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OneRouge Community Check-In - Week 182

Updated: Nov 18, 2023

Thanksgiving is next week. November is almost over. And 2024 is right around the corner. But before we go too far, we are going to take a minute to look back on what OneRouge has been up to.

From grant awards to new initiatives, there has been movement. This Friday's call will be a quick touch base to update you on those things.

Enlight, Unite, & Ignite!



Pepper Roussel: So hey, hi, Thank y'all for spending your Friday morning with us. We really appreciate it. I am so excited to see some of your faces online that I have actually seen in the person this week in our One Rouge meetings. But there are so many things that are going on under the and I will leave the thunder of the Superdome sized tent to, to Casey. But, essentially, there are a lot of things that are going on, and I want to make sure that with this call...We are sharing with y'all what's going on at the wall. So Casey is going to shepherd us through the the overview of what's happening at the wall. So with that said we'll leave it to Casey.

Casey Phillips: Thank you, Pepper. So as Pepper kind of said the Superdome, you all heard this for a while, and the email that we sent out, Pepper kept it intentionally really broad. There are a few of you that have had I'm going to say that they've, you've had the pleasure of working at the Walls and I'm just going to leave it at that. You can add all the other words into your own way and whenever I'm around or not. And there's a lot, folks who have served on advisory councils who have been on the board of directors or just volunteered with the organization. And you know that the direct service work that we do in the community is the heart and soul of what we do, right? Painting murals. Working with Youth and the Futures Fund starting an urban farm at BREC Howell Park and doing the MLK Festival of Service all that work continues, but as you all know, there has been a significant shift once COVID hit. It was happening right before COVID with the Nine Drivers of Poverty, OneRouge murals that we were painting but once COVID hit, We really, all started to gather all those hundreds of organizations that used to work on MLK Fest and we used to collaborate in the community together and we All came together really the best way of putting it was a disaster response mechanism with the Friday calls, right? And after the the first ten to twelve of those our friends at Metromorphosis and we're collaborating with the walls of course on the phone because we were all separated from one another and we started thinking About how these Friday calls could evolve They could we were very honest about it. We're like maybe they will. Maybe they won't. That's what working and building in community shows that you don't know what the outcome is going to be. And if you actually want to do it in the right way, it shouldn't be you who's deciding on whether it keeps rolling. But folks, we up in the one eighties per week, we're in the one eighties on these Friday calls. And what has resulted by partnering with Shereta and Raymond and all the incredible humans at Metromorphosis is that we have created nine, a framework for nine separate coalitions around those nine drivers of poverty. And you all have been here. We've been talking about food insecurity, education, career, transportation, social mobility, equal pay, pay women more now, thank you Shereta and all the different drivers of poverty over these last 180 plus weeks. That has been, that's been an incredible impact just in and of itself. But the actual formations of the coalitions we feel it's important. And quite frankly, Raymond lifted this up first was that about every six to eight weeks, we just stop. And actually let everybody know what has been happening with the coalitions transparently so that if you hear something that you want to get involved in, something that's a concern, something that you think needs to be improved that's part of the building together process. So that is what today is, but we thought we would be remiss if we didn't show and demonstrate just a little bit how the direct programming of the walls over the past decade dovetails into that work. and the work now isn't about our logo. It isn't about us. I said, it's about, it's not about walls. It's about all of us and we're going to go and roll right into that idea of the superdome tent that we have all created together around collective action. Some people say collective impact and I can just say it's working all push pulling in the same direction and stop pushing against each other, right? And I said, and whenever you do feel the need that you want to push against, and just step away and just let it happen and keep pulling together with everybody on the things that you're all on the same page with. We've had a wonderful partnership with CPEX ever since we partnered on the Better Block back in 2013. And I will tell this story, I don't care how many times that y'all hear it, I have, I could never be more thankful for a human being in my life called Boo Thomas that pushed the vision of Better Block forward. So that during that day, I got to meet my beautiful wife. And I said, and that was probably the greatest gift that I've had from the Walls Project over all of the work. And our friends at CPEX have been incredible partners over the past decade, and that work continues. So with that being said, under the Superdome tent of the One Rouge Coalition of convening, educating, and advocating. around transportation. Jessica, would you come on and maybe let everyone know in the coalition, the work that AHA Voices for Healthy Kids has helped enable CPEX and the OneRouge coalitions to push forward in our city.

Jessica Kemp: Thank you for being in the space. Thank you, Casey. And let me start by apologizing. I have the flu and I'm not going to come on camera. Please please forgive me for that but thank you for that introduction, and I'm, I did not know that you met your future wife at Better Block. That's an outcome that I had not been aware of, so that's wonderful to hear. Casey, just to clarify, because I don't, I, I want to. Talk about things that are useful to the group. Do you want me to just give an overview of the Complete Streets work that AHA is funding and kind of the partnerships that have gone into getting us as far as we are at this point?

Casey: Yeah, that would be great. And just give an update on the policy work that y'all are, that y'all are currently doing whatever level that you feel comfortable sharing and how it kind of ties in because one of our nine coalitions is transport, transportation, and mobility, which the leadership team will then give a report out after you're done.

