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OneRouge Community Check-In - Week 173




Join us this Friday for Week 173 of OneRouge at 8:30 am. In September 2020, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome established Safe Hopeful Healthy BR, within the Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative, to develop a collective vision and strategy to strengthen coordination, capacity, and partnerships to address the root causes of violence, and to advance policies and practices that are grounded in a culture of health.


This initiative uses the collective impact framework to advance public health and restore communities. The four pillars used to prevent all violence and promote healing are:

  • Empower Safe & healthy individuals, youth, families, and community

  • - Build and Revitalize Safe and Hopeful Neighborhoods

  • - Foster a healthy & hopeful culture of peace

  • - Build infrastructure for healing-informed policies, practices, and systems


Join us this Friday as we support SHH through a modified planning lab. We will hear about the project and the working groups from the co-chairs.


Enlight, Unite, & Ignite!


 

Notes

ORC 9/15/23



Casey Phillips: Happy Friday everyone. I hope that intro set at least somewhat of a smiling tone to all of you and we appreciate that you were here today. Pepper, what are we going to be doing today? Because I know you're going to be turning it over to your bestie. But how is how you feeling about today?

How's your Friday?

Pepper Roussel: Friday is amazing. We are talking Safe, Hopeful, Healthy, baby. All of the things that they are doing in order to and look, the people are here. All of the things that they are doing in order to make Baton Rouge a safer place. And our interest really is in all of those areas, especially around public safety and public health. So turning it over to my bestie Sherreta, who's going to be walking us through and or rather walking the working group leads through what it is that they'll be talking about today. Sherreta, take it away.

Sherreta Harrison: Thank you, Pepper and Casey and good morning to everyone. So I would say that I like seeing your smiling faces, but it is 8:30 in the morning and so I get it camera off.

No worries, but hopefully you are smiling behind your cameras. And so I have the pleasure of guiding us through the call with some of your esteemed peers and colleagues around the city who are doing their best to make Baton Rouge a safer thriving city, and I'm not gonna do much by way of introduction because we'll get a lot of information.

We have a few speakers here, but I just thought that I would start this off with one quote because I found several that I thought really set a frame for this conversation of OneRouge and its focus on disrupting poverty, and the Safe, Hopeful, Healthy focus on reducing crime in Baton Rouge.

And it is this quote, and if I were a good graduate student, I would have remembered to write down the person who made the quote, but I forgot. I'll just say it's a quote by a person that was not me. And the quote is, “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime. Poverty is the parent. of revolution and crime”.

And so when you think about this work that we're doing on one Rouge it this attention that we are paying to poverty we essentially can give birth to two things. We can do our best, make a concerted effort to reduce poverty and… yes, it was Aristotle. So crime is not new, folks. And with that, I will turn it over to Courtney Scott to introduce yourself and then give us an overview of Safe, Hopeful, Healthy. Tell us what you all are aiming to do and then we'll go from there. Courtney?

Courtney Scott: Absolutely. Good morning. Thank you, Sherreta.

I am one of those people who do not have my camera on because I am in my vehicle traveling to meet some of our council members and some other folks that are doing this work as well. So good morning and I hope that you hear my smile through my voice. Thank you so much to OneRouge for allowing us to be here today.

This is not just Safe, Hopeful, Healthy that will be joining this call today but many community members, some of which you talk to often via OneRouge. And we will be connecting with you in a blitz session of what we have been calling Community Safety Planning Labs. And I want to offer a quote myself that I also do not have the person that has said it, because so many community leaders that are working to build safer, more hopeful, and healthy communities across the country offer.

And Safe, Hopeful, Healthy is actually an approach to curing gun violence as a public health epidemic. A lot of folks make it synonymous with the word crime, but we're totally focusing on gun violence, particularly the root causes of gun violence. And we do so through the public health lens. I'll talk a little bit more about that.

But the quote that I want to offer is “Community safety is not defined by the absence of crime, community safety is defined by the presence of opportunity.” Why that quote matters so much to the work that we're trying to do for Safe, Hopeful, Healthy is because we know Baton Rouge never has a shortage of agencies, individuals, advocates, organizations that come to the table to bring resolve to any challenges in our community.

But this table that we're creating requires everyone to sit together, very similar to what you all are doing at OneRouge, to address the root causes of gun violence. Our mission in doing this work is to develop collaborative partnerships. Collaborative is very important in this work. That builds a continuum of support.

Please remember this, a continuum of support through integrated person-centered success planning in order to improve our communities. What are the conditions that are preventing our community from thriving? Lack of access to mental and physical health resources. Individual and family economic support. Lack of food access, social isolation, lack of male presence, mentorship and pathway development, lack of system supports, self, lack of self-awareness, cultural differences. That's just a start. I don't have to go down that list. But the important thing that we're doing in this next activity is you are supporting us in gathering information around creating a community wellness plan.

This plan will drive the focus areas from not only the Mayor's Office, but to our private partners as well around how we create a thriving community where all residents feel Safe, Hopeful, and Healthy. That's a broad definition But we all know that is bigger than just a decrease in homicide numbers So what we've been doing is in partnership with the national organization called Cities United is we are working on a documented plan where we bring together as many partners, players, and resources as possible to figure out how we build that continuum.

SafeBR recently released a report that showed that there's approximately 350 residents in our community that are at the highest risk of violence. You hear the DA, the Sheriff, the Mayor, and the Police Chief often say there's a small percentage of people that are highly repeat offenders that are driving these numbers in our community.

That number is approximately 350. That doesn't mean that there's 350 trigger pullers, but there are 350 people that are at the highest risk of being a perpetrator of violence, a victim of violence, or immediate family that can be prone to retaliate. Our work here is to create the most opportune continuum for this group, to stabilize them, to improve the environments around them to create trauma-informed and healing center systems and practices that provide wraparound services. And the list goes on and on. Today, you're going to hear from co-chairs or representatives of six work groups. Those six work groups have been working together for the last four to five months to identify strategies and tactics new and improved that will create the highest and best use of the resources that we have.

That will identify this continuum and how we best serve this population. And additionally, to create new pathways of success for our community. What I want to reiterate to everyone when we give, open up the floor for feedback sessions, is while we know the universal work that so many of our organizations do are amazing, we are doing a SWOT analysis in addressing how they respond to individuals that have experienced gun violence.

That are highly exposed to gun violence in particular. So we just want to keep that in mind. So Sharita, with that being said, I want to toss it back over to you so we can dive into the work and get those information and get that information from folks.

