Contributor: ASIA OGNIBENE with Together New Orleans
Across the Southeast, hundreds of thousands of people are without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia – a situation all too familiar to us. As the storm made landfall in Florida, something incredible was happening in New Orleans. Dozens of dedicated Together New Orleans volunteers were engaged in a disaster simulation at the Broadmoor Community Church – the very first Community Lighthouse that opened this spring.
We held the training Wednesday during the church’s regularly scheduled food pantry to simulate an active scenario and test the system. Volunteers were told the details of the disaster scenario and given roles to play, and the simulation provided many valuable “lessons learned” that will inform the work of Lighthouses throughout the city and state.
Together New Orleans has opened four Lighthouses and aims to complete a dozen more as part of an initial pilot phase. In total, we’ll install a network of 86 across the city so that every resident lives within a 15-minute walk of one. It’s not stopping there! Together Louisiana’s regional organizations are expanding Lighthouses throughout the state. North Louisiana Interfaith is piloting two and plans to create a network of 20 in Caddo Parish. And just last week, Together Baton Rouge secured funding for its first three and is already working on plans for the next three. Other regions are also working to launch pilot programs in the near term.
This week of record-breaking heat also marked the anniversaries of Hurricanes Katrina and Ida – somber reminders of the significance of our work. As we continue to open more and more Lighthouses, we’re empowering our communities to weather the storms that will come our way and to better do what we’ve always done: help one another.
Thanks to everyone who volunteered for this week’s training. If you’d like to be part of a volunteer rapid response team, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of the mission of ePluribus: America to help advance diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging in every aspect of American culture, we are proud to announce this partnership to teach the core concepts of diversity. This DEI event is structured to help CEO’s, HR officials, Diversity Officers, thought leaders, policy makers and everyone with a stake in DEI initiatives recognize and overcome the barriers of organizational inclusion and belonging. In many cases, we have to unlearn in order to learn better ways of expressing our collective humanity for the sake of a better world for all. And ultimately, that is the purpose and focus of ePa’s DEI initiative and collaboration. And as a thank you, subscribers will get a $20 discount that reduces the ticket to $39.00. The discount code for ePa subscribers is EPLUR.
April DEI Virtual Event!
Join these business professionals virtually as they learn and discuss strategies for shaping the work culture with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
“When we open communication up, down, and across our organization, we enhance our ability to recognize and value our differences and similarities. Communicating effectively requires observation and empathetic listening to ensure understanding. As we identify our own listening skills and cognitive biases, we will become better equipped to mindfully acknowledge our barriers and intentionally work to put them aside, cultivating a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace. Lynda and Kashonna collaborate to provide engaging and informative sessions in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with a focus on improving communication. After forty-five minutes of content and engagement with breakout activities, we will entertain questions and share ideas for the remainder of the hour.”