Jessica: Okay. Gotcha. Thank you. I have to go way back and some of you, I believe were a part of this. In 2012, I think CPEX and AARP co-created a group called the Sustainable Transportation Action Committee that was focused on walkability, and equitable access to complete streets and transit in Baton Rouge, and it was an all-volunteer group that just met and set some priorities and was trying to figure out what the next step would be. And they agreed that a complete streets policy for the city-parish was important. And after a lot of really hard work and relationship building and negotiating with the city and advocates and others. And I think that Stack was successful in passing that complete streets policy with the Metro Council in 2014. And the American Heart Association had been somewhat involved in that effort in 2014, not as a funder, but just as a voice. And since then, they've checked in with us periodically. To see how it's going and increasingly to talk about ways in which that policy could be strengthened. And I always felt like we had this call like on the annual basis and my answer was always like I know we knew when we passed it. It wasn't perfect. It was definitely a compromise, but it was the win we could get and we were happy to have it and didn't see it as the final mission accomplished, but it In order to take next steps, we needed resources. We knew what some of the improvements were that we would like to make, but also recognized as I'm sure all of that policy change is not easy. And it's a heavy lift. It's not just a matter of saying oh, this could be better. so it was wonderful when AHA, um, approached us. To offer us almost two years ago now to offer us an opportunity to be funded to, to lead this work, to strengthen East Baton Rouge's Complete Streets Ordinance. I give that background just to make the point that I think policy progress is oftentimes very slow, uh, but progress is progress and it is happening and I'm very grateful to AHA for kind of sticking with us. And monitoring process and progress, excuse me, and offering support and funding this effort. With what we're doing right now is the effort, the goal is to, right now the policy lives as a resolution. And excuse me, we wanted to give it the force of law by having it adopted as an ordinance. So that was one big step. And the other big step was to strengthen the language of the policy to have a greater, a more intentional focus on equity and health and also to strengthen the measures for accountability that are in the ordinance. So we've. There are lots of resources out there for complete streets policies, best practices and model language and so forth, and that's where we started and we, compiled all of that and evaluated what out of this morass of information is the best fit for Baton Rouge and then the other, and then the next step, we recognized that we needed to first work with our partners at the city to go through what we're trying to accomplish, what are their goals and objectives and concerns. And we, it was wonderful and this is, it almost feels it, it was a luxury to have the support of the mayor and also to have the support of the Department of Transportation. I, we've been very fortunate that they've been very willing partners. And their only concerns with any of the new provisions were committing to, committing to something that has the force of law that they may not be able to realistically execute either because conflicts with other, other policies that are in place or because of budget or staffing or things like that. And so we spent a really long time going back and forth and working through all of that with them. And honestly, that took a lot longer. Then we anticipated, and again, I'm very grateful to them for, patiently working through all of that with us. The next step was then to take the, take, and I should add, sorry, that sort of internal working group included the Department of Transportation, the Planning Commission, and also the Mayor's Complete Streets Advisory Committee, not the whole committee, but the president, the chair of that committee. So that was our internal working group. And once we had come to a draft that we could all agree on, that the city felt, that would work for them, we took the draft to the Complete Streets Advisory Committee and thus began another round of revisions. And they provided, that, that citizens advisory committee, I played a role that I think you all could appreciate as providing, pushing back and asking for more and being the voice of residents and of equity. And I am very grateful to them and very grateful that we have that committee in place because they are responsible for bringing this ordinance along. Making it stronger than it would have been. And so once, once we got to that point the next step was to have the parish attorney review it. And that's where we are right now. We've been meeting with the parish attorney. That office has had mostly minor comments, but a couple that we need to work through. Because they have. Implications that may be counter to our goals for the ordinance. And once we iron that out then we start doing more public outreach. Because we have, we will have a draft that could feasibly go before the Metro Council. And again, having the Mayor's support is wonderful because she has offered. Not personally, obviously, but her office's support in setting up meetings with the council people to present and socialize the ordinance and, to start to get their feedback. Another critical partnership here has been with the Power Coalition. They've been providing kind of insight and strategy on, if, Depending on the feedback we get from Council people, like, how do we either engage residents to come express support if we, if we need to change minds or, bolster our efforts here, or if that's not the case, to take advantage of the opportunity to engage residents, especially in high need areas, just in some...Education and dialogue about what, complete streets policy. That doesn't mean much to most people. What does it actually mean? What is that access and improved infrastructure mean for your neighborhood? What does the policy mean for an equitable distribution of resources in the city? And what does that kind of infrastructure mean for your health and the safety of your neighborhood? Just all the things. And so I think there's a great engagement opportunity there and we'll also seek to get feedback from folks, especially in high need areas. And this is again, something that power coalition is helping with us just to learn more about what, um, what their needs are and what their preferences are when, and. When thinking about complete streets, what are the priorities for their neighborhood that we could help lift up to the advisory committee in the city parish? Right now, we are optimistically thinking that we will be able to put this in front of the council in early, uh, early 2024. I think the time between now and then is the most. will be the most critical for engaging partners and reaching out to, fellow advocates and allied organizations and neighborhood groups. So hopefully some of you here will hear more about this in the near future and have opportunities to engage and support if you choose to do and I'm going to stop there because that felt like a whole lot of talking.

Casey: It was like, it was. The perfect amount. Yeah, it was the perfect amount. And by the way, I got a couple of and I'm going to turn right back over to pepper. I got a couple of comments from folks that joined a little bit late and I think is, hey, what are y'all talking about? This is today is an overview of the one huge coalition and report out. But more importantly, we're actually going to be hearing from people doing the work and their perspectives on the different work. And we've been starting with our transportation and mobility Coalition, we're, in orbit.

