LT. GOV. LANDRIEU CONVENES LA COUNCIL ON THE SOCIAL STATUS OF BLACK MEN AND BOYS -- 11/19/2008
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LT. GOV. LANDRIEU CONVENES LA COUNCIL ON THE SOCIAL STATUS OF BLACK MEN AND BOYS
Baton Rouge, LA - Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu today convened the first meeting of the Louisiana Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys. The council was created to explore challenges facing black males in Louisiana and to offer solutions. Following a series of meetings, the council will release a comprehensive report on February 1, 2009, with recommendations on addressing these challenges.
"Each of the council members brings a wealth of experience," said Lt. Governor Landrieu said. "We have assembled a diverse team from many backgrounds - education, health care, corrections, non-profits, the faith-based community, and community organizers. This council will bring a spirit of innovation to addressing the many challenges facing black males in Louisiana."
Act 733, passed during the 2008 legislative session, established the Council as "the leading entity that provides and promotes an environment that is conducive to productivity, success, and excellence for all black men and boys in the state of Louisiana." The Council is housed within the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
Lt. Governor Landrieu appointed the following members to serve on the council:
Dr. Ralph Slaughter
Dr. Slaughter serves as the Vice President of the Southern University System. A Certified Public Accountant, Dr. Slaughter has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance, a Master of Public Administration degree and a Doctorate of Public Policy. He is President of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Society of Public Administrators and has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of LA Capitol Federal Credit Union, is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants, and the Treasury Management Association. He is also a member of Mount Zion First Baptist Church. He is active in many other professional, civic, and fraternal organizations.
Rep. Cedric Richmond
Representative Cedric L. Richmond has served in the Louisiana State House of Representatives since 1999, representing Orleans Parish. Before being elected as a State Representative, Richmond was a lawyer in New Orleans. Representative Richmond attended Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans before studying at Morehouse College and receiving his degree in Law from Tulane. Rep. Richmond is Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and is also a member of the Democratic Caucus, the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus and the Orleans Delegation.
Dr. Calvin Mackie
Calvin Mackie is a former associate professor of mechanical engineering at Tulane University in New Orleans. President Bush honored him with the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. Louisiana former Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed Mackie to the Louisiana Recovery Authority, leading the state's rebuilding efforts following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He is the author of "A View from the Roof: Lessons for Life and Business". He was featured in Spike Lee's HBO documentary "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Parts" and has appeared in national shows as the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer and the Tom Joyner Show. Dr. Mackie is President of the Channel ZerO Group, an organization committed to maximizing the effectiveness and potential of individuals and organizations.
Dr. Kyshun Webster
New Orleans native and public school graduate Dr. Kyshun Webster is a nationally-recognized educator and certified teacher who has worked in the non-profit sector as a community educator since he was a youth. He grew up in the St. Bernard Housing Development and returned there to start his first after-school tutorial program in 1998, which was later recognized by the Tiger Woods Sharing and Caring Award Program, declaring Dr. Webster a "local hero". He is also a policy consultant and expert witness for legislative initiatives on parental involvement in education, for both the Minnesota and Louisiana Legislatures. He is the founder of Operation Reach, a non-profit community-based corporation focused on education and community leadership with students. Dr. Webster received his Bachelors in Art Education, a Masters of Science with a concentration in non-profit leadership, and a Doctorate of Comprehensive Work, Family and Community Education. He is also the author of many publications concerning parental involvement.
Ron E. Gardner
Ron Gardner is the Vice-Chancellor for Administrative, Community, and Security Affairs at the LSU Health Sciences Center. A New Orleans native educated in the New Orleans Public School System, he has a Bachelors degree in biology and chemistry, and a Masters in Public Health. Gardner is a former Regional Director for Technical Assistance out of the former Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). He has served in an advisory capacity to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan. He also served as assistant to the late Mayor Ernest N. "Dutch" Morial. He is an honorably discharged U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran. Serving as the Health Planner and Executive Director of the New Orleans Drug Abuse Clinics, Gardner was a key planner in the development of medical and dental clinics in the Algiers Fischer Housing Development.
Michael White, Dean of Student Success for Financial Aid and Scholarship at Dillard University, was born in Detroit, Michigan. White attended Northwestern High School and the University of Michigan where he majored in General Studies. He earned his masters degree in computer resources management from Webster University. He is also a member of the United States Navy. White has served with several volunteer organizations such as Big Brother Big Sister, mentor at Merrill Middle School, Diversity Advisory Group for Paine Art Center, and Diversity Council for the City of Oshkosh, WI. He worked with youth in the Minority Achievement Program and wrote grants to assist under-represented students by identifying focus strategies in support of diversity and academic achievement.
Sen. Edwin Rene Murray
Edwin Rene Murray has served in the Louisiana State Senate since 2005, representing the 4th District. He received his B.A. and J.D. from Loyola University and currently practices with Murray, Darnell & Associates, L.L.C. Murray is also the New Orleans City Youth Employment Program Director. The senator has served on several committees such as the Senate Committee on Judiciary A&B, Labor & Industrial Relations, Revenue & Fiscal Affairs, Legislative Audit Advisory Council, NCSL Economic Development, Trade & Cultural Affairs Committee, HIV/AIDS Commission, CGS Annual Committee, Indigent Defense Task Force, and a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1992-2004.
