follow so that it goes off really well and we get a lot of work done

Casey Phillips: Yeah, i've not been i've never been this thankful for structure in my whole life and I think anybody that knows me pretty well knows that I don't lean into structure because it has a tendency to yield the same results and when we're working in areas where we're 48th or 50th in the country and too many things have a tendency to shy away from doing the same thing over and over but the the structure of OneReach has really provided a constant, a consistent variable for people to be able to step in and really make their magic work.

So it is 9:25, my friends. On behalf of the One Bridge leadership team and all of our co chairs with all of our co chairs, we'd like to give a resounding thank you for your dedication. This is unpaid work, folks. This is this is the work they're throwing in outside of their heartbeats outside of spending time with themselves, first and foremost, their families and their friends.

And they we ask a lot of their time. And I think everyone who is a co chair can absolutely.

And and they give it to us and and we take that seriously because we have a lot of things to get done. So thank y'all for the commitment and thank you all today in the spirit of transparency. We'd just like to report out what's working, what's not working. How things are moving every few months so that you all know that you're part of a bigger movement.

And when life and work allows for you to step in and lean in more on the work we welcome it and and as we also understand that you can't be there because everyone might be like them as everyone knows. Appreciate y'all. I would like to create the space for any community announcements but everybody needs to drop at 9: 30 and get back to the rest of your day to wind up the week. Please do so and community announcements begin now. Oh, are we going to let Reverend Anderson go again? I think we are. What's up Rev?

Rev. Alexis Anderson: Good morning, first of all. Good morning Casey. And I have three very short announcements, but I couldn't let something go past, so I am always lifting up our amazing East Baton Rouge Parish library system, which is literally the best one in the country.

And there was major announcement made this week, and I didn't want anybody to miss it. As we are literally number one in mass incarceration, which I bring up every chance I get. And yet we've been doing some huge work on amplifying and making people aware that there are some very real solutions out there.

And one of them was a conference or symposium a few months ago called UNTAP. And the Chamber of Commerce, all sorts of people were partners in that. But it talked about all the human beings that we are leaving on the sidelines because they have a record of some sort. And then, as I was part of a huge operation that did some traffic warrant work, and we got reports in, and it turns out there's over 20, 000 people in East Baton Rouge that have issues around suspended driver's license, which is a direct employment issue.

Long short of it is our East Baton Rouge Parish Library System also has a career center. That works very closely one on one with people, meets them where they are, will go out on site etc. They did a workshop on for ExxonMobil about the new jobs they have coming up. ExxonMobil is a second chance employer, and I want people to hear that.

A second chance employer. That means that the thousands of people in this parish who have done their time And some of them have nothing more than minor things in traffic can apply to these jobs. And part of the work that has happened is that our career center has been offering these workshops to teach people how to apply for the jobs.

The last one they held was had over 250 people. They're offering a new one. And I want to say that because that's no small piece to have one of our major employers publicly say they are a second chance employer. So if you go to the library's website, that information is on there, but I wanted to make sure people knew that the second one is this Saturday is the, how are the children?

It's a community town hall on you justice My organization Dustin is going to be there. The amazing Takoa Volkner is going to be there. LSU's Juvenile Law Clinic, LSU, I'm sorry, Southern's Juvenile Law Clinic, the Louisiana Board of Public Defenders, the Louisiana Center for Children's Rights.

We're going to be talking about the children and how they're doing and what we're doing to the children. And so it's going to start at 9 30. It's going to be at the Leo S. Butler Center. It's an important conversation to have. And I invite everybody, whether you have children or not, we need to hear some things.

They're important. And then the last thing is, because I'm a massive pet person, is that there's an event going on at Companion Animal Alliance called Clear the Shelters. So anybody who needs to be a pet owner and isn't a pet owner, you should really do that. And that's it.

Casey Phillips: One Rouge hour brought to you by Reverend Anderson. I love all of that. Thank you for letting us know about Exxon Mobil as a second chance employer. I did not know. Thank you for letting, lifting that up. I agree. The library's rad, what great hope they were last last week for all the One Rouge with the downtown branch.

And then if you do want the responsibility and the love that comes with raising a pet and they're sitting here for them. Follow Reverend Anderson and also attend the the the the event at Leo Butler on Saturday. Thank you, Reverend Anderson. Marcela, it is great to see you in the space.

Hello, friend. What's happening?

Marcela Hernandez: I just have three little announcements. First of all, I would like to invite all of your organizations to celebrate with us the welcoming week. The welcoming week is an opportunity for organized organizations and communities to bring together neighborhoods of different backgrounds and to build a strong connections and affirm the importance to have an inclusive city.

This year we are planning on celebrating during this week the Hispanic Heritage Month event. We are doing it in partnership with Nsrumah Baptist Church. And this event is to celebrate the Hispanic heritage history. We're going to be displaying Hispanic culture and traditions. And we're really going to be uplifting the contribution of Hispanics in the United States.