Pepper: Yeah, so thank you so much, Jessica. And so for those of you who joined us late, welcome to the party. CPAC is doing some work around complete streets, and that's super important to us because transportation mobility is on the list of one of the drivers of poverty. And essentially, if you cannot get to where it is that you need to be, whether that's work or school or, Well, just to your neighbor's house. And by neighbor I do mean anybody who lives in the capital region. Anyway then things become very difficult. So I appreciate, thank you so much Jessica for being here, not only with the flu, but also sharing all of the detail of what's been going on. Because a lot of our work as and you've mentioned, is around policy. Is there... Is there anything that we should be looking for or are there any ways that we through either Transportation Ability, One Rich Coalition, or even the WALLS can support your initiative? Because, helping you helps us. We all win together.

Jessica: Thank you so much for asking and the answer is absolutely when, I think there's, I would make two asks one. When we have developed the survey and the outreach materials for the resident engagement, I would love to be able to share that with you all, to share with your different networks because clearly you would have a much wider reach than just CPAC on our own. And secondly to be able to keep you posted on when this goes before the Metro Council we would love to have people, just show up and express Thank you. And also of course, excuse me once, once we have the the edits settled with the parish attorney's office, we will be at liberty to share the draft policy. And so with, certainly want to share that with everyone. There's an understanding of what we're asking for support for. And then I know this is a third thing, but if you all have suggestions if you have ideas about how we could be more effective, we're always happy to hear it.

Pepper: Gorgeous. Thank you so much. Yeah. So we've already got folks who are popping into the chat. We have our next steps. And so how do we engage in order to keep the, wait a minute, that's two things. How do we engage to have them Pat's iPhone. Do you mean CPEX? Have CPEX added? Alright Pat's having some problems getting off mute. Thanks again. Jessica, I know we only had you for 30 minutes, and we are here at the end of our 30 minutes, so appreciate it. Please get some soup, get some rest, get some... And we will see you soon, I'm sure. And just before you go, let me remind you, oh, add our plan to their plan is, what that's saying. I'll reread that. Just to remind CPEX and all of our folks who are working in other areas, right? So even if you are not directly in a coalition, this is really about systemic change, right? So part of our mission is to make sure that everybody knows what everybody else is doing. So that we can connect with each other, that we can help uplift each other, we can add our plan to your plan to ensure that we are moving forward together. And borrowing Casey's words making it a, making the table bigger. And this big ol super dome sized tent. Yeah, that Complete Streets, as I was saying just a minute ago, really is instrumental to a lot of the work that Transportation Mobility is attempting to do, right? So it all makes sense. I promise. There's truth in advertising. And since we just did the Transportation Mobility meetup yesterday, our in person meetings, I'm going to leave Manny to share with us what it is and how it is that we are moving right along. I feel like there's a song in there somewhere.

Manny Patole: I'm sure that's another cultural touchstone that Luke will uncover that was done here.

Pepper: The Muppets! Take it away. The Muppets. The Muppets song. Move it right along. What? You remember. Carry on.

Manny: Special shout out. I know someone talked about the libraries, but my LeVar Burton read banned books t shirt. Just wanted to shout that out. I'll be wearing that all today. But yeah, no it was great to be in town and be present in the same space as all of everyone yesterday and all this week, and I'll see a lot of folks hopefully tonight as well. And for me, transport, transportation and mobility just is what I always associate with freedom. And although that, post-War America, it was always about the car and how car actually talked about, freedom to travel and do things, between places. For me, it was always about, from the young age of seven, eight, nine, probably not advised today by some folks, but the ability to hop on a bus or a train to get to school, to get to the mall to go to the supermarket independently of needing a car or having a group of people to go with me was always part of that what I consider freedom as a young adult. And it also empowered us to, to really be a more responsible individual. What? I don't know what you're talking about, Casey. And it was, it's I don't know, I was telling a little pepper there, but how did you start this conference? And I was smoke and mirrors and back ended from one, one group and, started in another. But I teach about this. I'm a huge advocate about it. And it, and the idea is that mobility, It leads to social mobility. It leads to economic mobility. It leads to us to learn about more, about other places within our neighborhood that we've never been to. So because they didn't have access to cross that street or go across that highway or something like that. So with this coalition, the audience of all the diverse groups that are dealing or touching upon transportation and mobility. And you may not know who is doing what, but the idea is as How do we start coordinating our plans with their plans? Who are us and who are them? And how we, how the group was really trying to engage a diverse group of stakeholders. Yesterday was great, we had Britta there, we had a metromorphosis, myself representing I don't know how many different stakeholders. Groups that work with but then all the folks that work for OneRouge as well and we were trying to really identify some really great outcomes, not just outputs agreeing on a statement that really defines our work and that would provide the guidelines of what we're trying to do over the next couple of quarters identifying and creating an identity of the shared work we want to do. And where our priority is, much like what Jessica was talking about earlier. And how we're really creating and revisiting the aspirational statement that started earlier this summer. And it's still a work in progress, so I didn't want to say, unveil that. I want to say it in the arena maybe later on. And then our goals. The idea of how we're actually sharing the assets that are available and that they are. Put out to, to all of our members who are with our groups, but also those who are part of that unorganized community, those who don't know how to join but they're living in neighborhoods and not, are not connected. How we are understanding what those barriers are and how we are making sure that they're regularly addressed and not swept under the rug because of whatever political hot button issue is there at the time. And how are we actually encouraging education around planning and funding? For these structures to increase overall mobility for all residents and all visitors to, to Baton Rouge and beyond. And really start to actually do the work as well as talk about the work that we want to see done. So yesterday was I arrived late, partially because of mobility issues. And, we were really trying to understand what defines us. We looked at three specific statements. One is advocacy. One is collaboration, and one is public awareness and engagement. We came to those points over the last couple of weeks myself organized by Raymond, along with Tina Alford, and Sherry from from Pats. To really Sorry. Oh.

