Lorna Bourg is co-founder, president and executive director of the 35 year old Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc., a not-for-profit community development corporation that creates innovative solutions and alternative institutions to insure social and economic justice for rural Louisiana families and communities.
Her skills as educator and organizer have enabled challenged rural communities to develop a vision and determine goals and strategies toward long-term improvement. Ms. Bourg created the Louisiana Rural Home Loan Partnership which includes an eight bank consortium which has brought nearly 12 million dollars in new homeownership to over 150 rural Louisiana families. To further Louisiana’s rural development, Ms. Bourg co-founded the Southern Mutual Financial Services, Inc., a certified Community Development Financial Institution. Ms. Bourg serves as co-founder and national president of the Sustained Excellence Alliance, Inc., a practitioner-led, not-for-profit of ten high performing community development corporations collectively doing 100 million dollars of low income community-building each year.Since 1964 Ms. Bourg has worked with the poorest and most marginalized families and communities in rural Louisiana. She has served as a member of the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights - Louisiana Advisory Committee since 1995, and represents Louisiana on the Mid South Commission to Build Philanthropy. The commission seeks to broaden philanthropy to address racial, social and economic equity.
Ms. Bourg is a MacArthur Fellow and was in the inaugural class of the James A. Johnson Fellows of the Fannie Mae Foundation. Ms. Bourg is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy and received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as well as completing programs of study at Harvard, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the University of Wisconsin Extension.
How well is the state’s public school system really performing?
One national survey ranks Louisiana as 49th for academic achievement of public school students. Another national report ranks the state dead last. So, how well is the state’s public school system really performing? Where is there room for improvement? What will the new federal “Every Student Succeeds Act” mean for education in Louisiana? And how have the historic summer floods changed things? Louisiana Public Square explores these issues and more on “Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE.
The panelists are
• Superintendent Michael Faulk, Central Community School System
• James D. Garvey, Jr. , BESE Board President
• Scott Richard, Executive Director, Louisiana School Boards Association
• Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, D- Baton Rouge; House Education Committee
LPB CEO Beth Courtney and LSU Manship School of Mass Communication professor Robert Mann host the show. The program features interviews with Louisiana Education State Superintendent John White; Debbie Meaux, President of the Louisiana Association of Educators; Brigitte Nieland with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and Caddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Theodis Lamar Goree.
“Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.
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