For interviews contact: Emma Collin – 631.708.6840 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Colette Pichon Battle, Esq.
Executive Director/Attorney, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy
Colette Pichon Battle, Esq. is a native of Louisiana who, has worked extensively on the lack of equity post Hurricane Katrina and the BP Gulf Coast disaster. Collette has been awarded the U.S. Civilian Medal of Honor for the state of Louisiana and received recognition from the American Bar Association for her work around multi-racial, cross regional alliance building in the Katrina recovery. In 2014 Colette was selected for the Young Climate Justice National Fellowship based on her work with coastal communities of color and was recently named a U.S. Human Rights Network’s National Movement Builder.
As Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP), Colette develops and directs programming focused on Global Migration, Community Economic Development, Climate Justice and Equitable Disaster Recovery. Her legal specialization is in immigration and disaster law.
Imani Jacqueline Brown
Founding Cultural Activist, Blights Out
Imani Jacqueline Brown is a founding cultural activist of Blights Out, a collaborative and creative initiative to unite natives and newcomers in the design of a new, democratic model for development that shares the tools for New Orleans natives to build the destinies of their own neighborhoods (www.blightsout.org). She is a member of Occupy Museums, an international collective of artist activists formed during Occupy Wall Street in 2011 to challenge the commodification of culture (www.occupymuseums.org). She resides in her hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Regina W. Cannon
K10 Event Organizer: Bringing Back the Bayou
Born in Mobile and raised in Coden, Ms. Regina W. Cannon continues to work for justice and equity in her hometown of Coden, Alabama. Working with the South Bay Community Alliance, she is organizing Bringing Back the Bayou – a space for community unity and healing.
Community Organizer, Steps Coalition
K10 Event Organizer:Community Gathering: Recovery and Resiliency- The People’s Story
Jennifer Crosslin is a community organizer for Steps Coalition working on economic and environmental justice issues along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She is currently working in Pascagoula with the Cherokee Concerned Citzens (CCC), a neighborhood group fighting to reduce their exposure to toxic pollutants from nearby industry.
Chief Thomas Dardar
Principal Chief, United Houma Nation
Thomas Dardar Jr., was sworn in as the Tribal Chief for the United Houma Nation on June 19, 2010. The United Houma Nation Tribe is located in South Louisiana and consists of over 17,000 members, many of whom live in the coastal bayous and swamps of Terrebonne, Lafourche, Jefferson, St. Mary, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, which lie south of the city of New Orleans. Chief Dardar joined the tribal council in 1997, representing areas in Terrebonne Parish until his inauguration. Many tribal children know Chief Dardar best as the gift-giving “Indian Santa,” a role he took over in 2006 after helping expand the holiday event from Isle de Jean Charles to Golden Meadow, Montegut, Grand Caillou and Dularge, LA. Thomas serves on the Teche Action Clinic Board of Directors, the Terrebonne Parish Council on Aging board of Directors, Bayou Blue Volunteer Fire fighters Board of Directors, a Volunteer Fire Fighter and First Responder for the Bayou Blue Area. Thomas and his family have participated in and assisted at pow wows all over the south for more than 30 years, and are considered an icon. Chief Dardar has made a commitment to maintaining and fostering the Houma culture and traditions while maintaining a never ending fight against coastal erosion.
Environmental and Climate Justice Chair, NAACP
Kathy has a lifetime of advocacy involvement in civil and human rights. As a resident of Gulfport, Mississippi, she is a Hurricane Katrina survivor. Kathy was instrumental in the Gulf restoration effort after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as well as the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill in 2010, which contaminated the Mississippi Gulf Coast waters located less than one-quarter mile of her home in 2010.
As NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Chair, she has provided governance and oversight of policy positions and reports for which have been widely circulated
Executive Director, Lower 9 Resilience Festival
Kim is a prominent community organizer in New Orleans whose achievements include: registering 50,000 voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia to elect the first African American President of the United States, and successfully encouraging the government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide housing assistance to hundreds of Katrina survivors without access to services. Kim is the Executive Director of the Lower 9 Resilience Festival: an annual event by, for and with the citizens of New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
Monique C. Harden
Co-director & Attorney, Advocates for Environmental Human Rights
K10 Event Organizer: “Recovery,” “Resilience” & REALITY: Film & Community Forum
Monique Harden is the co-director and attorney of Advocates for Environmental Human Rights (AEHR), a nonprofit, public interest law firm in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has more than 20 years of successful litigation and advocacy experience. AEHR has raised public support for U.S. adoption of human rights standards for climate-induced disasters and environmental hazards. On behalf of residents living in the historic African American community of Mossville, Louisiana, Ms. Harden and AEHR legal staff filed the first ever human rights petition that seeks fundamental change of the U.S. environmental regulatory system. In the aftermaths of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil drilling disaster, AEHR is spearheading advocacy aimed at protecting the basic right of people harmed by a disaster to recover with dignity and justice.
Eric Harrison was born and raised in the bayous of coastal Louisiana and is still a resident of Slidell. He is a Climate Justice Alliance fellow, an intern for the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, and a youth spokesperson who survived Hurricane Katrina as a 10th grader. Following the Hurricane, Eric was displaced to Dallas for months longer than anticipated due to school closures. He is a Gulf South Rising facilitator working with youth to create awareness about injustice and build for our collective future.
Executive Director, Voice of the Ex-Offender
K10 Event Organizer: “Recovery,” “Resilience” & REALITY: Film & Community Forum
Norris Henderson is the Executive Director of Voice of the Ex-Offender and part of the Greater New Orleans Organizers’ Roundtable. As someone who was wrongfully incarcerated for 27 years, Norris shares knows first hand the experience of racism and brutality of the criminal justice system. Self-taught in criminal law during his 27 years in prison, he now acts as a paralegal, advocate and organizer to help communities of color protect themselves against brutality in the criminal justice system and rebuild a diverse New Orleans.
Tyrone “BROTHA T” Henry, son of prominent New Orleans drummer Wilmer James Henry (aka Octave Vitani Balogun). In between his own projects he continues to collaborate with various local companies. He works with youth and has developed a ‘holistic’ I-6 grade African-derived drumming and percussion curriculum. It was out of his long standing creative collaborations, services and products that Nfungotah, INC was conceived. He is the Visionary and key organizer of “Rhythmic Alchemy” a Healing and Recovery initiative through Arts, Movement and Healing modalities.
K10 Event Organizer: We’re Still Recovering: Black Lives Matter
Ernest Johnson is the Policy Director at Families and Friends of Louisiana Incarcerated Children. He advocates on behalf of families for equity and justice in education and juvenile justice systems in Louisiana. Ernest mentors for Each One Save, a non-profit that helps young people find alternatives to violence, drugs, teen pregnancy and crime. He received the National Juvenile Justice Beth Arnovists Gusty Advocate Youth Award in 2014 and serves on the board of Equal Voice Action.
K10 Event Organizer: Katrina X Film Screening and Panel Discussion
Tabitha Mustafa is a native New Orleanian and an active part of the city’s social justice community. She has worked on grassroots organizing efforts on criminal justice, immigrant rights, youth development, and food justice. Tabitha has also worked with universities and nonprofits, including her alma mater Tulane University, to facilitate trainings on diversity programming and equitable community engagement.
Tabitha incorporates her experiences working with local public defender’s offices, community organizing groups, and the Spanish government into her present work with the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee and the Peace by Piece program of the American Friends Service Committee.
Khai Nguyen has been with MQVN Community Development Corporation for 5 years helping people in the VIllage de L’est community in their recovery from Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill in 2010. MQVN CDC was formed immediately following Hurricane Katrina to redevelop the community in the vision of its residents. His work has helped people in the community create jobs for themselves in urban agriculture by building community farms and increasing healthy food production.