Pepper: Swallow, you were trying to get to her name. Swallow.

Manny: Oh, thank you. And the idea was, like how can we start galvanizing all these folks around something and what that something is? So we're really trying to identify what that something was or will be yesterday. And what are those, we asked ourselves, so what do those words mean to you? What are the things that the folks in the room and the folks that we know that are connected to the folks in the room can do and can do well? What are we defining as success and how, what are those conditions to foster success for? I'm sorry a lot of the folks don't the word foster, what are those conditions for success? And overall, does this feel like what our work could be? And as, as with all these meetings, the last five minutes was such a huge sprint of knowledge that came forth. And we all had to leave, but it was the idea of how are we understanding our position as well as those who are in opposition. And it was really a key point that had to be understood because we know what we want to do. We don't often include the folks that are on the other side of the table or the aisle to understand what they are, where they're coming from. They may have the same idea, but the way that they articulate it may be in opposition to what we're talking about as well. But as we're going through this we're looking at once identifying that aspirational state. and what we can do and do well with each other. How can we start engaging maybe around pilot projects that can really get, show people what does transportation and mobility mean. How do we start working with the folks who are making these plans and how are we first and foremost centering people around mobility. Not just the modes of transportation. I think I'll stop there.

Pepper: No, that's a perfect place to stop and I thank you so much for bringing it to that point because that's exactly what I forgot to say is that we are centering people as opposed to the modes of transportation. And that's the same North Star that we have for all of our coalitions. And this is a really good time to transition to some of the other coalitions as opposed to spending the, I would be perfectly content to spend the entire hour talking about just transportation. However, Thank you. There were some other things going on this week too. Casey, do you want to drive?

Casey: Sure cause I can just go over to Helena and Morgan. We are going to go ahead and transition from transportation and mobility over to cafe and a really cool and interesting meeting at the Delmont Gardens Library on Wednesday.

Helena Williams: Yeah, so I'll start with cafe. So we had our quarterly Capital Area Food Equity Coalition meeting. So all things food access, food insecurity and nutrition. And the bulk of our conversation was very passionate and it really was about Understanding all the different entities out there that address food access, but also the biases that we all carry and as a society that we need to transverse to become more better at taking care of each other just to boil it down. And so really our focus on for the new year is. So we've had this discussion. So how do we move to action and really understanding that there are so many players on this stage of food equality and food access to really like when we're talking about collaboration, understand how we can all collaborate. What do we all do? What do we do? How can we not add new things, but really strategize what's currently being done. And then we also talked about when we're talking about biases and just What are the policies that are built and predicated on those deep rooted social concepts and what can, what are the steps for us to advocate and dismantle policies that no longer serve the humans that are living in today's day and age? And we had, through CAFE, we've had some wins when it comes to policy as well as when it comes to just Getting food to people and we want to be not a lot of feeding programs are very Prescriptive of who they give food to and we want to stretch that definition So that if you're hungry, you can eat. But, like I said, it was a very fervent conversation and I was really glad that we got to some really deep roots of just, I keep saying socially, but it really is socially built concepts around food and is food a right? So that's CAFE, and right before CAFE, we had our MLK Fest planning meeting for the 2024 January event. And the reason why they were butted up against each other was MLK Fest brings a great opportunity for communities to have access to resources all at one time. So on the Monday we do a block party resource fair, which in the past we've had like probably 40, 60 vendors that had a huge variety of services, but one of them being most importantly food access, food sharing programs, not just shelf stable foods, but fresh foods, things that can that can be prepared hot and fed the day of or given to them to prepare meals later. So it creates this really synergetic community. point for organizations within this coalition and outside the coalition to take part. And when we're talking about food access, it's not just food access. It's health, nutrition, how to cook it, how to take care of yourself so that you can be the healthy individual that is required to elevate yourself out of poverty. And on top of that's the segway. But on top of that is the activities of MLK Fest. So Morgan I don't want to, I don't want to take away from all the things that you've built, but I can definitely add to if you just want to briefly skim over it and I'll give it color.

Morgan Udoh: So with this MLK Fest, we are starting a cycle of deep dives into our prior neighborhoods that we have engaged with. And for this, and for 2024, we are going back into the Greenville Extension, Eaton Park, Easytown area. Partly because of our footprint there from 2017 but also because of the partnerships and the community members that we have engaged with since, um, since then. We were back in Eden Park in 2022 working with the New Look Neighborhood Grocery owners on their pocket park. And so we are just continuing to expand our efforts there. We are going to be, do you want me to get into the nitty gritty of what we're doing? Okay. Yeah. We're, so we're going to be yeah, posting our usual blight remediation within that the six block radius around that 38th and cane pocket park. And by working with the leaders of the Jeep Neighborhood Association particularly Ms. Ella Morgan, we have identified one of the elder homes that we are going to paint. And Jan Ross lifted up an area where we can consider other homes that we can paint for our elders. We are going to be painting the basketball court that is there and just continuing to make that public space that is frequented by council members and Denise Marcelle, they use that for events, just make, beautifying that space as the The central location for community members to meet. We're going to be infusing a resource kiosk at the grocery. Mr. and Mrs. Howard do a wonderful job of meeting the needs of their neighbors on a regular basis. And we want to make sure that they are stocked with all the information of our 400 plus organizations that we work with on One Rouge. There, within, in a physical space. Yes. As I often tell people, the art. Or the Trojan horse for everything else that The Walls Project does, and I'm happy to be that. We are also going to be painting the garden beds that we created for them back in 2022 at Billup Street and revitalizing those. And I feel like I'm missing something. There's just so much going on. The Resource Fair on Monday. anD then we did have our initial meeting right before CAFE, as Helena mentioned, and so if there are additional projects that pop up as identified by the community members there, then we will adjust and pivot as necessary.

