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Join us for our Cultural Diversity Committee's series: The Florida Line: The Socioeconomics of Baton Rouge. We will begin the series on Tuesday, October 11 with "The Seven-Mile Bridge: On Community Relations & Reconciliation."

When: Tuesday, October 11
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Where: Capitol Park Museum
660 N 4th Street
Baton Rouge, Louisiana  70802
United States
Contact: Terrence Merkerson

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Join us for our Cultural Diversity Committee's series: The Florida Line: The Socioeconomics of Baton Rouge. We will begin the series on Tuesday, October 11 with "The Seven-Mile Bridge: On Community Relations & Reconciliation."

Featured Panelists include:
  • Maxine Crump, Dialogue on Race Louisiana
  • Elizabeth "Boo" Thomas, CEO of the Center for Planning Excellence
  • Jan Moller, Director of the Louisiana Budget Project
  • Pat Van Burkelo, President of the Boys and Girls Club, Greater Baton Rouge
  • Michael Victorian, 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge
  • Erika Green, City Councilman, District 5
  • Samuel Sanders, Executive Director of the Mid-City Redevelopment Alliance 
  • And many more..

We will continue the dialogue and charting a path forward at our second panel on Tuesday, October 25 to discuss "Bridge The Gap: On the Economic Divide & Recovery" We encourage you to join us for both!


All panels are free and open to the public. 


Panelists' Biographies:

Maxine Crump, Founder of Dialogue on Race
For 10 years, Maxine aligned herself with programs aimed at improving race relations. Years ago she helped the YWCA design a Dialogue on Race series of community meetings, during which, races interacted and sought solutions. She feels issues like diversity, race relations, equal rights are so important, she's made it her life's work now. Crump founded her non-profit, Dialogue on Race Louisiana, to further her work in issues of race, power and privilege.
Jan Moller, Director of the Louisiana Budget Project
The Louisiana Budget Project monitors and reports on state government spending and how it affects Louisiana’s low- to moderate-income families. He is an award-winning journalist formerly with the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s state capital bureau, where he covered the state budget, health-care policy, higher education and races for Louisiana governor and U.S. Senate seats. Prior to that, he covered local and national politics at the Las Vegas Review-Journal and co-authored with Jack Anderson the syndicated “Washington Merry-Go-Round” column that appeared in more than 300 newspapers nationwide. As an investigative reporter, Moller’s work led to reforms in Louisiana’s nursing home regulation and uncovered ethics violations by city officials in Nevada. A native of Sweden, Moller was raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and is a graduate of The American University in Washington, D.C.
Pat Van Burkleo, President and CPO of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge
A graduate of the University of North Texas, Pat has served the youth of Baton Rouge for 26+ years. His efforts in education, community development have had a tremendous impact on the city. During his tenure, Pat has been named National Executive of the Year by Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He has served as president of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge for 26 years. Under his leadership, the Boys & Girls Club has gone from one club location that served 65 boys, to 11 clubs that serve nearly 10,000 school-age youth annually.
Michael Victorian, President of 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge
Michael has dedicated himself to serving the African American youth of Baton Rouge. Through programs, scholarships and many other community initiatives, 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge has had a tremendous influence on our community. Under Michael’s leadership, 100 Black Men continues it work and leadership in the city, to help foster a better Baton Rouge.
Erika Green, Attorney for Law Office of Ericka Green, LLC
She focuses her practice on Family Law, Personal Injury, Juvenile Criminal, and Successions Matters. She is a board member of the Gloryland Educational Resource Center, Inc., YWCA, and JK Haynes Charter School. She is also an active member of the Baton Rouge Branch of the NAACP & Baton Rouge Delta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Junior League of Baton Rouge, and Forum 35. She received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Prairie View A&M University. She, also, has received her Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center. She was appointed to the East Baton Rouge Metro Council as District 5 Councilwoman in January 2016.

Samuel Sanders, Executive director of Mid City Redevelopment Alliance
In his ten years as head of the Mid City Redevelopment Alliance, Samuel Sanders has seen a number of improvements happen to the neighborhood. Dufrocq Elementary School has undergone a $14.8 million expansion. New businesses, from interior-design firms to restaurants, have moved in and fixed up existing buildings. Baton Rouge General, Mid City’s biggest employer, has reaffirmed its commitment to the area. During his tenure as head of the group, Sanders has worked to build on past achievements and strengthened local partnerships, including incorporating self-sustaining revenue opportunities.
Elizabeth “Boo” Thomas , President and CEO of the Center for Planning Excellence
The Center's premiere program is Plan Baton Rouge, a plan to redevelop downtown into a viable center for all citizens to experience: to work, to play, and to live. Another Program is the Neighborhood and Economic Revitalization Strategy for Old South Baton Rouge. Ms. Thomas was the first Executive Director of Mid City Redevelopment Alliance, a non profit agency that acts as the catalyst for the revitalization and redevelopment of neighborhoods surrounding the Baton Rouge General Medical Center. She held that position for 7 years.

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