Sherreta Harrison: Thank you, Courtney. And hopefully for the one range of people you heard in Courtney's comments, that intersection between this work around public safety.

And poverty reduction. And so the idea that they are linked and that it does not necessarily mean that a person who is experienced in poverty is going to commit a crime, but there are still. It's certainly a connection there that we want to pay attention to and we want to be we want to pay attention to and we want to address.

And then to reiterate Courtney's point that this public safety approach is not simply a matter of crime reduction, but about increasing opportunity. And hopefully that rings a bell for you all for the OneRouge aspiration. which is about this equitable opportunity for all. And if you didn't already understand the connection, hopefully you understand that connection right now.

Courtney mentioned six work groups. And in a second, we'll drop all six of those work groups in the chat so that you all are aware of those work groups and again, to further demonstrate the connection between the work that we're doing here in OneRouge and this overarching public safety approach and the work that you are doing in the communities, we'll drop those work groups in the chat, but we will turn it over in this kind of five-minute segment of the work group representatives and chairs.

Thank you, sharing what it has been what has bubbled up in their work group. And so chairs, I'll ask you chairs or representatives, I'll ask you to share what are one or two points that has bubbled up in your workgroup. And then I'd ask you to open the floor to this group and solicit feedback for the group.

I want us to be thoughtful about what is something that is already happening. In our city that connects to the work that this work group is doing. And then I also ask you to think about questions that you still have, right? And I want to be clear about this. Not all of your questions will have answers because this is a community-driven and community-informed plan.

And so no one has sat down yet and figured out every avenue, right? That's part of the reason we're having this conversation. But we do know that when we are all thinking about this and thinking of questions, we are working, we can work get closer to a more comprehensive solution. With that said, workgroup representatives, you're going to share with us a couple of things that bubbled up.

You're going to ask the group for their feedback and input and however you need it. And then the group will have about five minutes or so for you to share what connections you are aware of and drop in the chat, if you will, some of the questions that are still lingering for you.

Quick thumbs up from somebody off-camera to let me know that made sense.

Yes. Perfect. Okay. So we're going to start then with Diane Riedy with transforming and healing community. So Diane, I saw you earlier. Welcome. And your five minutes starts now.

Diane Riedy: Okay. So I'm part of the Transforming and Healing Communities work group.

There are 31 participants. We are engaging people at high risk and went out and did some focus groups for people to tell us what they needed. So we looked at-risk students enrolled at an alternative school, 12 males and 8 females, ranging between 13 to 17. We also did an inmate focus group consisting of 6 males and 6 females, ages 19 to 24.

We did a community walk followed by a community meeting for zip code 70802, 70805, and 70806. Each focus group felt that their community had failed them in some way. The majority of respondents cited lack of resources recreational resources, job resources, health resources. Lack of opportunity, exposure to drugs and violence at a young age, lack of community engagement simple access to drugs and firearms, and domestic violence.

Many community members felt that illicit drugs plays a crucial role in the rise of crime in their community and it sets the stage for gun violence, blight, truancy, mental health, and breakdown of family and community structure. One particular community event that I went to last night talked about how at one time the community was more thriving, more engaged.

The park we met in one of the BREC facilities was more active and that went away and crime rose. They have homeless people who treat the park as their own bathroom. And it's a not, the community area is not well-lighted, so it, all of those things they say contributes to crime and very young people in their communities are already using guns, so that's what the transforming and healing community work group has done so far.

Sherreta Harrison: Thank you so much. And I already see some chatter in the chat. Thank you, Diane. I now will open it up to the group. What did you hear from Diane that maybe caught your attention? What connections can you make? And then what questions are bubbling up for you that you think that this work group needs to consider?

Alfreda Tillman Bester: Are you talking to the audience, Miss Sherreta?

Sherreta Harrison:I am and what a wonderful way to start it out because I just read your comment. You want to elaborate there?

Alfreda Tillman Bester: I do. I heard Miss Diane and I understand what she's saying, but people go to the bathroom in the park because they don't have a house to go to go to the bathroom.

This whole question of crime. is not, and I appreciate the statistics that Courtney put there. But people don't commit crimes because they're black. I'm black, been black for about, a few years. It's not about that. It's about the disinvestment in our communities, the disinvestment in our schools, the disinvestment in our children.

The disinvestment in their parents, we can, what I hope that you guys are doing more than anything else is asking the people who live in the communities that you are looking at what they need to escape the bonds of poverty and to escape the bonds of violence, what they need. We need an infusion, and I'm not talking about just money, I'm talking about available resources where children who have experienced violence have the opportunity to get mental health care that they have, that they don't have to go with their mom from place to place, from place to place, to find a place to sleep at night.

We have to, y'all. We can keep studying this stuff, and I appreciate all the studying that y'all are doing. We know what the answers are. We just have to elect people who care, so that we can get the resources back into the community and address the issues, the underlying issues, not the overt thing that we can all see. It's the underlying issues.

Sherreta Harrison: Thank you, Dr. Bester.

And one of the things, and so Jennifer and Courtney, I both, I see both of your hands. I am going to do something that both Courtney, you certainly know that I do, I am going to reserve the right to not take every comment and question specifically because we have a few things that we need to get through.

Jennifer, you're next on the agenda. So you'll have time to talk. Courtney, I am sure you want to respond to what Dr. Bester said. And I will, and I know you have to hop off. So I'll give you a few minutes, but before you do, I just want to encourage the group to be thoughtful about this from the perspective of the people who are presenting these things are our colleagues and they are our peers and they have done a certain amount of this research.

And so the question here is let What questions do we have to push the thinking forward? And yes to all of your points, Dr. Bester, I completely agree. I would also just point out that one of the first things that Diane said is they did go to the community to hear what the community thought that they needed, and so I think we're on the right track.

But when you guys are offering your comments and asking your questions, I would encourage you to think about what you heard, what connections you can make and what questions can further push the thinking for this work group. Because I think if we're on the one roach call for the most part, we are all very well aware of the underlying issues that are involved in why people commit crime, why people are homeless, public safety and those things. And so I would just ask that we give each other the benefit of the doubt of that. The knowledge is there, but we're here to push the thinking forward. And Courtney, I'll turn it over to you to say to one minute of words because then we'll go to the next work group.

Courtney Scott: Thank you, Sherreta. I don't think that I need one minute. You addressed much of what I was going to offer, but I wanted to just offer context because all comments are relative. Number one, this initiative what I will ask is that we don't focus on what officials need to do. We need to focus on what resources community needs to address exactly what Mrs. Bester said. We need to make sure that groups, individuals, and organizations here document to us so it can go in the plan. of what is needed to do exactly what you said. If we know that a person has had too much exposure to drugs, too much exposure to violence, to me that sounds like they need a presence of more positive outcomes and influence.