Helena: Yeah, and yeah I'll add any just to reemphasize, we'll be working on the Saturday, the 13th, and the Monday as the bulk of our work. Monday is a half day, so the biggest component is the resource fair. But you can always partner with us in any way. And partnership looks like a whole bunch of things, from distributing food to Volunteers Day Up, just to keep them fed and comfortable, to help going to the the resource fair, to helping site manage, and so I put two forms into these the Slack. Or not the slack, the zoom chat that is if you want to just volunteer or if you want to have a deeper commitment of being a partner. And and my, also my email, if you just have questions or if you want to connect us to anybody. Who lives in the community in that area that whether or not we've been able to get in contact with them We're trying to make sure that we include as many people as possible Morgan's done a great job of outreaching to people that she's been able to find and connect with But of course we want to include as many people as possible so that those Voices are heard and added to the conversation And I just wanted to tie Why is things like mlk fest? Does fit into the nine drivers of poverty is that when we look further down into the coalitions that haven't launched there is the public safety coalition which is under I think the big definition is concentrated neighborhoods in poverty and so when we look at blight remediation beautification this community being uplift that's where it ties into one rouge and even though it's a totally separate event it does contribute towards the rise that the city can have through collective impact and work like this.

Casey: Awesome. Thank you, Helena and Morgan. And happy MLK Fest. Being that they were subtle ask, I'll just go right to one. Hey, Pat LaDuff, can we keep the streak alive? Pat LaDuff, can we rock it together for MLK Fest? Can I get your commitment on this call? And anybody else that wants to make it, can I get a hand? a hand up on the screen. Pat LaDuff and friends. Luke St. John. Yup. Dr. Bell. Manny. Christopher. I'm in 100%, Casey. Yes. Chloe with BRAC. Yes. And oh, by the way, before we get to community announcements, Chloe's throwing a big rugby party this weekend and she'll put the flyer down in the chat. Said, rugby's coming to Baton Rouge, right? Pat La not coming. It's here folks. It's growing here. Growing. Yes. There you go. It is an I just, a random plug. Hey, it all feeds into, and Kena, I got your, and honestly, Kena, I don't take that money. I appreciate you raising your hand and thank you for being there today this week for MLK Fest. MLK Fest is probably one of the those moments that make you feel good to be alive. And I don't know, it's hard work, but. And as St. John knows, rolling around in a Penske truck going corners and loading up pain and ladders. But as I said, it is one of the most fulfilling work and it reminds you that we all do actually care about one another. Because sometimes if you watch the news, you can sometimes question it. But it's not true. We do care. With that being said, speaking of caring and sharing, we have a very special moment with Miss Sherreta Harrison right now. We are going to invite there's a, what is it? There's only one rule in Fight Club. Don't talk about Fight Club. There's only one rule in One Rouge and she is about to be the one that shatters through another ceiling. Sherreta I turn it over to you to give your perspectives and what you would like to share this morning.