Executive DIrector, VAYLA
Minh Nguyen is the Founder and Executive Director of VAYLA New Orleans, Board Member of Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadian, Second Vice Chair of the Asian Pacific American Society of New Orleans, and 2013 Inaugural Fellow of the Norman C. Francis Leadership Institute. Since 2006, Minh has dedicated his life to building a new kind of home for New Orleanians, one that honors that right and power of local residents, young and old, to determine the future of their own neighborhoods. Through his leadership, Minh has successfully brought together African-American, Vietnamese, Latino and Caucasian community members to take collective action and determine and the future outcomes of their community.
K10 Event Organizer: Rhythmic Alchemy
Asia Rainey is an artist of spoken word poetry, music, theatre, television, visual arts. She is the Executive Director of WordPlay New Orleans, an organization dedicated to the preservation, education and community support of spoken word poetry. Asia has performed as a poet and speaker at the Amnesty International Annual General Meeting, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Seattle BiLocal Fest, and many others. She is also founder/owner of the Oya Market, a retail space created to support the economic development of over 50 local entrepreneurs and artists.
Councilperson, Plaquemines Parish
Audrey Trufant-Salvant is a lifelong resident of the historic, African-American community Ironton, LA, and the first African-American woman to serve on the Plaquemines Parish Council. Audrey’s family played a crucial role in Ironton’s most nationally-recognized fight—a fight for running water, which Ironton finally won in 1980.
Ironton was founded by freedmen following the Civil War, but Audrey can trace her family’s’ history beyond the founding of the town. Audrey and her family were strong advocates in the historic struggles for justice and equity in Plaquemines Parish, and she remains a powerful voice for her community.
Co-founder, Universidad Sin Fronteras
K10 Event Organizer: Southern Movement Assembly
Ruben Solis has been working to advance people’s liberation movements for over 40 years. He co-founded the Southwest Workers’ Union, was part of the founding group of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, the Southwest Network for Environmental & Economic Justice, and the Colegio Jacinto Trevino. He organized the Border Social Forum in 2006 Ruben founded the University Sin Fronteras (University Without Walls) in 2011 which promotes education as a vehicle for social movement development.
Co-founder & Director, Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children
K10 Event Organizer: 10 Years Later, We’re Still Recovering Black Lives Matter
Gina Womack is the director and co-founder of Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), a statewide membership-based organization dedicated to creating a better life for all of Louisiana’s youth, especially those who are involved, or at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. Ms. Womack has worked on children issues for the last 17 years in Louisiana and her efforts have been featured in both national and local print media, radio, and reports. She has appeared on many panels speaking on issues around Juvenile Justice, School to Prison Pipeline, and the need for real Family and Community Involvement. Gina is a native of New Orleans and is the proud mother of 3 children.
Dr. Beverly Wright
K10 Event Organizer: Climate Justice Convergence
Dr. Beverly Wright is a professor of Sociology and the founding director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) formerly at Xavier University, and currently at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. For nearly two decades, she has been a leading scholar and advocate in the environmental justice arena and winner of the 2008 EPA Environmental Justice Achievement Award. The DSCEJ is one of the few community-university partnerships that addresses environmental and health inequities in the Lower Mississippi River Industrial Corridor, the area commonly referred to as Cancer Alley.
Since Hurricane Katrina, much of the work at the DSCEJ has focused on research, policy, and community outreach, assistance, and education of displaced African-American residents of New Orleans. Dr. Wright has been an advocate of the safe return of residents, addressing the critical issues of health and environmental restoration and monitoring fairness as it relates to standards of clean up.
She is currently serving on the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans and its Infrastructure Committee. She also currently co-chairs the Environmental Justice Climate Change Initiative, is a member of the Commission Delegation to the U.N. Conference on Climate Change (COP15 and 16) and serves as founder and president of the African American Women of Purpose and Power in New Orleans.