How will we achieve that? What resources need to be at the table for organizations that can solve that need? The comments and commentary are greatly appreciated, but let's put the solution.

Sherreta Harrison: Courtney, you broke up a little bit, but I am going to summarize your statement by saying, I think two things can be true at the same time. I think we, on this call, we need to be thoughtful about community solutions and what we can do as individuals to drive that forward, and I also think we need to raise up how we hold our elected officials accountable in this space, and I think having both of those perspectives again will get us closer to a more holistic approach.

I will also say that this is going to be the official last time that we'll jump in. At every point of it, just asking everybody to assume positive intent. And with that, I will turn it over to Jennifer to give us updates on Crime Prevention through Environmental Design.

Jennifer.

Jennifer Carwile: Thank you. Good morning. I'm Jennifer Carwile. I'm a leader with Together Baton Rouge and I got with environmental design because when we've been addressing. public safety in the neighborhoods that we meet. One of the common items that would come up is it's dark. And, we have a hard time figuring out how as Together Baton Rouge, we're going to address guns and gun culture and all that, but we can address, it's too dark.

The lights are out, the street lights are out. And so that's what we've, so that's what Together Baton Rouge has been working on for a little while. And that's what excited me about working with this group. So we identified four focus areas: Redeveloping blighted spaces, Increasing community visibility…

Let me go back. So redeveloping blighted spaces. We're talking about working with clearing title. We're working with finding people who live in blighted properties, who maybe don't have the money to redevelop them and figuring out how to connect resources working with wills and succession planning, because a lot of our blighted properties, no, they were Aunt Jenny's, property that nobody lives here anymore, but nobody wants to get rid of it.

And we, we need to help communities understand how that contributes to the problem. Our next focus area is increasing community visibility. So that's working with Entergy, working with the city on replacing and repairing lights, utility poles and then creating like an infrastructure and a way for to empower residents to address that as they see that their lights are out.

Our third focus area is inhabiting public spaces, and I was really excited to hear Diane talk about the Gus Young Park, because that's one area that I remember as Together Baton Rouge worked in. And as I worked in with the Walls Project, people came up and said, what can y'all do about our pool? We want our pool back. Casey's laughing because I think he was walking with me that day when someone said that. But working with BREC because BREC owns a lot of our public spaces. So how do we make sure that those are engaging for people? Also public spaces. How does it, how do we make it safer for people to be out in their community, whether that is at the stores, at the coffee shops, at the gas stations, at the public spaces.

And then, with BREC how to make it more joyful for people to be out in their community. How do we do creative space placemaking and shade? It might be shade. It might be lighting, other things like that. And then empowering residents and local businesses when we came up with our important questions, a majority of them fell into this category.

How do we empower the community? How do we reach out to the community? How do we take the community who feels like whatever they want and whatever they need is not listened to and give them the hope that we can get it to a point where it's going to be listened to? Yeah. I we had a meeting yesterday and came up with a community engagement plan.

We're gonna start with resident leaders. We're gonna identify some neighborhoods where we have some strong resident leader groups, and then work with them on engaging community, teaching community, how to report things, listening to community about what else would make them feel safer in regards to environmental design.

So I hope that I hope that's clear. I hope that was clear. And we're excited to work on this and excited to hear input. I'm reading the heirs property thing that was just put in the chat and I'm excited to see how we can use that.

Sherreta Harrison: Perfect. Thank you, Jennifer. Other thoughts questions that are bubbling up for you for the environmental design group.

And there are a few other things in the chat. Anybody want to come off mute? Good morning.

Andrea Roberts: Hey, this is Andrea Roberts with BREC. I just wanted to chime in and say that Breck is also in the middle of our 10-year master strategic master planning process. And so we've been heavily engaged in all of these work groups and are taking this very seriously.

And find this timing to be amazing going through all of this while we're doing our strategic planning process, which is very enlightening and very helpful. And we are gathering all the information that we hear in all these work groups and what we're learning this morning. And just every day we learn new things that we are feeding back into our process.

And for the long term, these are things that we are absolutely considering for our next 10 years. To be incorporated into our philosophies that we're developing for making decisions moving forward, which is what the ultimate plan will be. But we also have some ideas in the short term and Courtney and I have been connecting and will be connecting in the near future to talk about some short-term ideas that we have just for next year based on things that we've been learning and hearing.

Sherreta Harrison: So thank you guys. Thank you. And if you have other questions for environmental design, I'd ask you to drop them in the chat. We are going to move forward with the third work group. And that is workforce and education.

Mandy: Yeah, it's Mandy. I'll speak. I'm the co-chair with Miss Gay of the Boosting Education and Workforce group. We had a great dialogue between a lot of different members from just different organizations that are part of our group. And I'm pulling up all of my notes.

The biggest area for us, so we focus on... individuals aged 16 to 24 years old who are most at risk, who are your most vulnerable. And so we spent a lot of time talking about what defines that looking at the aces, the adverse childhood experiences. The biggest need that we have that arose in our group is figuring out the access points and who those connectors are.

So Who's already doing the work? And we created a list of a number of different organizations that are out there that are working, but we all agree that they're working individually and doing one thing, whereas we know that the educational system has a very, direct group of students that we know they can be connected to.

And so we, we spent a lot of time figuring out what are the access points for entry? How do we get a list of all of the groups? And then I believe it may have been Dr. Bester that mentioned, how do you know what the people want? That was one of our talking points as well. How do we know what with that group of students or individuals need?

So that was really the next step for us. How do we start to get more information from them to truly understand what they feel their need is? And then how do we connect and support them? One of the main organizations that kept coming up over and over again was EmployBR. Yeah, and we talked a lot about how do we partner EmployBR directly with the school system and the areas of most need for those 16 to 24-year-olds.

We also talked about a preventative standpoint. For reaching potentially younger students in the system who may have younger parents that are in the 18 to 24 range that we could also assist as well. So that's in high level what we discussed. Definitely excited to hear some feedback and any questions.

Pepper Roussel: Hi, folks. Bestie is dropping off. She's got another commitment. So I'm stumbling. I thank you so much, Mandy, for that overview. Really appreciate it. I don't see any hands and I don't see anything in the chat. But as we have been walking through a number of these different topics, I want to say thanks to all of you who have contributed this far as we are talking about workforce and education.

Do you all have? I know we all have opinions. We've got about three minutes. That we can do some feedback on workforce and educational.