Sherreta Harrison: Good morning, everyone. Casey, I promise you, I should, you should follow me around and do introductions every single time. Because you have to be the best type person since Flavor Flav, and I love that. I know, right? Very quickly today, because I'm going to try not to nerd out on what we have been doing with the One Rouge Leadership Council. And so you guys have been hearing about the coalition work of, did you just put a timer? Oh, the clock for Flavor Flav. I was like, is that a timer for me? Sorry. But you guys have been hearing about the work that the individual coalitions have been doing, and I know we will hear about education to coalition a little bit later, but I wanted to share the work that the Leadership Council has been working on because I'm so proud of them for coming together month after month, hammering through these different topics, and I am proud to, I will tell you where we landed, But I thought it would be helpful to share a little bit of context about how OneRouge or how I think about the Leadership Council and OneRouge. And so I am breaking the one rule of Fight Club and I am sharing my screen because I could not communicate this in a way that made sense. And so hopefully you guys can see these gears. And so if you are a any way, mechanically inclined, you may be familiar with the way that gears operate. If you're not you may still be familiar, but particularly when you turn one gear, right? When they're connected, when you turn one gear, the other gears begin to turn just naturally, right? And we use this this illustration that we borrowed from our friends at the Forum for Youth Investment to describe the way we at Metro Morphosis see our work. And so a lot of times, and the reason that we're all here on this Friday call is because we want to see these population level changes. We want to see our education outcomes increase. We want to see increased social mobility. We want to see an end to food inequities and food deserts. We wanna see the nine drivers of poverty disrupted. We wanna see a difference in the people who call Baton Rouge and the Capital Region home. That's what we would call our population level outcomes. And typically what happens is people jump to trying to turn this big gear but they get. Stalled because these other gears are connected to it and slowing it down. What we think and what a lot of people around the country who have been doing who've been tackling these big challenges thing is that it really helps if you start with the smaller gears on this side to begin to change leader capacity. And in this context, leader capacity. would be people like you are people who are in the fight day to day on the ground, doing direct services, providing essential needs, meeting urgent needs. This is you all. And so when we can do work that supports your capacity that lifts you up you, the work that you do begins to turn this next year, which then influences the community context. And so we all know That you can do everything in your power to provide safe housing. But if the public will is not there, if the political will is not there, if the financial resources are not there, if people don't want what you are proposing, then you're going to have a really hard time providing safe and equitable housing. And so it is really important to also influence the community context. For the purposes of One Rouge, the community context is the coalition as a whole. And it's referring to like this system change work. It is that space that I believe the Leadership Council is sitting in. And so the individual coalitions are really building their capacity to impact or to make impact in specific areas. The leadership council through weeks and weeks of work and homework because they did some stuff in between our convenings really decided that they wanted to focus on the part of our aspiration that talks about building an inclusive economy. They wanted to make sure that all of the hard work that people like you on this call and some of our friends who are not on this call, all of that hard work does not get lost. And we're having this conversation 30 years later, right? They wanted to say, How can we really foster? And yes, many I have to say foster because it is in the actual aspiration. But they wanted to make sure. How do we foster a community culture in our city that doesn't even tolerate the injustices that contribute to poverty, right? And so while the coalitions are ending food inequity are are disrupting this notion of siloed neighborhoods and communities because people can't move about freely while the coalitions are doing that. The leadership council is really focused on the community context when those two things are moving freely and are oiled right with the right resources and finances. We're going to begin to see those population level outcomes that we all work to achieve. And so I thought it would be helpful to show this as a theory, a change, a concept for people to see why we're focusing on the coalition level, why we're foc why we have a leadership council, but also why we are, while individual issues and urgent needs, we are also very focused. The advocacy part, the education part, the awareness part, and also building this community of people like you collaborating. Because if we don't turn this gear, these gears don't work. I'll pause for questions there before I tell you what the the leadership council has decided on for their work for 2024. Any questions for me? I know I'm breaking all kinds of rules, but any questions for me about these gears before I go on? Just come off mute for a second. Go on. Okay, just go on. Okay. So I'm going to stop sharing, and then I'm going to tell you that after, again, after weeks and weeks of work over with the Leadership Council, they have decided that we would focus our efforts to shape this community culture on three main tactics. The first one is inspiring, informed leadership. And this looks like making sure that not the general public and our elected officials understand what causes or what contributes to poverty and how they can disrupt it. And so that may look like a public awareness campaign. That may look like trainings, workshops that are hosted by partners to be able to say if you are interested in ending poverty. In or affecting a change in transportation and mobility. These are some ways that transportation and mobility keeps poverty alive and what you can do to to end it. And then the second tactic that they came up with is making sure that we maximize assets through resource development. And so this was the notion that we have a lot of assets. You guys on this call are proof of the fact that we have a lot of assets. In our community. How do we maximize the work that you are doing through resource development? And that includes building your capacity when you need it, but also helping new assets come aboard. And so as the coalitions themselves identify gaps, like we did in our CAFE meeting, where we identified a gap between how people are accessing existing programs Snap and things like that. How can as a coalition, how can the people on this call fill that gap with a new asset? And then the third tactic that we landed on was really being specific about sustaining this work for the future because we don't want to have a need to have these kinds of conversations in 30 years. I love coming here with y'all on Fridays at eight 30 in the morning. But I don't know that I can do this for another 30 years. And so how can we be intentional about finding a more coordinated way to invest in this approach to disrupt poverty? And so currently we have, again, we have a lot of resources and we have a lot of assets. How do we leverage those in a more coordinated way so that we're actually disrupting the drivers of poverty and not just addressing them is super important. I have to say that addressing them is super important, but the goal is how do we disrupt this and so that no one lives in poverty in the future. And so those are our three main tactics from the leadership council. And again, though, our work is about what are our priorities and how are we going to demonstrate that in 2024? There's a whole lot more. Happy to have conversations offline, online, and whatever about the rest of this about the rest of the stuff that the leadership coalition. But I wanted you guys to be aware of the three main tactics because we are really focused on how do we make Baton Rouge not a container for continued poverty. And I'll stop there. Thank y'all. Thanks for letting me break the rules.

