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Panelist Bio


Stephen Bradberry
Lead Organizer, ACORN, New Orleans

A native of Chicago, Stephen Bradberry currently serves as the Lead Organizer of the New Orleans chapter of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families working together for social justice and stronger communities. On November 16th Bradberry will be presented with the 2005 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.

Immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit, Bradberry spearheaded a project sending out hundreds of text messages to New Orleans ACORN members with cell phones helping members to find assistance and connecting them with ACORN members in cities like Houston who opened their homes to flood victims.

In the aftermath of Katrina, Bradberry has become a voice for the displaced poor of New Orleans. Stephen has begun organizing the ACORN Katrina Survivors Association, uniting survivors to have a real say in how their communities are rebuilt. He is working to assure New Orleans poor have a right to return to their city, the means to take care of themselves, access to housing and credit, and that their concerns are treated with fairness and dignity in the rebuilding process.

Bradberry's advocacy has focused on addressing the everyday problems affecting the low income communities of New Orleans. He has fought to protect the economic, political, and social rights of these often forgotten citizens through public interest campaigns targeted at promoting a living wage, preventing lead poisoning in children, giving parents a say in local schools, preventing predatory lending, and increasing voter participation.

Bradberry is often praised for his ability to bring diverse groups together for the good of the community. In 2002, Bradberry united the varied interests of community organizations, faith based institutions, academia, and labor into a collaborative known as Community Labor United to improve the conditions of low-income workers in New Orleans through one of our nation's only successful livable wage campaigns. Their efforts resulted in sixty-three percent of New Orleans' voters backing a wage hike that affected 75,000 workers. The campaign produced a city ordinance in New Orleans increasing the minimum wage only to later be overturned by the Louisiana legislature.

Bradberry also established Urbanheart, a city-wide education collaborative in New Orleans to provide a greater voice for parents and community residents in the decision making process for local schools. The organization operates in five public schools, using arts and organizing as key components of after-school work. Each of the five sites is managed by a site team comprising students, parents, staff and neighborhood residents and organizations. These sites send representatives to the citywide UrbanHeart board, which assists with community organizing and ensuring local, grassroots, collective governance.

Bradberry has also worked to address public health issues in New Orleans low income neighborhoods. Recognizing the health risks of lead paint for children in New Orleans poorer neighborhoods, Stephen successfully designed and pushed for a ban of dry sanding of lead-based paint in the city. He also worked with Center for Disease Control on informing the public of lead paints' dangers.

Current Topic


     02/17 - Black & the Blue

What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve?
Last year’s shooting of an African-American male in Baton Rouge by two white police officers re-ignited a national debate on how law enforcement interacts with minority communities. Nationwide demonstrations were ultimately marred by the targeted ambush of 12 white officers in Dallas and the killing of three members of law enforcement in Baton Rouge. What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve? How can Louisiana’s Capital City productively move beyond these events? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on a special town hall edition, “Black & the Blue” Wednesday, February 22 at 7pm; Sunday, February 26 at 1pm and Tuesday, February 28 at 10pm after the State of the Union address on LPB HD. In New Orleans on WLAE, Wednesday, February 22 at 7 PM. (Recording Monday, February 20)


Invitation, details and directions (pdf format)

Our panelists will be:
• Fr. Rick Andrus, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Together BR
• Darrell Basco, state president of Fraternal Order of Police
• Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of Baton Rouge
• Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; Public Safety Task Force
• Stephanie Riegel; Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Reverend Raymond Jetson, pastor of Star Hill Church host the program. Robyn Merrick with the Southern University System and Bob Mann with LSU’s Manship School will moderate the discussion.
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