Casey Phillips: I will just jump in for a quick second because it's fascinating. Mandy, thank you for sharing out and all the presenters today. Sorry, I forgot to say that at the beginning.

Working, we co-chair the capital region workforce ecosystem and obviously, we have an education to career coalition, which I've offered up to Miss Gaylenne all of our findings from the last couple of years around that work. But it's interesting. All the meetings. In all the conversations in the community boardrooms, no one has brought up the idea of young parents 18 to 24 that are coming out of that 16 to 24 range or kind of in that subset with young students that are already in the system and the support that those individual parents/guardians need in the ability for the school system and after in nonprofits to wrap around them.

I can honestly say no one has ever said that. That is fascinating that you just brought that because right now that I think that just added to the work. So thanks for, I just wanted to like that's a great point. Thank you.

Pepper Roussel: So I would be interested, especially since we're talking about this sweet spot that falling through the gaps.

Is there anyone who's looking at those who are aging out, say, a foster care, those who are not otherwise addressed? Is there a possibility that we are that we could provide some sort of a safety net for folks who are transitioning from one state system to another or who are transitioning from one vulnerable condition to another? And those are just my thoughts off the top of my head in a moment of being serious. In so far as workforce and education or education to workforce is concerned yes, please. Anything that we can do in order to share information between organizations through the coalitions, plural, we'd love to see it happen.

Last call for workforce and education. With that, we are going to transition Josie. Oh. Wait, I heard a voice.

Nichola Hall: Hi , good morning everyone. I will be remiss if I don't get a chance to plug something in there for education. Good morning, y'all.

I'm excited to announce, we have some recruitment efforts coming up. We call this connecting to succeed. We want to help people with EBR. If I could share this by email with you guys and you could blast it out. So we have one coming up on the 28th at Liberty High School. We have another one at Broadmoor High on the 21st, October 4th, Crestbrook and October 5th, Woodlawn High.

And the grand finale, the recruitment and retention fair, that's gonna happen at Broadmoor Elementary on October 7th. And this is where this, we are gonna have a blast with all the different things happening, but I'm gonna share this out to you, but what I'm trying to say is, We wanna help people with the technical support.

They're having issues, uploading documents, they're having this they can't find their resume. They need to fill this out, whatever they need. We give them a one-on-one concierge service to help them to get along the hiring path so they can become one of us hire them to teach our students, drive our buses, feed our kids, whatever they could plug in.

That is my plug for today. So that was on the 30 seconds, I hope. Thank you.

Pepper Roussel: All right. We got workforce happening at education centers in order to work well in education, loosely speaking. Yeah, EBRPSS, yeah. Thank you, Nichola. Appreciate that. And Josie A., I saw you off camera.

If you would not mind we are going to, yeah, all right, so we've got talking about Community Violence Intervention and Prevention. Please let us know what you're what y'all are doing and how we can be involved, what you need.

Josie A.: Sure I'm the chair for the Community Led Violence Prevention and Intervention workgroup.

And... I would honestly say a bulk of a lot of the things we have been doing has been comprised of research. And so the first thing that we decided to do was to look at some of the most notable plans, such as community violence intervention, group violence intervention, hospital violence intervention, and then cross reference that with some of the cities that had similar major crime and homicide rates, to be able to look at how much dollars have been invested, and then also some of the outcomes.

So we've noted San Francisco, Sacramento, D.C, we also did a full landscape analysis of what who is actually doing the work that we know of. I think it taught us a lot as we started to examine the partners. And I think we started to realize that. We had some policy people that was missing, and so we were able to identify some organizations that policy is their lane to be able to advocate for community violence intervention, and we have done it successfully, according to some of their reports that they've put out just overall, along with their overall successes.

We were interested, some of the SWOT analysis that we did was completely not surprising, because this is community-based public safety so we It wasn't much difference that we saw among the organizations and individuals who had a part of the workgroup. And then we started to really look at an analysis of who we can call champions, allies.

So we started to identify council members, senators, legislators, who be, I guess, in support of community-based violence intervention and have done it based upon their prior bills or legislation they have presented. And then we've also looked at challenges, right? And so one of the, one of the things that we found out during the SWOT analysis is that sometimes public safety jargon can be confusing to community members along with organizations.

But then also re imagining what traditional forms of public safety look like and what community-based forms of public safety look like. So a lot of our core focuses that we established was support, collab, advocacy, and delivery services. And so support those who are impacted by violence by increasing overall community-based public safety.

That will increase healthy and non-violent relationships, identify and deliver appropriate. Holistic interventions for individuals at the time or prior to when relationship disputes are coming or happening. And then also being able to advocate not only to develop opportunities for individuals who are justice impacted, but also build capacity for a lot of our CBO organizations that are actually on the ground.

Because one thing that we did notice is that as we were going through the analysis of what organizations are actually operating on the ground, A lot of our community-based organizations may be versed in quantitative data reporting but not based in qualitative data reporting and a lot of data get lost in terms of tracking access and what actually is working.

And then our last core focus is promoting increased collaborative efforts to reduce violence in our city on the city, state, and federal levels. So those are some of the things that we've been doing.

Pepper Roussel: So really quick, we've got about 30 seconds and I just need you to distinguish between qualitative versus quantitative data.

What is that giving? What is that bringing to the table? What does it mean?

Josie A.: Absolutely. So quantitative data is just those like number metrics, like that overall I can count this number. This is what this number is. That is great in this community-based public safety environment, but if you're looking at this qualitative side, those are those relationship conversations, right?

Those are those connections, those mediations, those interventions that are sometimes hard to track just based upon some of the, I guess some of the information that you are receiving. And so it's not that CBOs don't want to track it, they just need to understand, it's like that data literacy piece that comes in with tracking that qualitative data piece.

Pepper Roussel: Okay, fantastic. Thank you very much. All right. So we've got a couple of minutes for feedback. I've got, I see a couple of things that are popping up in the chat already. The topic of discussion is community violence intervention and prevention. Qualitative versus quantitative data, what would be useful in the communities?

And how is it that we can look towards a solution to actually making the community? Excuse me safer. So the ideas around support and advocacy coalition building, we are here for all of that. What do y'all say? What you got one range, especially as we're talking about gun safety, where the gun's coming from how, or who is getting them? Is there a possibility that we may have Thank you, Ava, that we might look to gun control maybe policy that would help with not just the sale of guns or bullets. I, there was actually, there was a really good skit.