Casey: Yeah, that's right. Happy to for you under 40. So when you come back in 30 years for your cameo, just to, to be accurate from today, it would actually be meeting number 1, 740. We do hope that we have made some progress by 30 years, even though the City of Baton Rouge teaches us all the power of patience, persistence, and Friendly relentlessness. Thank you, Sherreta, for that. I will quickly blow through so that we can move to two announcements. Thank you all for sticking on and to get this thorough update. And as Sherreta lifted up, if you have any questions, every single person who spoke today, please, y'all drop your email into the chat just so that people can easily connect with you in case they want to learn more or connect in the work. And everybody, even people that aren't wearing turtlenecks today are allowed to do. Okay, so let's let's jump in. Education to career on behalf of Destin Lafont Adonica Pelliche, Duggan Tanisha Ellis, Trey Godfrey, and all of our incredible working group members that came together on Tuesday we basically drilled down we have now established our goals, our milestones, and our action items, and I'm gonna put on action items a little asterisk. ish. We still got some work to do to flesh out some action items, but we have completed the cycle, my friends the collective impact 3. 0 planning for the year 2023. the education to career coalition, again, the co chairs that I named, they get all the credit in the world and then the rest of the leadership team sorry, the coalition support team as it has really, it's been a group effort. So we are clearly aligned. around our working groups around literacy transforming schools in the community hubs that are activated seven days a week and every day of the year. The third one around early childhood education and fourth around continuous learning, which is probably one of the broadest buckets inside of the the coalition., thank you for your contributions on Tuesday for sharing the space and for everybody that came and quite frankly. We really enjoyed our lunch, but man, everybody at Cafe got Tony's. Tony's catering for Wednesday and Thursday? That is some love right there, my friends. And that's how we show each other how we love each other, right? Is with food sometimes. And Ann thank you for the delicious kolaches. I ain't upset about those on Tuesday. It was delicious. So anyway, there's a lot of room to get into in the work. There's a lot of work to be done. These are not casual human beings, folks. If you come, sometimes there's meetings about meetings to have more meetings. That is not what the Education to Career Coalition is. And moving forward, we have a really clear path on what we're tracking, the outcomes that we're hoping to get over the next 90 days and over the next year. So if you are interested in getting engaged in that work, Please drop me an email. We're happy to add you to that mailing list, and we look forward to anybody that cares about every human from the cradle all the way into their encore career. So it's a pretty broad continuum, and if you're engaged in that work in the community or it's a passion of yours, that's my ask. Show up, get involved. We have monthly Zoom meetings and quarterly in person meetings and a hell of a lot of work in between. Because it's, we're not creating new work, folks. Let me just be very clear with the OneRouge coalitions. We are not creating new initiatives inside of OneRouge. We are having everyone who's involved is bringing their existing work into the coalitions and we're amplifying it and throwing a lot of muscle around it, a lot of problem solving and bringing resources to the table. So when I say there's a lot of work in between. It's the work you're doing already. We're just bringing more people into it or we're being more strategic about the way that we're all doing work together. So get involved in the Education Career Coalition. I appreciate everything that everyone who has contributed to our Leadership Council, all attending these Fridays. In the words of the great Dr. Dre, everything matters. Right? Everything matters. And your time and your talents and your treasure that you have contributed. is means a lot to us in this in this season. So I'm going to turn it back over to Pepper, resume my quasi Lovely Assistant to the Left status, and thank you all for sharing space with us today.

Pepper: Listen, I still jealous about the Lovely Assistant to the Left thing. I know that was a dig, that's alright. I'm feeling salty about it, but we're going to move on. Thank y'all for being here on this fine Friday, and since we are at 930, we do have community meetings coming up. Oh, ba dum bum, thank you, Manny Pattole. What's going on this weekend in Baton Rouge, y'all? What community announcements? Reverend Anderson, what you got?

Rev. Anderson: Good morning. It's a busy weekend, but nothing is more important than voting. And so I can't encourage everybody enough to please please, if you didn't early vote, make sure you make it to your polling location and go to the secretary of state's website to locate where your polling location is. Secondly I am candid even as we speak right now. to the 19th J. D. C. For the last graduation of 2023 for the recovery court community advocate. And so one of my roles is to remind the community that recovery is not something people do on their own. It is about the village. And so it is with great pride and humbleness both that I always try to show up at every one of these graduations, not just for the court, but a Christian outreach of the groups do these programs and be a visible partner saying the village is so excited about your recovery and we are going to be there for you. So it is that 10 a.m. and it's on the 11th floor in the 19th JDC. Which is located at 300 North Boulevard, downtown. And, I just encourage anybody, if you have the opportunity, it is probably one of the most powerful events you will ever see. thank you.

Pepper: Thank you. And, it looks like we also have rugby going on this weekend.For those of you who are interested and can play rugby. Excuse me, I hear it is a brutish sport played by gentlemen. And a call... Who's first? Jared. Jared, do you want to say anything?

Jerrod: I'm good, I'm... Were you talking about me? I'm sorry.

Manny: Yes, Jerrod, you want to say anything about rugby?

Jerrod: Sure. The Baton Rouge Rugby Club has been around for over 25 years now. But it's a little bit like football. You can come out and come out to the women's rugby events. They're going to teach some of the rules and things, and you'll be able to watch the men's side play at noon, and, it'll be a good time, it's been a great thing for me to meet some people in the community and I don't know if Chloe wants to say anything about it. She was the one that brought it up. But, yeah, it's a good sport to watch and I've had a lot of fun playing it.

Chloe: I was not the one that brought it up. It was Casey. But, I, yeah, so we planned this Get to Know Rugby event to go ahead of the men's game this Saturday at noon. The Get to Know Rugby thing is at 11. I'll be leading that and we're just going to go over, we're going to play some fun little games that are not necessarily as violent as rugby can be and get, go over some of the vocab words because it is like a whole separate language and then we're going to watch the game and you can hear me basically shit talk the men's teams the whole time. So I would please come out. It's so much fun and we're trying to rebuild our presence in the community. And so I'd really appreciate if anyone came out and just come say hi. You'll see me. I'm hard to miss. So you'll just jump right in. It'll be fun.

Casey: Yeah, Chloe, stay off mute real quick. It's okay because we don't have a ton of people in queue for announcements, so everyone, I know it comes as a huge surprise that with the with the personality that Manny and I have, that we both used to play rugby, I know that's shocking news to everybody. Chloe, just for everybody that doesn't know how to play, and I have a point with this question a point around One Rouge Chloe, what happens when people are tackled to the ground and they don't release the ball? It's like a, you get a penalty or a turnover. Depending on what really happens. Yeah, what really happens to you on the ground?

Chloe: Yeah, you get poached. Like the ball gets taken from you.

Casey: And do the, is it still allowable with metal sheets to rake those across people's bodies to make them give up the ball? Or is that how it gives the rules? It's, it depends on if the search sees it.

