The Greater New Orleans Foundation is helping nonprofits in our region respond and prepare for the disruptions the coronavirus pandemic is causing for our clients, customers, staff, and operations. We are continuing our response and support of nonprofits by providing free virtual town halls, webinars, and resources on the most critical topics to help nonprofits in our region respond to the public health threats and the associated operational disruptions that will continue to result from this pandemic.
The Foundation’s Nonprofit Essentials for the COVID-19 Pandemic series continues on Friday, May 8 with a webinar on the Changing Nature of Advocacy During COVID-19. The Louisiana Legislature has reconvened session for the first time since its suspension on March 31 due to coronavirus. We know that advocacy during the coronavirus in Louisiana will look quite different and may require different strategies due to social distancing. This webinar will provide participants with key tools and tactics on how to advocate during this time as well as discuss key legislation given the pandemic and its impact on the state.
It is important that nonprofits of all missions and sizes to advocate for the nonprofit sector, our missions, and the people we serve.
State Representative Royce Duplessis, District 93
Royce Duplessis was elected to serve the people of Louisiana House District 93 in 2018, where he serves on the Commerce, House and Governmental Affairs, and the House Executive Committees. District 93 includes the Central Business District, Warehouse District, French Quarter, Lower Garden District, Central City, Lower Mid-City, Tremé, 7th Ward, and St. Roch neighborhoods.
He is the son of a veteran teacher and career-long postal service worker – public servants who were his first examples of hard work and integrity. In high school, Royce worked summers as a bricklayer’s assistant, learning the value of sweat equity. During college at Xavier University, he supported himself earning tips as a busboy at Mandina’s Restaurant. When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Royce poured himself into rebuilding his community by serving as Chief of Staff to former New Orleans Councilman James Carter. Royce owns and operates his own small business, Duplessis Law firm LLC, focusing on civil litigation. Royce and his wife Krystle Ferbos Duplessis, Esq. are proud residents of Central City. In 2018 Royce and Krystle welcomed home Reese Ava, who gave Royce the greatest title of all, “Dad.”
Judy Reese Morse, President, Urban League of Louisiana
Judy Reese Morse, born and raised in New Orleans, attended St. Mary’s Dominican High School and Loyola University of New Orleans where she earned an undergraduate degree in Communications. She received a master’s degree in Public Administration from American University in Washington, DC. and was selected as a U.S. Presidential Management Fellow. Judy has served at all three levels of government, working early in her career in DC on Capitol Hill for Congresswoman Lindy Boggs. Later she worked in the Louisiana Lieutenant Governor’s Office as Chief of Staff for Mitch Landrieu and then as a Deputy Mayor in the Landrieu Administration. During her time in DC, Judy worked at National Public Radio as Director of New Audience Development and Director of Corporate Communications. Prior to her time at NPR, she worked at WWL-TV New Orleans gaining experience in production and management.
Now, Judy is the President and CEO of The Urban League of Louisiana. She is working to expand The Urban League’s programming and advocacy across Louisiana, making the case for equity and economic self-reliance for those served by The Urban League and increasing the level of engagement with Louisiana residents. A strong leader and senior executive with nearly 30 years of experience in government, not-for-profit and media, Judy has proven her ability to visualize, innovate, communicate, design policy and programming and build effective partnerships that deliver results and demonstrate impact. Judy is the daughter of a Freedom Rider and carries that dedication to humanity in all aspects of her life. She is also a member of the New Orleans Chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). She is married to Chuck Morse, who serves as the Executive Director of Launch NOLA, an incubator for new and emerging small businesses. They have two children, Grace, 18 and Trey, 16.
Ashley Shelton, Executive Director, Power Coalition
Ashley K. Shelton is the Executive Director of the Power Coalition, a statewide 501c3 table in Louisiana. The Power Coalition uses a broad-based strategy that combines community organizing, issue advocacy, and civic action all while increasing the capacity of community organizations throughout the state to sustain and hold the work. Our integrated voter engagement approach has changed policy at the municipal and state level as well as move infrequent voters of color to vote at the same levels as chronic voters in the communities where we run a full get out to vote program.
She also was the former Vice President of Programs at the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation (LDRF), now the Foundation for Louisiana. In her role at the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, Ms. Shelton managed a system of integrated, value-added programs in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In her role at LDRF, she designed, initiated and coordinated a comprehensive policy strategy, which led to a systemic, multi-pronged approach to equitable policy development on a local, state and national level. She utilized a participatory model that engaged local, state, and national partnerships to develop and nurture civic engagement throughout the state.