Who did that skit? About bullets versus guns. If bullets were more, it's Chris Rock. I remember now. All right. That's I will share that in the notes, my friends. I'm going to pull it up and put the YouTube link in there. Alright would you say, Flitcher Bell?

Flitcher Bell: If I may, I just want to speak from a different perspective.

I grew up right there, 1143 North 39th Street, 70802. Went to Eden Park Elementary, Capital Junior, Capital Senior. Been part of the community all my life. A lot of these things also need to be looked at from a perspective as from a more holistic approach on how we get through this or how we manage our way through through situations like this. When you talk to, talking to the communities, you have to talk to the inner communities.

You have to figure out what's lacking or what's missing. A lot of these resources are not there. A lot of these opportunities are not there. A lot of these chances to. do better or just not plain and simple. Not there. I, the pool that you guys are talking about one Augusta. I still remember when I was 12 years old, we won the city back baseball championship right there on North Street Park. A lot of this stuff has to be looked at from the inner perspective of the groups On what needs to be done, what needs to be brought back, and the trust needs to be rebuilt back in the communities, and to have the opportunities.

And a lot of times if you present the community with the opportunities, then things will from a public safety standpoint, can get better.

Pepper Roussel: Thank you. I appreciate it. And I don't know that anybody would disagree. All moving on to reshaping criminal and juvenile justice. Michaela Jackson, where are you?

And thank you, Josie. All right, Michaela, you are up. Let us know what y'all are doing and what you need.

Michaela Jackson: All right. Y'all can hear me, right? We can. Good morning, everybody. My name is Michaela Jackson. I'm one of the new people on the Safe, Hopeful, Healthy team and I'm serving as a youth leader.

So I'm going to be using my experience with working with youth to go ahead and connect that with the work that Safe, Hopeful, Healthy is already doing. And we had a meeting, our first meeting for Reshaping Juvenile Criminal Justice Systems yesterday. And what we first talked about was before We have this conversation, we need to talk about the social determinants of crime.

What is pushing people into this life, or what is, why are people committing crime? Because we all know they don't just wake up one day and decide they're gonna commit crime. Some of the things we named off were mental health, homelessness, substance abuse, lack of resources. And I would argue that the last two that I'm about to say are not very centered in the conversation around violence, but definitely underrated and need to be talked about. And that is lack of conflict resolution, and why people are so desensitized to violence. The role that media and video games and all of that plays on the crime we see today. And then we also talked about the needs of the community, and we're going to have to do more research on this, obviously.

Just some of the things that came off the top of our heads yesterday in our meeting was different disciplinary systems, more conflict resolution, especially with youth humanization efforts and community care, because I feel like a lot of times nowadays, I don't know if it's because of media, but definitely people don't see each other as human anymore, which I think is a big problem when it comes to violence prevention.

We need more after-hours activities and structure, especially for the youth. Conversations around the desensitization of violence, and better promoting of resources face to face. And the last thing we talked about was just building trust with the community.

Pepper Roussel: How can we help?

Michaela Jackson: That's a great question. That honestly is not what we got to yesterday. So that would be something I would have to take back to the team and talk to them more about.

Pepper Roussel: Fantastic. All right. So go ahead. I said, but we will have an answer for you. Fantastic. All right. OneRouge, if y'all have any answers of how we can help what you got.

I see some things that are popping up in the chat. I am so in favor of conflict, of teaching folks conflict resolution because it is underrated until, of course, you're in a conflict and then you need to resolve it.

All right. Thank you, Michaela. I appreciate your voice and I appreciate the work that you are doing. Thank you, Alfredo. Let us model conflict resolution. And last but not least, we have... Bolstering individual youth, which I heard a voice. Oh, no, it's just coming off of mute bolstering individual youth, family, and community.

Jazzika Matthews, you're up.

Jazzika Matthews: Good morning. So I am reporting out on behalf of the bolstering individuals, families, and the youth group. The actual work group leaders are Lauren Hebert with Baton Rouge General and Nikki Scott with Our Lady of the Lake, but they were unable to attend today. So I'm reporting on their behalf. The focus of this workgroup is to increase awareness and access to opportunities and resources.

The thought is that meaningful family engagement positively impact individuals and outcomes over various domains. So they are talking about how this includes strengthening support systems and providing resources that empower individuals, families and prevent violence. The conversations that they've had in their workgroups center around developing strategies for implementing father engagement programs across systems and service. And they recognize that Baton Rouge has no shortage of resources. But of course, we do have this issue of coordinating the resources source and then targeting outreach and resources to the specific niche population that is dealing with violence.

And during our sessions, our planning lab sessions, I presented and challenged the group to really focus and hone in on who we're targeting specifically when it comes to gun violence in our city. And so we looked at this continuum of prevention. And we talked about there are various pockets of ways in which people who do intervention and prevention and that Baton Rouge Safe Hopeful Healthy is focused on doing intervention and treatment over the universal and prevention categories. And I would show you and I would love to share with you all what that continuum looks like for us. But if you think about it, we are looking at universal. When we look at like the continuum, there is a universal that covers prevention that occurs and is targeted to the whole population, but specific to safe, hopeful, healthy, and looking at gun violence prevention.

We want to focus on a targeted group. And so we look at we call those folks at risk and high risk. And so this group is specific to specifically trying to figure out how to make sure that programs target high-risk and at-risk folks. And so we have an entire list of what makes a person high risk and at risk.

And I can share that I know we're on a short time frame. So tell me whether or not I can keep talking and I'll talk.

Let's go. Just go ahead and go another minute. Yeah, go ahead. Another minute. So we look at the high-risk category of folks. We're looking for people to have at least four or more of these things. First, they fit into the age range of 16 to 30. Often we say 16 to 24. But in the city of Baton Rouge, when we look at gun violence, 30-year-olds are also involved in that, right?

Mhm. We also look at their education. So folks in this high-risk category, they have limited education. They're enrolled in, they were or enrolled in special education, perhaps have dropout heavy truancy rates, of course, basic skills deficient. They possibly have involvement in group-activity. We don't like to say “gangs”, but they have, they might have involvement there.

Also, a history of violent victimization, either they have been a perpetrator or possible victim of violence, and often we know that those two things are interchangeable. High areas or high experience with trauma, we can look at that ACEs gauge to see what their history with trauma is, and then also multiple barriers to stability.

So perhaps they were a previous offender, they have dealt with. Being unhoused foster care system, all of that, and then also a distressed person. So if we look at all of those things that I just named, and if an individual has four or more of those things going on, that's who we hope that most of the services relative to the gun violence prevention work goes to a target.

So that's the high-risk category.