Manny: It's only illegal if you get caught. That's always the rule, right?

Chloe: So my point, you play your game until the sir calls it and then you adjust.

Casey: And the thing that I like about rugby is that whatever energy you're willing to reciprocate, then you give, right? Because it is a reciprocating. And my context for the one Rouge coalition is that, sometimes when people in the community have had the ball for too long and won't put it down, For other people to get it. Metaphorically, you gotta attack them to the ground, and you gotta get that ball away from them, right? And that is the power of numbers. And that's so seriously, I said, besides the ultra violent side of rugby, it really teaches young people how to work in groups as one organism. It's all sports, right? And not all of the, the youth sports side of it isn't nearly what it is in the men's club. And I said, I'm sorry, in the women's club and then occasionally the men's club so that Chloe doesn't shit talk me. But it's an incredible sport for young people. It's a really good outlet because folks, here's a quick newsflash. It's not just adults that are frustrated. at the state of the world. Young people are too, and they need healthy outlets to be able to get that out and to find community, and it's a really great it's a great sport way beyond, and it's confusing to understand, but if you just sit around and listen to Chloe and Manny, maybe, on Saturday, you'll pick up the rules relatively well enough to play. It took me an entire year to learn how to play and it was it was a great experience in my life. Okay. There's the rugby plug for the day. That was unexpected. Thank you and Manny, thank y'all so much.

Pepper: Hold on. One more announcement from Reverend Anderson.

Rev. Anderson: Sorry and I realized I don't think Marcella's on the line and it would just be an absolutely horrible thing if I forgot to lift up in her absence that tonight is I believe the thank you event and the welcoming city initiative. And it's going to be, I believe, at their location on Government Street, but just a wonderful opportunity for everybody to have a sense of the really important work that the Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants are doing, not just here in Baton Rouge, but across the state. I wanted to make sure that I encouraged everybody to participate in that. I also put in the chat that the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition is having its open house at the Scottlandville Branch Library. Come out and enjoy a little snack with us, find out what we're doing, and how you can be part of changing public safety in EBR. And I'm done now. I'm going into the courthouse so that I can just make it rain.

Casey: We love you, and I hope your car is parked at the walls. Bye, Reverend Anderson.

Pepper: Thank you. Anybody else? Any more community announcements? Oh, which guy? No, Camilla put the invitation in the chat. Thank you. Alright, kids.

Casey: Verna Bradley. Verna Bradley, you want to close us out with your with your catchphrase? And then Pepper, yours? Is she there? No.

Verna Bradley: Yes, I am. Alright.

Casey: Thank you, Verna. Pepper. Thank you for another great day. Appreciate you and Pepper, what do you like to say?

Pepper: See y'all back? Actually, no, I was going to say, see y'all back here next week. Same bat time, same bat channel but next week's Thanksgiving and we are giving y'all the day to spend with family. Keep an eye out for your email. There had been some discussion about whether we would share an old podcast with you on that, in that hour, but we'll see. Peace, love, and harmony. Who said something?

Pat: This is Pat.I just, since we're not meeting next Friday, I just wanted to say that we're doing our tree lighting in Scotlandville December 1st. and we are giving out 25 bites and we're a little short. If anybody wants to donate a bite you can just drop it off at Southern Cafe.

Casey: Yeah. Hey, Pat. tHere are news in Scotlandville that have been happening.What's going on with the theater? It's I it like I can feel the energy emitting from Scotlandville when I was driving.

Pat: It's happening. It's happening. They're in they've done the outside and they're inside working now and did not reveal 100 percent of what's happening, but I hear that the theater part is coming back. And the group has gotten their money for the housing with the Batley Brown group and so that's coming and they have secured the plan for Connect and Swan. To Harding. And so I asked the question because that's only the initial tip of the iceberg. We need to connect Harding to Plank so we can get downtown. And so I'm wondering how do we add all of that plan to that so that it's submitted at the same time and approved at the same time. So I'll be reaching out.

Casey: Yeah, Kendra Hendricks was just on the line with Build. I said it'd be a good person to reach and reconnect with as well. Come on down and have enough. Keep on, keep pushing my friend. Keep pushing. Appreciate your job. I will. I will. Thank you a lot.

Pepper: Okay. Alright, folks. Oh, thank you, Candace, for dropping the Thanksgiving community giveaway in the chat. Remember people are hungry more days than just on Thanksgiving. If you can please make sure to volunteer, donate. Be involved in feeding people and making sure that they have enough to eat on a regular basis We appreciate it. And although we will not be celebrating Colonizers on Stay of next week. We do hope you do get with your family your friends and lots of good food back to the food. It's always about the food

Casey: Pepper it is just a pleasure to work with you. Your little subtle little eye, little wink. I also want to say thanks to Alfredo Cruz, Katie Pritchett, for your for your commitment to the Leadership Council for One Rouge. It is it is never forgotten and eternally thankful for that. Elizabeth, thank you for engaging so much this year in the Capital Region Workforce

Ecosystem. It's been great to get to know you with that and look forward to working with and I want to say thank you to all of you and many others in the Education Coalition and Miss Valenzuela. I appreciate you being in there and sharing that space as well. If I missed anybody, Dr. Bell, we've got to get our fashion attunement going again. But we will. I'm going to blame it on the fluorescent lights and the drop ceiling that you've got behind you. That you actually have a blue shirt on. It's just this mystery. And thank you all for all the time and all that. Thank you, Morgan.


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