The event is on September the 16th from 4 to... 4 to 7 p. m. We're going to be at the Instruma Baptist Church Sport Complex. This is the second year that we're celebrating. So this is a call for all of you guys who are thinking of who would like to outreach the Hispanic community. This is a perfect opportunity for you to come and set up a table and really interact with the community members from different backgrounds in the Hispanic community.

So this is just a wonderful opportunity for you to outreach. Those who usually never outreach. If you have any questions or if you would like to come, I'm actually dropping my information in the chat right now. Please send me an email and let me know if you want to come and set up a table.

And also, I wanted to remind you that our legal clinic is open and is running and we are accepting applications of people that are trying to get their citizenship. So if you know anyone who is in need of becoming a U. S. citizen, we're not only helping them with the application in N 400, but we're also helping them with the classes.

We do mock interviews, and we really work with them through the whole process so they can actually become citizens. And then last but not least, if you know anyone who is interested in learning English, Our English classes will start on September the 5th. They do have to register. They need to go online and register on our website.

And that's it. Thank you so much.

Casey Phillips: Thank you, Marcela. And I just realized, thank you, Pepper, for letting me run the community announcements. I think I'm just subconsciously preparing to step back into it. We're taking it old school next week, folks. Pepper will be off planet, and I will be the emcee.

And... Being that I get free rain on this one we're going to do something that's near and dear to my heart. We're going to talk about the heating planet and we're going to talk about how it's impacting our economy and the rights of the Louisiana workforce that has in that space. So everyone is welcome to join, including our friend, Lauren Fry, everybody give a little What's up to our LSU student that has decided to engage and spread the word with their fellow classmates and professors let everyone is I'm sorry, everybody is welcome into the space.

Lauren. So please pass it along. And we welcome everybody's contribution. Ava, you have an announcement, my friends. Yes.

Ava: Good morning, everyone. Yes, I'll be at the Leo Butler Center tomorrow with Dr. Fletcher Bell, Reverend Alexis Anderson, but also would like to for you to join Wesley United Methodist Church on 544 Government Street tomorrow after Leo Butler Center,

How are the children from 12 to 2?

We're going to have a downtown back to school back school bash. And then wake up with us Sunday morning for 10 o'clock and join the historic.

Wesley United Methodist Church for as we celebrate with the community social justice Sunday.

Casey Phillips: Thank you. Excellent. Miss Ava, I'm sorry on that last one.

What is the historic signing? What is that?

Ava: Social justice Sunday. Oh, okay. 10 o'clock a. m. We're celebrating with the community nations social justice Sunday.

Casey Phillips: Okay. Awesome. Thank you for lifting that up. And Miss Ava I would love to invite you into into the committee that is working with to create the social justice you which we are going to be implementing with teams in the across the city.

Would love to have y'all's voices there. We're going to resume that planning for social justice you after we. We finished working with the teams to build their own program and we're going to come back to the adults and see what they think about what's being built, but we would love to have you engaged in that if you would be open to such.

Yeah, sure. Thank you. Thank you, Ms. Ava. Elena has to speak twice today. It's like her favorite thing on Friday, Elena, I'm going to make you speak to power to bring that you brought your idea into this world. Yeah. Thank you.

Helena Williams: This is my pleasure to speak about because it is near and dear to my heart and in a really amazing program, the Futures Fund.

So I'm putting in the chat on September 23rd and October 21st, we're having a a two party event called Jolt Con. This isn't our first Jolt Con, but it's a youth empowerment conference where we're really asking youth teenagers, ages 12 to 18 plus. to engage and bring about innovative solutions to concepts and ideas that we want to cultivate.

So we bring creatives and people who know technology and to teach these skills to youth so that we can get really great outcomes with the people who are going to inherit the future. So this year's theme, or this semester's theme, is around using creativity and technology to save the world. So we're really looking at interesting and new approaches to some things like using trees for carbon capture, understanding microplastics and and creating movements around those, and wanting to know what really new ideas can come out of that.

If you know anybody who would be interested or interested in sharing the event, I put the information in the chat, but we'd really love to see everyone there.

Casey Phillips: Welcome. Thank you, Helena. And I also think when you're describing it to the community, use your words that you say to lay people like me.

It's a no code hackathon, right? It's a no code hackathon. And just imagine, these very impactful conferences that we all go to as adults, but they go to these young people go to them in their teenage informative years to spark off ideas and with human beings that actually have the energy and just the in the blind ambition to actually do them.

I can't express how important this kind of work is with teens to lift them out of the day to day and make their, and pluck their third eye and think on a global and universal level and remind them that everything in the world is possible. Everything is possible. Helena, thank you for helping create that event.

Any more public any more community announcements, my friends we're gonna let you shove off back into this crazy world and See, I've kept myself the whole time from making a mugshot joke all the way through. All the way through. Pepper, anything else?

Pepper Roussel: No, that's it. Thank you all, as always, for spending part of your Friday morning with me.

You know how much I appreciate it. Otherwise, we'll see you I won't, but Casey will see you back here next week. Same bat time, same bat channel. Have a great weekend y'all.


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