Youth Leadership Support Network

New Orleans, Gulf Coast and DC

Gulf Coast support project and arts-activism exchange program. 

The cultural roots between DC & Gulf Coast communities are deep and delicious. Washington DC and New Orleans are sisters with many similarities including size, African American majority populations, artistic and musical talent, marching bands as well as high rates of povery, injustice and youth violence, the b-side of both towns.

Watch these three YLSN videos and tune into to get your groove on!

17 Poets @ Goldmine Saloon, 6 month post-Katrina gathering watch video

Interview with Lance Hill, Director of the Southern Institute for Education and Research watch video

9th Ward 6 months post-Katrina watch video

Congo Square at Eisenhower Dorm, GMU Gulf Coast Forum, Fat Tues 2007 Listen

By September 4, 2006, YLSN had launched NOLAMAYA, New Orleans Musicians, Artists and Youth Aid with assistance from John Ellingsworth of Philadelphia. NOLAMAYA found donations of instruments for displaced musicians and served as a conduit for community-based relief and recovery efforts. Plans are now underway to develop MYNOLA, to support youth leadership programs involving music, media, movements and mentors.  

YLSN members were in New Orleans in January and February, 2005, attending a national “"Replenishing Democracy through Student Organizing” conference at the Dominican Retreat Center in New Orleans, funded by the Ford Foundation. The conference was a strategy session involving 50 participants from United Students Against Sweatshops, Student Labor Action Project, Student Peace Action Network, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, Seminarians for Worker Justice, Youth Leadership Support Network and Black Voices for Peace. Conference attendees participated in a community meeting on education at the Treme Cultural Center.  

YLSN staff arrived several days in advance of the conference in order to meet with New Orleans performing artists movement veterans and youth organizers to build collaborations between DC and New Orleans. With local hosts performing artists Jose Torres Tama and Bernard Pearce and community organizer Jim Hayes of the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, YLSN had the opportunity to interview community organizers, educators, artists and musicians to increase collaboration between DC and NOLA youth programs. 

Meetings and performances included 17 Poets Series at Goldmine Saloon, Ashe Cultural Center, People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, a walking tour of Treme, Backstreet Cultural Museum, James Michalopoulos’s Mardis Gras Party, Café Rose Nicaud, Z’Otz Café, Tipitina’s Music Coop, Treme Brass Band, Panorama Brass Band and others.

The trip was incredibly productive and included a stop-over at Highlander Center in New Market, TN where YLSN staff accessed their archives and developed collaborative plans for multi-media work. 

In March 2006, Douglas Calvin, YLSN Director Affiliate Staff at the GMU Multi-Cultural Research and Resource Center (MRRC) and Christine Winkler a YLSN member and staff at University of Giessen, Germany travelled to New Orleans for a week to shoot a training video for volunteers as part of the ongoing community-based recovery efforts there. Starlab, Instructional Resource Center and Student Media Services all contributed to making the video possible. 

More info coming soon!

DC Legend Chuck Brown with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band



Youth Leadership Support Network
PO Box 5372 | Takoma Park, MD 20913 | 202.316.4403

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