Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, HaSizzle and More Set to Participate in BE NOLA’s Second Annual “Black Is Brilliant” Summit

Summit to Take Place Virtually with Viewings at Black-Owned Spaces across New Orleans

City of New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS- Black Education for New Orleans (BE NOLA) will host its Annual Summit, “Black Is Brilliant,” virtually on Saturday, August 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The summit will kick off on Friday, August 20, at 6:30 p.m. with a happy hour and outdoor screening of “In Our Mothers’ Gardens” at the New Orleans African American Museum in Tremé and will continue on Saturday at the same location with a private “Black Is Brilliant Summit” viewing party for fifty Black educators that addresses the state of their work, wellness, and celebration of brilliance in our communities.

This year’s lineup of speakers and artists includes New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Dr. Jessica Clemons, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Dr. Rashida Govan, HaSizzle, The Black School and countless others. Black educators and the general public can attend the event virtually on the BE NOLA’s community app or in-person at several Black-Owned spaces across the city: BabyBangz, HeadQuarters, We Dat’s Chicken and Shrimp, Second Vine Wine, Studio Be, NOAAM, CupCake Fairies, and Three Palms Bar and Grill.

The goal of the summit is to provide resources and support to Black educators and visionaries in our New Orleans community working on behalf of our children. Black education is a lifestyle beyond classroom walls. “Black Is Brilliant” will also provide an opportunity for the general public to learn, engage and advocate alongside BE NOLA for the support and development of Quality Black Educators (QBEs) in our landscape.

“Quality Black Educators who are supported to do their best work are the difference makers for New Orleans’ Black children,” Stevona Elem-Rogers, BE NOLA’s Director of Programming Partnerships said. “By exploring the state of Black education and our community from a strengths-based lens, we will build on existing bright spots to articulate the next paradigm shift in education and lifestyle.”

The summit will include sessions dedicated to Black teacher history, Black liberation politics, Black educator health and financial wellness, Critical Race Theory, Environmentalism, Black diasporic food, and more. Participants will enjoy musical acts from drumming lead by Baba Luther Gray of Congo Square Preservation Society, an intimate concert with rock singer Grace Gibson and a performance by New Orleans’s own HaSizzle.

The virtual summit is invitation-based. To participate in the summit, invitees must register on the website, blackisbrilliantsummit.org. Once registered, registrants will need to download the BENOLA Community App. The app will only be accessible to summit registrants. Registration closes August 17th.

The “Black Is Brilliant Summit” would not be possible without the support of amazing partners and sponsors, including Ochsner Health, Boeing, Cox, Nuestra Voz/Our Voice, Acceleraise Corporation, Carver Darden, Education Leaders of Color, among others.

“We are honored to be a sponsor to this important event to support Black educators,” said Deborah Grimes, RN, JD, MSHQS, the Chief Diversity Officer for Ochsner Health System. “This year’s summit will provide a new perspective and ideas and further Ochsner’s goals of promoting equity and wellness within our New Orleans community while bringing focused attention to diversity and inclusion matters.”

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