Casey Phillips: Yeah. Thanks, Jazzika. And I think it was important for me to be able to finish that off. Jessica, while you're off of mute if you don't mind, because, obviously this was an experiment. We've been doing this now for 173 weeks, right? So every once in a while, we want to try new formats, try new partnerships, and try it in a different way.

But as y'all expressed in our prep meeting, this is really an in-person conversation, right? To really dig in. It also requires more than 60 minutes on Zoom. So with that being said, can you please drop a flyer into the chat with a link and also just let everyone briefly know what's happening on the 19th and 20th.

And then after that, I do have one question for you. And I'd also like to hear from Boo Milton in a second, but Jazzika, go ahead.

Jazzika Matthews: Sure. So our planning lab sessions, we have two days on the 19th and 20th. There are a few different timeframes in which those time, those labs will happen. But really what it is, as Casey talked about, is folks getting in groups together and diving deeper into these conversations.

We have some milestones around the document that we're just developing, right? This larger Safe, Hopeful, Healthy Roadmap. And so the planning lab is an opportunity to give that input. I do want to say this. The goal of this document is to outlive any elected official. It is, beyond elected, right?

We are looking for a community to inform this document so that beyond the folks who are in office, we can always go back to this and say, when people are asking what do people want to, what do we need to happen around gun violence? What is community saying around what is needed for gun violence?

And I always push this in front of our, whoever's elected at that time, push it in front of their face. Community said this is what we needed at that time, and it's still what we need. We need as much input as possible and so we have several times, and some of the times are amiable for folks who are, of course, in the workforce, and we do this stuff every day.

We can come during the day to tthe meetings, but we also have evening meetings. I will add that to the chat now.

Casey Phillips: Thank you so much, Jazzika. A common thread through the chat today. At different points, right? And, I, you roll very direct. So I don't think that you'll mind the question, right?

Is there, during these workgroup meetings, is there an intention or a structured way of actually talking about capitalizing these ideas? Not everything is about money. It's not. And I agree with Jennifer. There are a lot of resources that are out there that people aren't connecting to.

I would argue because we make it systematically impossible to actually connect it to it and we make it to be in a full-time job to be in poverty, but I digress for week 174. We'll get back on that tip. Is there an actual strategy about capitalizing on these ideas that the community is coming together in this document because without resources, especially multi-year commitments from whether it's elected officials, Whatever it winds up being without that multi-year commitment, the work's going to constantly start, stop, start, stop, start, stop, and the community gets worn out by another initiative and another plan.

What is what's being discussed in part?

Jazzika Matthews: It is building that strategy, but then it is also utilizing this plan to drive the commitment and the investment to the strategy. So the plan will end up talking about the cost of all of this, right? And I know you said it's not just about money, but there is an investment that systems have to make to this work, right?

And so we have the plan and then also dive into. We actually want to dive into budgets. Like I like you said, Casey, Courtney is great at the talking high level and I'm very direct, but we want to dive into budgets of these greater institutions to see how, some of these budgets can inform this work, right?

So it is a both end, right? We're sitting in that room and we want to figure out together collectively, How we can move forward and the plan will help to drive that.

Pepper Roussel: I do have one question or one request. If y'all could distinguish, right? The resources can be used in a couple of different ways.

The word itself. And I think that we're talking about two different things. We are talking about money as a resource. We are talking about places that you can go and get support and help as a resource. If we can just distinguish those two, what does that mean? So that, and I think that the question that ATB asked a little while ago, what do you mean that we don't have, we got a whole bunch of resources.

What kind of resources are we talking about? When y'all put that in the, when y'all talk about this, when you're chatting in the chat, please make that distinction. Additionally, I'm happy to step back and we'll let Boo Milton take the floor. Or Casey, do you want to do another intro?

Casey Phillips: Yeah, that, yeah, for sure.

Boo are you able to come off mute? Yeah, for sure. Awesome. So first and foremost, young creator, I want to congratulate you on the launch of your company that you had last week. And if everyone is not aware of that, I'd like to just give that space to boo at the end of it. But Boo, you've been involved in the SHH work and your perspective is always slightly different in a good way than others.

What is some of your perspective on the work and to put voice to that? And then of course celebrate yourself and let everybody know what you're doing.

Boo Milton: Okay. I appreciate you putting me on the spot like this in the best way. First I'll say to the Safe Hope for Healthy Work first speaking if y'all not familiar with Cities United, Cities United is a network of over 150 cities and we work with them to build out a public safety plan and provide them with TTA support with that.

This road map is a year-long commitment that we work with different cities. Baton Rouge is one of those cities where we provide a framework to how to build out a community public safety plan. So this is not something that's directly coming from the mayor's office or anything like that, it's supported and it's for the community to lend their voice on what a public safety plan should look like.

And I'm really excited because man, the community has been just taking it and running with it. I've been seeing these planning labs and I've personally never seen this much collaboration outside of a OneRouge call, it's just beautiful to see that. So yeah, that's my thing is just dive in and invite more people to the table, right?

If I think that's the best thing that we can do is just we go to a meeting, we share, but then invite some other people. We have a we have one that's this Tuesday coming up, invite as many people as you can. If they can't come during the day, we got one at night too.

We're going to be there all day. So as far as from Safe, Hopeful, Healthy like just supporting that work I'm involved with it because I really believe in it and I think that it makes sense really leaning on community support and voice. So yeah, that's my take on that. And as far as like me with my company Cure with Love and launching I'm really excited about that.

So thanks Casey for providing me space on that. And basically what Cure with Love does is, a lot of people know like the moments that I create for like joy and fun and happiness, but like I have a We, we released our flow of impact and basically what our goal is to create moments that we then turn into programs that we then embed in the systems so that it can be sustainable.

So that's what really what we're working on is how to create moments of joy and then embed them in the systems so that they can continue to provide young people and even adults. Like I said, just moments of joy that are the foundation. Cause moments of joy is the foundation of creating better relationships and better lifestyles.

Casey Phillips: Yeah. Congratulations again, Boo. And we've all watched your growth as a leader on the national level. And it's always interesting, right? It's almost like a, it's sometimes like when a band starts to get big, right? Like they'll start, they'll go over to Europe and sell 2000 tickets and they come to their hometown and sell a couple of hundred because people are just like, oh, okay, that's just so and so that I see at the coffee shop all the time.

They don't realize how large of a national and global presence it is. that you do have, right? Like I was at a conference in Birmingham last week. Earlier this week and the people from my brother's keeper in Tulsa have been watching you from afar, right? Because they just got a bunch of grant money from the Obama Foundation.

