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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


04/14 - State Contracts 101

Will proposed legislation help rein in costs or create arbitrary caps that hinder agencies in delivering services?

Coming Soon!


05/14 - Job Market 2014

What does Louisiana’s employment market look like for these job hunters in 2014?

Recent Topics


03/14 - Louisiana and The Minimum Wage

Should Louisiana develop its own minimum wage?


02/14 - Energy’s Environmental Footprint

What cost to the state are energy’s economic dividends?


01/14 - Decoding Common Core

What do Louisiana educators, parents and students think about Common Core?


12/13 - STEM Status: Science, Technology, Engineering & Math in Louisiana (Encore Presentation)

How can Louisiana better equip its citizens for future STEM positions?

»»» View all Topics!
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