• Urban League of Greater New Orleans


    August 26 – 28, 2015

    Hyatt Regency, New Orleans


State of Black New Orleans Press Conference

Headlining conference activities will be a press conference to release the State of Black New Orleans: 10 Years post Katrina, which will establish the framework for the conference and all conference sessions. The State of Black New Orleans examines the areas of economics, workforce, health, housing, education, criminal justice, the environment and civic engagement. The publication will be compiled of essays, editorials and research by local scholars and will lend an important perspective to the discussion of New Orleans’ recovery and rebuilding.

RISE: Katrina 10 Luncheon

Representatives of the media reported on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and provided a sobering look at Katrina’s devastation as events unfolded. These field reporters were conduits of information for authorities and the world. A special conference luncheon will feature a national media correspondent’s panel to hear the perspective of the recovery from media professionals who were on the ground in New Orleans during and following Katrina.

Education Town Hall

If education is the great equalizer, have education reforms in New Orleans’ K-12 sector generated the type of change necessary to eliminate disparities in achievement between students of color and their white counterparts? Education reform in New Orleans is by far the most heavily touted success of all post-Katrina reforms. A two-hour town hall will bring together national and local education leaders to discuss these reforms in the K-12 sector, outcomes and the plausibility of the reforms as a national strategy to close the achievement and opportunity gap in education.

Youth Town Hall

In partnership with Kid’s ReThink, the RISE Katrina 10 Commemorative Conference will conclude with a youth-led, youth centered town hall . The Youth Town Hall will provide a critical platform for youth to lend their voice to their post-Katrina experiences and vision for youth engagement in the city moving forward. Youth will use an art-based mapping project to outline the State of Black New Orleans from their perspective. The State of Young Black New Orleans will be released at the RISE Katrina 10 opening press conference.

Annual Gala

The RISE: Katrina 10 Commemorative Conference will feature the highly acclaimed Urban League Annual Gala. The annual gala is one of the largest and most recognizable fundraising events in New Orleans. This year, the cosmopolitan event will honor and recognize the notable accomplishments of “Katrina Heroes”, for their contribution to advancing recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina. Each year, city and state officials, corporate and community leaders attend the gala to enjoy the first-class reception, dinner and entertainment.

City Tours

Come experience the spirit of “Resilience” and see first-hand how New Orleans communities have recovered post-Katrina. Travel to see the site of the levee breach and visit the Ninth Ward, the global icon of Katrina's destruction and one of the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina. There you will see the notorious Musician’s Village and Brad Pitt houses, which were constructed to offer affordable, safe and sustainable housing post-Katrina.

Interested in reserving a Katrina City Tour? Please call (504)398-0365 and use code "Rise Katrina 10" for your discounted price.


RISE: Katrina 10 Title Sponsor

W.K. Kellogg Foundation           Walton Family Foundation

Fleur De Lis Sponsor

Chase Bank

Sustaining the Movement Sponsor

Iberea Bank Entergy BP Lumina
WDSU Hyatt Regency New Orleans

Platinum Sponsors

College Track Capital One Greater New Orleans Foundation Whitney Bank BMC Ford Foundation Liberty Bank Louisiana Healthcare Connections The Helis Foundation I Heart Media

Gold Sponsors

Wal-Mart Educate Now! Freeport McMoran UPS Shell Regions Bank Enterprise Warner Williams Charitable Fund

Silver Sponsor

Adam and Reese LLC

Bronze Sponsors

AmeriHealth Caritas Jones Walker Evamor Budweiser Port of NOLA Business Council of New Orleans AT&T Foundation for Louisiana Louisiana Public Health Institute


  • Black Alliance for Educational Options
  • Boh Brothers
  • Canal Barge Company, Inc
  • Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans
  • Dillard University DMM & Associates
  • Harrah’s New Orleans Casino & Hotel
  • Jackson Offshore
  • Landmark Consulting, LLC
  • MCC Group
  • New South Parking
  • QCS Logistics / Global Parking
  • Total Community Action, Inc
  • Xavier University



Citizen engagement has been one of the great success stories of post-Katrina New Orleans. Efforts to include community voice in the city's recovery have led to the growth of grassroots organizing movements in the city, particularly among youth and parents. In addition, neighborhood engagement and advocacy has led to significant growth and transformation of a number of neighborhoods in New Orleans. African American women represent the largest pool of registered and participating voters in the city, yet voter turnout continues to lull in the city. How has civic engagement in New Orleans changed in the years after Hurricane Katrina and how has the storm impacted the Black, political base in the city.