Sen. Yvonne Dorsey-Welch
Yvonne Dorsey-Welch, a Baton Rouge native, currently serves as Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana Senate. Senator Dorsey-Welch attended Spencer and Southern College as well as Louisiana State University. From 1974-76 she worked as a travel counselor. For the next 25 years Senator Dorsey-Welch served as an Executive Administrator and a paralegal. Before being elected as a State Representative, Senator Dorsey-Welch served as Executive Director of the Louisiana Department of Labor. From 1993 to 2007, Senator Dorsey-Welch served in the Louisiana House of Representative, and was elected Speaker Pro Tempore in 2007. Senator Dorsey-Welch was elected to the Louisiana State Senate in 2008 representing the 14th District. Senator Dorsey-Welch is a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and is also a member of the Democratic Caucus, Louisiana Black Caucus and Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus.
Rep. Richard "Rick" Gallott, Jr.
Representative Rick Gallot has been a Louisiana State Representative since 2000, representing the parishes of Bienville, Claiborne and Lincoln. Before being elected, Gallot had a private law practice in Ruston, and was a city councilman in Grambling. Rep. Gallot earned his bachelors in history from Grambling State University where he and his J.D. from Southern University. He is Chairman of the House and Governmental Affairs Committee and is a member of the Democratic Caucus, the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus and the Louisiana Rural Caucus.
Raymond Anthony Jetson serves as CEO of Louisiana Family Recovery Corps. He attended and played football at Grambling State University. Jetson received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from the New Orleans Theological Seminary. Prior to joining the Recovery Corps, Jetson was Deputy Secretary for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. He also served as the State Representative for District 61 from 1984 to 1999. In addition to his public service Jetson has served as pastor of Star Hill Church since 1994.
Marie Brown-Mercadel is a Human Services Executive with 24 years of experience in administration and clinical services. She has a Masters of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from North Carolina Central University. She served most recently as the Manager of Community Programs for the County of San Diego's Aging and Independence Services. Marie's background includes work with at-risk youths, older adults and individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness. She has extensive experience working with youths in residential facilities and has developed community based programs that have received both state and national recognition. Marie has volunteered as a mentor for children as well as working as a volunteer for a variety of programs for older adults.
Rev. Dr. C.S. Gordon, Jr.
Reverend Dr. C.S. Gordon, Jr. is pastor of New Zion Baptist Church in New Orleans. Rev. Gordon also serves on the Board of Commissioners for the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District. He is actively involved in many community and faith-based organizations in the New Orleans area.
Pastor Jerry L. Baldwin
Jerry Baldwin is the pastor of New Living Word Ministries in Ruston. A native of Natchez, Mississippi, Pastor Jerry Baldwin came to Ruston in 1982 as a football coach at Louisiana Tech University. In 1992, he moved to Baton Rouge to accept a coaching position at LSU. He then served as head football coach at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette from 1999-2001. The son of a Baptist minister, Jerry Baldwin taught ministry for a number of years.
Robert Levy is the founder and president of the Corporate Council Association. CCA is a leading human capital consulting firm with more than 200 clients worldwide. Levy combines his clinical and business backgrounds to direct the firm's clinical, training and consultative services. A certified clinical social worker, his expertise includes mental health/chemical dependency and employee assistance programs, and his previous experience includes: EAP consultant and counselor for Managed Health Network; Director of the Adolescent Day Hospital of New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center; New York City Probation Officer; New York State Narcotics Parole Officer; and field instructor for the Hunter College School of Social Work. Levy helped raise the profile of EAP issues nationwide by founding and publishing two newsletters: The Human Resources Helpline and The Robert Levy Report on Employee Assistance. Levy has a B.S. in Accounting from Queens College, University of the City of New York and graduate and post-graduate training from New York University.
Vincent L. Nzinga
Vincent L. Nzinga serves as the Director of Schools and Community Relations for the New Orleans Recovery School District. Vincent also serves as a church/health care administrator, principal, and serves as a Captain for the United States Naval Reserve. He received his Bachelors in Social Studies from Xavier University, and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. He was also a volunteer with United States Peace Corps.
Whalen H. Gibbs, Jr.
Whalen Gibbs has served as Assistant Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections since 2004. Gibbs provides programmatic oversight of adult correctional institutions and primary administrative responsibility for the Office of Offender Reentry, which guides implementation of the Department's Reentry Initiative. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary, Gibbs served in several positions with the Louisiana Division of Probation and Parole including Probation and Parole Deputy Director, Program Manager, and District Supervisor. He has worked in the corrections field for 27 years and has managed programs involving work release, electronic monitoring, sex offender registration and notifications. Gibbs graduated from LSU with a B.S. Degree in Criminal Justice.
Girard Melancon has served as special assistant to Louisiana He had spent the prior seven years as a Community Transitional Specialist for La Plata County Youth Services in Durango, Colorado. Girard has a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and human services from Fort Lewis College in Durango and a Master of Science degree in public administration with a concentration in finance from Southern University's Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Development. He is currently completing doctoral course work in Higher Education Administration at the University of New Orleans.
Dr. Mary Livers is the Director of the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice. She is also a member of the American Correctional Association (ACA), and served a term on the organization's Board of Governors. She is also a charter member of the Association of Women Executives in Corrections. She received her doctorate degree in adult and higher education, with staff development and training specialties from Oklahoma University in 2001. Livers also holds a master's degree in social work and a bachelor's degree in general studies from Louisiana State University. Before her service in Louisiana, Livers served four years in the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services as the deputy secretary of operations, and the chief of staff. Livers also served in a variety of leadership roles with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for 19 years, where she became the associate director and chief advisor to the director. As second-in-command of Oklahoma's correctional system, Livers oversaw 17 correctional institutions, as well as inmate classification, industry and agricultural services, accreditation and procedures, environmental health, safety, and sanitation.