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Panelist Bio

Lorna Bourg
President/Executive Director Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc.

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.

Current Topic

10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?

The presidential election may be getting all of the attention, but Louisiana residents will be making several important decisions at the ballot box in November. The U.S. Senate seat left up for grabs by retiring Sen. David Vitter has drawn a field of 24 candidates. Louisianians in the south- and northwest parts of the state will also be voting on congressmen. So, what national concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall? What statewide issues should be on the mind of Louisiana’s next Congressional leaders? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on “Election 2016” Wednesday, October 26 at 7p.m.

Our Panelists:

• Elizabeth Crisp / The Advocate
• Greg Hilburn / Gannett Newspapers
• Martin Johnson, Ph.D. / LSU Manship School of Mass Communication
• Albert Samuels, Ph.D. / Mandela School of Public Policy, Southern University

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Patricia Smith, with the College of Government and Social Sciences at Southern University, moderate the discussion.

“Election 2016” 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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