They know who you are, right? And so I say all that to say the people on this call, a lot of these plans and a lot of these steer these work groups and stuff, everybody come, comes back to economic justice, economic development. And you have a young, African American, entrepreneur that has been doing work in the streets for the community for free for years who is now at, and is now has a for-profit company.

Don't just keep going back to your same consulting firms all the time and spending $100,000 on plans with them. Put those dollars on the ground in the community with people who are actually doing it. And besides just being a personal friend and a super fan of Boo's that's what economic justice looks like, and you can actually steer the dollars directly into your community, and trust me, he will pay it forward a hundred times, right?

And so then that's how the city gets better. Jazzika, I commend you and Courtney for engaging Boo as hard as y'all have throughout the process, and what I love about SHH on the meetings, I barely, sometimes I barely know anybody in the room. And, I meet a thousand people a year, y'all, like easily, and they've done a really good job at bringing an incredibly diverse thought, lived experience, and voice into a room and it's in the planning lab for five hours as a party.

Everybody come to it on Tuesday and Wednesday. And we're coming in the evening time one as well. With all that being said Jessica or any of the the steering committee leads, if you all have anything else that you would like to contribute that you didn't get to say, please come off mute and any of our One Roach community members that would like to bring voice to anything that was discussed on these pillars, please come off mute or raise your hand, excuse me, and come off mute and then we'll get to community announcements with that.

Jazzika Matthews: One last thing, and I had hoped Booth would share this part of his role in the planning lab is to ensure that we have youth voice at the table. Yeah. So we have we are actually siphoning what is it, 12 community young people who are engaged in the work to ensure that as this plan is developed, There are youth who live in Baton Rouge, engage in the process, and not only there for note taking or to be a lackey.

They are there intentionally to give their feedback to all of these work groups. That's a highly important part of this process for us. And then, I do want to again highlight what Casey just said. There are individuals in the room who with experience, right? And so about all of these various organizations have people messengers who are given we just went to the podium last week and that was a just amazing experience.

But because we know that those individuals are the ones who have been affected greatest by this issue and that they can inform it better than a person like me who has never been in the system in that way. Yeah, thank you again for letting us share and we hope to see everyone at the planning lab because this is going to take everyone.

And when we look at this issue of gun violence, it takes all of us. to give input to make a difference. And I do want to highlight one last thing. There is some successes that we have seen in the space of gun violence in our city. For the first time in since 2017, we saw two long stretches where we didn't have a homicide in the city.

One stretch was 27 straight days. Another stretch was 31 days. And so A lot of that has to do with the high-risk intervention that's happening on the street, the intervention work, the CBO work that's happening in partnership with law enforcement. And so we know that if we can invest in many of these strategies, we can see even higher rates of periods of time without homicides.

So just wanted to share that success that our city has seen. I love to end on a happy note. And yes. The revolution will be economized.

Pepper Roussel: And that said, thank you all again for all of you who are here to share with us about the work that Safe, Hopeful, Healthy is doing. Thanks specifically to Courtney and Jazzica for reaching out to OneRouge and asking that we do a different program than we ordinarily run.

But again, the planning labs are coming up this week. So please, if you can make it during the day, at night, in your day, and your heart of hearts. Please just show up. All right. What's going on this weekend? Baton Rouge. Reverend Anderson.

Rev. Alexis Anderson: Good morning. Just a couple of things. Alfredo pointed it out, and I want to say it again. Voting matters. And tonight there's going to be a gubernatorial debate. It's important for people to pay attention to these. We've got BESE. We've got all of the major positions on the ballot and there are candidate forms that are going on that are being held by numerous organizations.

I think it's very important. I will just say that I put in the chat a very important presentation that Judge Gail Grover just did to the Metro Council on. She was talking about the state of the juvenile justice facilities. But we just two weeks ago had a community town hall on juvenile justice with all the actual players.

The Louisiana Public Defenders Board, the Southern & LSU law clinics. The people who actually live in these worlds. And I do think it's important that as we gather well-meaning or not, we understand that sometimes the disconnect and it is a real one, is that there are people who have aspirational goals, but they are also not aligning with sometimes the very real world that people have to operate in.

So I just wanted to share that as we go into this next section, we got a lot of candidate forms going on. We got to get people voting. The last day for in-person voting has already passed, but not for doing it online. And so it's just super important.

Pepper Roussel: Thank you very much as always Reverend Anderson for your comments. Yes, voting does matter speaking of gubernatorial forums, Sierra Club is doing one on Wednesday, September 20th, that OneRouge is partnering in order to sponsor, sponsoring, supporting, whatever, we're involved, we're on the thing. The forum will be live at 1 p.m. with a rebroadcast at 6 p.m. So please, if you can make it, great. As Reverend Anderson mentioned, there are about 18 people who are running for the Office of Governor. The ones who show up to talk about the climate crisis will be there on the 20th. All right Marcella! What's happening with LORI?

Marcela Hernandez: Good morning, everyone. I hope that you guys are doing wonderful today.

I just wanted to remind you about our Hispanic Heritage Month event. It is finally here. We're going to be celebrating the end. Our Hispanic Heritage Festival we're going to be celebrating the rich cultural diversity that enriches our community. It's going to be tomorrow September the 16th from 4 to 7 p.m., and we're going to be doing it at Istrouma Baptist Church and then we are planning on having different vendors. We're going to have country displays. free food children's activities. So it's going to be really fun. And then also it's going to be a way for you to get to know who we are and then get to see the richness and the diversity of this.

city and to see different people from different languages and just, get to really know who we are. So I just want to invite all of you to come and spend some time with us. Bring your family, bring your kiddos, bring everyone, and bring an empty stomach as well. As you will be eating some delicious foods.

I hope that you have a wonderful day and I hope I will see you tomorrow at four, Istrouma Baptist Church. Thank you.

Jonathan S. Hill: Thank you. Good morning, everyone. Jonathan Hill. I'm here today representing Hill Baton Rouge. They have a project underway as relates to reimagining Florida Boulevard and that entire corridor. There's a series of community meetings happening next week, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday the community has an opportunity to come give their input on what they would like to see.

So often, Florida Boulevard has been called a dividing line in the Baton Rouge community. So they're looking at ways where we can make that more of a connector. And so if you're interested, please join us. I will drop the flyer and all relevant information in the chat. But also there are some dollars to look for some community ambassadors.