Come and learn more about these issues and more from community leaders and experts in the field.

New Orleans has been lauded for the massive transformation of its educational system that brought about unprecedented school choice for families, greater autonomy for schools and a massive $1.8 billion investment in the rebuilding of schools. Yet, Louisiana continues to rank 47th-50th in the nation in reading and math proficiency. Are education reforms in New Orleans actually preparing families in New Orleans for lifelong success? Are education reforms sustainable in post-Katrina New Orleans? How is the city's P-20 education system preparing the community to compete for the changing economy? What are the key inequities faced by African Americans in the P-20 education system? How have reforms reduced these inequities?

Join a panel of local, regional and national experts as they examine key issues related to the New Orleans education landscape in early childhood, K-12, higher education and adult education over the past 10 years.

Post-Katrina recovery in New Orleans has led to vast growth of various sectors in the local economy and has shielded the city from the most negative impacts of the national recession. But how have African Americans fared economically in the years following Hurricane Katrina? Are communities of color reaping the benefits of the entrepreneurship boom in the city? What is the status of African American males in the local workforce? How has economic growth in the city impacted poverty? What is the future of economic and workforce development in New Orleans in the knowledge based economy? Are African Americans and other communities of color prepared to compete in the new economy?

Join economists, city officials, and other national and local experts to learn more about equity issues in workforce and economic development in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Louisiana has the highest incarceration rates in the world and New Orleans has the highest incarceration rates in the state. What is the impact of the criminal justice system on African Americans in New Orleans? Disparities in the criminal justice system continue to persist (and in some cases worsen) for African Americans in New Orleans. In the city, 1 in 7 African American males is either in prison, on parole, or on probation.

The State of Black New Orleans and the RISE: Katrina 10 Conference will explore this phenomenon and its impact on the African American community.

The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the fifth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill presents a unique opportunity to examine the impact of these disasters on the region's environment. Various environmental justice issues will be discussed by leading experts including brownfield redevelopment, transportation and access to green space, water safety and a host of other environmental issues.

Join us as the experts respond to the question, "Are we better prepared today to survive a storm like Hurricane Katrina?"

Gains and gaps exist in almost every sector, including health care in New Orleans. The city has gained a 1500-acre BioDistrict is fueling economic growth in the city and meeting a dire need for better medical facilities including the opening of the Veterans Affairs hospital and University Medical Center. But health disparities continue to worsen among African Americans.

Join us as we discuss the health of “Black New Orleans,” and factors contributing to African American health outcomes, access to quality health care, and access to insurance in New Orleans.

Among the most discussed indicators of post-Katrina progress and recovery is housing. New Orleans has replaced its traditional housing projects with mixed-income, mixed-use housing increasing housing quality in that sector. However, last reported data informs that only 11% of families in the four largest public housing apartments have returned to New Orleans post-Katrina. The availability of affordable housing continues to pose a challenge to residents in New Orleans as more than 50% of renters paying unaffordable housing costs. Spiking insurance premiums also pose a critical dilemma for homeowners, resulting in approximately, 27% of homeowners in New Orleans paying unaffordable housing costs. Meanwhile, new Orleans is the first reported city in America to eradicate veteran homelessness.

During conference sessions, experts will tackle these issues in housing and more.

Annual Gala

Honoring Katrina Heroes

address Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Loyola Ave.

Annual Gala, highlighting the notable accomplishments of Katrina Heroes. It will also provide an opportunity to thank the conference sponsors, special guests, community partners and attendees. Gala guests will be asked to participate in a brief moment of silence in remembrance of those who were lost during Hurricane Katrina. The Gala will also include remarks from special invited guests and key conference sponsors, and feature a live performance from a national recording artist. The Annual Gala and conference will serve as the launch pad for the next phase of post-Katrina recovery in New Orleans.

Hyatt Regency New Orleans
601 Loyola Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70113

(504) 561-1234

Contact Us


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  • a 4640 S. Carrollton Ave Suite 210 New Orleans, LA 70119