NEW ORLEANS— Xavier alumnus and New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell spoke for many today at the renaming ceremony for Norman C. Francis Parkway, “It’s hard to hold back the tears of honoring a man who has insured that not only Xavier is on a national stage but countless African American men and women.”
During his 40 year tenure, Dr. Francis grew the Xavier campus and curriculum tremendously, but he also worked to change our society.
Justin Augustine, Xavier’s Chairman of the Board stated,”Norman C. Francis has fought long and hard for the civil liberties and civil rights of all for many, many years.”
As a young attorney, Dr. Francis worked under the tutelage of the great A.P. Tureaud, but thankfully for us, the courtroom was not where he wanted to be.
Francis remarked, “You have to choose where you’re going to put your heart and all your talents in to do good.”
As a community leader, Francis was an example of always giving back and helping fellow New Orlenians, of renaming this street was easy for the commission charged with removing Confederate names.
“There was already tremendous support in the community from the work that was done when the statues were removed,” said Mark Raymond of the NOLA Street Renaming Commission.
Fast forward to today and the glory of this honor meant a lot of smiles and a recognition of progress.
Francis stated, “Change is here! It’s on that sign and the City of New Orleans has taken this great step.”