New Orleans former & current mayors take stage at RISE: Katrina 10 Conference

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - The Urban League of Greater New Orleans (ULGNO) in partnership with the National Urban League (NUL) will convene both local and national experts on education, housing, workforce and economic development, criminal justice, healthcare, environmental justice, and civic engagement in post-Katrina New Orleans, as the organization commemorates the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The conference, titled “RISE: Katrina 10,” will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 26-28, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Avenue.

The RISE: Katrina 10 Conference will kick-off on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. with a special media briefing hosted by NUL President/CEO Marc H. Morial and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Morial and Landrieu will address key points in the city’s recovery including: the State of Black New Orleans: 10 Years Post-Katrina report, restoration in the City’s hardest hit areas, and industry successes. Kim Bondy, New Orleans native and Senior Vice President of Programs and Documentaries of Al- Jazeera America, will moderate the briefing. The State of Black New Orleans: 10 Years Post-Katrina report will establish the framework for all conference sessions.

Immediately following the media briefing at 10 a.m., the Urban League will host an Education Town Hall with national and local education leaders. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education, John B. King Jr., will give the keynote address. Panelists for the Education Town Hall include:

· Erika McConduit-Diggs, President/CEO, Urban League of Greater New Orleans
· Marc Sternberg, Program Director, Walton Family Foundation K-12 Education
· John White, Louisiana Superintendent of Education
· Darryl Kilbert, Former Orleans Parish School Board Superintendent
· Karen Carter Peterson, Louisiana State Senator
· Charles L. Rice, Jr., President/CEO, Entergy New Orleans
· Melanie Bronfin, Executive Director, Policy Institute for Children

The RISE: Katrina 10 Luncheon will follow the Education Town Hall at 12 p.m. in the Empire Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency and will feature a national correspondent’s panel. Panelists included: New Orleans native and veteran political strategist Donna Brazile, ABC News journalist and author Byron Pitts, CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller, and Senior Vice President of Programs & Documentaries for Al Jazeera America Kim Bondy.

These correspondents will share their perspectives on the recovery of New Orleans in the years following Hurricane Katrina.

The RISE: Katrina 10 Commemorative Conference will also feature ULGNO’s Annual Gala, which will recognize the notable accomplishments of “Katrina Heroes.” The Annual Gala will take place on the evening of Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 7 p.m. in the Celestine Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency. Katrina Heroes include:

· Russel L. Honoré, Lt. General, United States Army
· Marc Morial, President/CEO, the National Urban League
· Mary Landrieu, Former U.S. Senator (D-LA)
· Dr. Norman C. Francis, President Emeritus, Xavier University
· Edith Gee Jones, Former President/CEO, Urban League of Greater New Orleans
· Cathy Washington, Executive Vice President, Urban League of Greater New Orleans
· Yasmin Gabriel, Special Assistant to Tougaloo College President
· John Keller, Veteran, United States Marine Corps.
· Patricia Berryhill, Former Clinical Director, Lower Ninth Ward Clinic
· Alice Craft-Kerney, Former Executive Director, Lower Ninth Ward Clinic

In addition to the Education Town Hall, the conference will feature multiple panel discussions surrounding workforce and economic development, criminal justice, civic engagement, health, environment, and housing. Some of the speakers include: Gustavo Velasquez of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Lt. General Russel L. Honoré, Gail Christopher of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, GNO, Inc. President/CEO Michael Hecht, U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond, Dillard University President Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough, and NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison to name a few.

Key conference sponsors include the Walton Family Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and JP Morgan Chase & Co. For more information or to register for the conference, please visit


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