Put some money on the street. So I'll put my contact information in the chat. If you know of any individuals who are willing to serve as community ambassadors for this project, definitely have them reach out to me and we will get them connected. I'm looking forward to seeing some of you at the public meetings on next week, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Casey Phillips: Awesome. Thank you, Jonathan. And that's yeah, it's an exciting project. And I just say, I like the trend that has begun that we're paying people for their time and on the streets of Latin rush. Instead of just extracting ideas and knowledge and for yeah, anyway, I'll hold the comment there, but it's a good trend to see.

And I appreciate that build is doing that. Josie, you want to come back and jump back in?

Josie: Yes, just really quickly. For those who are not aware, agile planning solutions holds a monthly public safety roundtable. It happens each month on the second Thursday. So our next one would be on the 14th. If I'm not mistaken, or the public safety roundtable invites residents of all neighborhoods to come out and engage with their captains and lieutenants of their districts in terms of BRP, the officials give out Major crime and homicide data and also tell 'em about the new updates that are happening in their areas.

Then they also give a chance for community members to express some of their grievances. And then we also invite community-based organizations to come out to give some of their quantitative or qualitative data report and also give feedback from their community. And I think someone mentioned this earlier, one thing that we've discovered throughout this whole plan is that there has not always been a holistic approach to addressing why violence happens in the first place.

And so one of. by things that we highlighted the public safety round table is that these community-based approaches are preventative programs is in compliment to whatever public safety strategies already exists. And then we also understand that the people that are closest to the harm are closest to the solution.

And so figuring out how to amplify our violence interrupters, but then also advocating for them, which I think that we have. We know we need to do, but being more intentional with connecting with systems, legislators and lawmakers and understanding the power that this actually can provide. And so I just definitely want to highlight that.

Yeah.

Casey Phillips: Thank you so much. Yeah. Thank you, Josie. I appreciate you. And I also realized that we have a few new friends on the line today and I would just want to make sure and welcome Monique from the Lady of the Lake that's been here today. As I appreciate you for joining us and Tiana. Thank you for being here as well today.

And Yeah, and also I put it in the chat. I want to make sure and let everybody know that National Parking Day is today. CPEX is hosting it downtown. The Walls Project has a little interactive moment in the downtown area. And then also, Mandy and Nicola are here today and The last few weeks look like as I expected, see, look, Nicola's got that smile back on her face.

She's got that passion back in her body and it's good to see our friends like weathering it through and sticking it through. And good to have y'all here as well. Let's see here. We have Marcella. Is that your hand still raised or you got something new to say?

Marcela Hernandez: Yes. No, I'm sorry. I forgot to say this.

So one amazing thing about tomorrow, if you know anyone who is in the process of thinking about becoming a citizen we're going to be offering a free legal citizenship help on the ground. So please, we're going to have attorneys, we're going to have some legal staff. If people that are in the process of changing their status and they're thinking about becoming a citizen please send them our way.

We're going to be doing it for free for the public. So we're going to have public consultation, the free consultations, and we're actually going to be helping them with the N 400s on the ground. So please send everybody on our way.

Michaela Jackson: I had a question for Josie. Can you please repeat when those public safety meetings are and what organizations putting them on, please?

Josie: Yeah, so it's the second Thursday of each month. So next month, it'll be on the 12th is put on by. Agile planning solutions, which houses a CVI organization, and it typically take place at the MLK Community Center on Gush Young.

Thank you so much.

Helena Williams: Hey I'm sorry, I can't raise my hand, but I just wanted to let everyone know that tomorrow at the Carver Library, On Terrace Avenue, we are doing Features Fund is doing a, two workshops, one around personal cybersecurity, and the other is about Web 3. 0. So if you've ever been curious about what is cryptocurrency, AR, VR, all that, it's a free workshop.

We have a lot of people already registered, but I'll put a link in the chat if you are interested, or you can just walk in and sign up there. And that'll be 1 to 3 p.m. tomorrow.

Casey Phillips: All ages welcome. Yes to the season of Walls event in September. It's hard not to be self-promotional. We have so many of them. Thank you Helena for that. Appreciate you and then I know you put it in the chat but Yon did you want to encourage everybody about the conference coming up?

Jan Moller: Yeah. Thank you everybody and good morning. Yeah we have Yon Mullen with the Louisiana Budget Project and we're putting on our second, it's not the second annual because the last one was four years ago, but the Invest in Louisiana Policy Conference with keynote speaker, Clint Smith is next Thursday at the water campus right there on river road by the casino.

If you go to investlouisiana.org, there's all the information you need to register. We still have some spots available, not a ton, but a few. We hope you'll sign up. There's going to be a lot of workshops, a lot of great conversation, folks coming in from all over the country to talk about, how we can build a stronger economy what issues we need to be talking about with elected officials heading into this crucial election cycle.

So I hope you all can make it. Thank you,

Casey Phillips: Adam. And we have SK from our team that's coming to represent and more of us are going to try to navigate between the 37 commitments that we have on that particular day and in support. And by the way I thought about the work in when I was in Alabama, it was, the city of Birmingham was incredibly kind And welcoming and I learned so much specifically from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

If any of you have not been there before, I'd encourage it. And I said, but there is a group, a statewide group called Alabama Rising. That really reminded me a lot of the work that the budget project does and that together Louisiana does. And it really made me thankful to take a moment and be thankful that your organizations are in this state.

doing the work that you're doing, because it's really important. And please continue to keep up the great work and appreciate all you do. And we were also, the Wilson Foundation was kind enough to connect us to the Woodlawn United group with their Purpose Built Communities model in Birmingham.

And it also got me triple excited for the work. and that they're going to be doing over the next decade in North Baton Rouge. In some hard work, but some incredible work that we need to have happen. So it was overall, it was a really good trip and I'm really thankful to the organizations on the ground that we're shoulder to shoulder with in this work.

I really am. Does anybody else have any community announcements, my friends? Reverend Anderson?

Rev. Alexis Anderson: Yes. And this is my happy message. My favorite little hangout is La Divina's, the little Italian eatery on Acadian and Perkins, and they are showing the most amazing artists right now, and that is Jennifer Carwile's work.

If you haven't had a chance, go in, have a little gelato, and see an amazing artist. That, that work is just stunning. And that, that's my happy message for this weekend.

Pepper Roussel: That is phenomenal. Thank you so much. Reverend Anderson. Congratulations, Jennifer. I could not be happier to hear that your work is on display.

Alright. Thank you so much for being with us. I cannot say enough how much I appreciate you spending part of your I never thought to self-promote. We'll do it for you. Spending part of your Friday mornings with me. Have a great weekend. We'll see you back here next time next week. Same time. Same time.


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