11/10/20 Accountability and Policy Issues for Local Elections

The Committee for a Better New Orleans and the Bureau of Governmental Research in an important conversation about local ballot propositions and how they help voters make informed decisions at the polls. We'll also look at the census, redistricting and how it shapes both local and national policy. Work done by both of these organizations helps to support transparency and accountability on policy issues that voters are asked to decide. We welcome you to participate in our open panel discussion on some of the most important policies that affect our local elections.

Stephen Stuart- Vice President and Research Director

Keith Twitchell- President, Committee for a Better New Orleans

10/22/2020 Empowerment through Fashion in East Africa

The Paper Fig Foundation's mission is to grow a sustainable fashion and arts ecosystem that connects rural, urban, and international communities through convening events in the interest of economic stimulus, personal empowerment, and cultural preservation. Their impact has helped to equip hundreds of youth who would otherwise be unable to attend school with life skills like sewing while also providing work for hundreds of designers, models, and support personnel through production of groundbreaking events. They also help thousands gain access to economic empowerment in East Africa and have been instrumental in providing healthcare and clean water to underserved, rural communities.

Meeting Recording:

08/20/2020 10:00 AM Central Time: Protecting Progress: Supporting HIV/AIDS Care During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic grips the world’s attention and demands an unprecedented level of scientific attention, numerous international health organizations have issued warnings of major disruptions in HIV/AIDS care across the world. Joined by CrescentCare CEO Noel Twilbeck, Jr. and Fran Lawless, the Director of the Office of Health Policy and AIDS Funding for the City of New Orleans,  this virtual discussion will explore how COVID-19 has impacted HIV/AIDS care, the response from healthcare providers in New Orleans, and how virtual healthcare has been integrated into traditional networks of support for those living with HIV/AIDS. 

Noel Twilbeck, Jr. - CEO of CrescentCare

Fran Lawless - Director of the Office of Health Policy and AIDS Funding​

08/11/2020 1:00 PM Central Time: Covid-19 and the Future of Infectious Disease Study: How Environmental Changes Lead to New Pathogens and Outbreaks 

With over 300 new pathogens emerging over the past 50 years, COVID-19 is just one of a whole series of viruses that has impacted human lives across the globe. Leaders in the scientific community suggest that the increase in these new pathogens is a result of changing animal migration patterns, and shifting environmental conditions. Since Covid-19 seems to have stemmed from a zoonotic source, the discussion on how climate change and animal agriculture may lead to more infectious diseases of this nature is essential. Dr. Joel Baines, Dean of LSU’s School of Veterinary Medicine, will discuss how environmental changes, such as climate change and deforestation, lead to new pathogens and outbreaks that we are seeing around the world.

Dr. Joel Baines has been the dean of the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine since 2014.  Dr. Baines specializes in the study of viral infections, in which he has dedicated much of his work to researching different molecular aspects of Herpes virus infections. Dr. Baines has been cited over 6,000 times in the scientific and academic community, and his current research focuses on herpes virus replication and

antiviral measures.


08/04 at 1:00 PM Central Time: Domestic Violence and Quarantine's Effects

With the rising number of reports of domestic violence cases, for many, there’s a threat within the home as well as outside. This pandemic has forced citizens to stay in their homes, isolated from friends and family for extended periods of time. Abusers increase their violence when the family spends more time together like during summer vacation and Christmas time, so these quarantine conditions create a rare opportunity for them. How can community organizations reach women when they may not leave the house for their own health? Will outreach work have to evolve to meet the new conditions and demand? Panelists from the New Orleans Family Justice Center discusses possible effects and changes in domestic violence throughout the pandemic as well as their thoughts on how local community organizations can combat this.

AMANDA TONKOVICH, LCSW is the Sexual Assault Program Director and a therapist at the New Orleans Family Justice Center. She has 12+ years of experience working with survivors of intimate partner abuse, sexual violence, stalking and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse as a counselor and advocate. Amanda coordinates the New Orleans Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), the New Orleans Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Action Coalition and oversees the 24/7 victim advocacy program at University Medical Center. Amanda sits on the New Orleans Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Sexual Assault and is the current Chair of the Louisiana Crime Victims Reparations Board.











07/01 Cooking with Anne Milneck (6:00- 7:00 PM CST)

ANNE MILNECK is the owner of Red Stick Spice Company. Originally from LaPlace, Louisiana, Anne has lived in Baton Rouge for more than 20 years. She studied journalism at LSU and earned a culinary degree from the John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University. Today, grown-up Anne teaches 12+ cooking classes per month. Customers can take part in skill-building classes like Knife Skills and Pastry Basics or explore the world in classes like Marrakesh Express and My Big Fat Greek Cooking Class.

Please RSVP for an ingredients list.

06/25 Civic Engagement in the Age of Corona Virus (11:00 AM- 12:00 PM CST)

Global shutdowns in response to COVID-19 have had considerable impacts on civic engagement and participation.  Communication lines have been interrupted.  Decision-making has been largely top-down, with minimal community input.  Are residents really informed?  Are their needs and priorities being met?  Is the lack of civic engagement reducing community participation in measures like social distancing and wearing masks?  Panelists from New Orleans will share their observations and recommended solutions, and answer questions from participants.

NICOLE JOLLY serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives and Special Assistant to the President at the Urban League of Louisiana where she is responsible for designing, implementing, and aligning the work of ULLA’s programs and projects across its three Centers of Excellence; supporting ULLA’s short- and long-term plans including an expanded footprint and expansion statewide; ensuring strong partnerships and relationships to increase impact; and leading the organization’s efforts for the 2020 Census and Wake Up Geaux Vote initiative.

KEITH G. C. TWITCHELL  served as a consultant for the Committee for a Better New Orleans beginning in July 2000 before accepting a full-time position in March 2002; he became president of the organization in June 2004. He is responsible for project management, organizational leadership and fundraising/finances, and has led key CBNO programs such as the Community Participation Program, the Orleans Public Education Network and the Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative.