Diverse Algiers youth and senior citizens meet, share stories and serve as inspiration for mural
NEW ORLEANS – The Algiers Circle of the Welcome Table New Orleans, a citywide initiative of the Mayor’s Office focused on race, reconciliation and community building, announces its reconciliation project with the unveiling of a mural and oral history project on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 1-3:30 p.m. The event will begin with a screening of the Algiers Circle’s oral history project from 1-2 p.m. at L.B. Landry - O.P. Walker College and Career Preparatory High School auditorium, (1200 L. B. Landry Avenue.) At 2 p.m., a second line will proceed from Landry Walker to the corner of Mardi Gras Boulevard and Hermosa Street for the unveiling of a racial reconciliation-themed mural.
The Algiers Circle’s mural and oral history project is one of eight culminating Welcome Table New Orleans circle projects.
The project was conceptualized and designed by the Algiers Circle participants to honor the past and inform the future. The mural is located on what was once part of the plantation of John McDonogh, the wealthy businessman and slave owner, who freed his slaves upon his death and donated a large sum of money to fund public schools for poor children of all races in New Orleans.
Brandon “B-Mike” Odums worked in partnership with the Algiers Circle to recruit youth for interview and video production training. They later interviewed Algiers senior residents to capture their memories for posterity and provide the inspiration for the mural Odums and the youth participants created. The youth participants for this project include Allah Carv, Barriane Franks, Byron Bernard Barnes, Chloe Bernard, Co'reane Shannon, Gabriella Cotton, Iman Henry, Jaylon Ruth, Jashire Richard, Joshua Wilson, Jovanni Broley, Julian Sorapuru, Kairen Murphy, Kaylen Norman, Kelsey Rogers, Kentrell Murdock, Lauryn Andry, Makaya Taylor, Nichelle Riley, Paige Taylor, Tony Richard, Tre’jea Rogers, Tyler Johns, and T'tan Bernard.
Odums previously conceived and co-created the outdoor murals for Exhibit Be in Algiers during the 2014 Prospect 3 Citywide Art Exhibit.
The Algiers Circle includes a core group of five participants who developed the reconciliation project: Lloyd Dennis, Carol Osborne, Valerie Robinson, Eric Songy and Rev. Larry Story.
"We applaud the participants of the Welcome Table New Orleans Algiers Circle for their courageous efforts to tackle the issues of race, reconciliation and community through this citywide initiative," said Deputy Mayor Judy Reese Morse. "Their idea of a community-informed mural as a reconciliation project brought diverse residents together for a shared mission to make an important statement about the importance of coming together. We hope the mural will raise awareness of the need for racial reconciliation in our city and serve as a spark for other diverse residents to work together for the common good," she said.
The public is invited to attend. Odums and the students who conducted the interviews and created the artwork will be present.
About Welcome Table New Orleans
Launched in April 2014, the Welcome Table New Orleans is Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s citywide initiative that focuses on race, reconciliation and community building. Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Welcome Table New Orleans brings people of different racial groups and backgrounds together to build relationships that will lead to improvements throughout the city. Learn more about the Welcome Table New Orleans by visiting www.welcometableneworleans.org.
About the William Winter Institute
The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation works in communities and classrooms, in Mississippi and beyond, to support a movement of racial equity and wholeness as a pathway to ending and transcending all division and discrimination based on difference. Learn more about the Institute by visiting www.winterinstitute.org.
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, William Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. WKKF is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visitwww.wkkf.org.