Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ortique Lecture on Law and Society

Michelle Alexander with Mrs. Miriam Ortique (next to me) and members of the Ortique family
In 2010, Dillard University honored graduate Justice Revius Ortique, first Black Louisiana Supreme Court Justice, with a mock court room, named scholarships, and an annual lecture. The first lecturer was Attorney General Eric Holder. I was excited about this program but wanted to really get the community involved. So I sought out Michelle Alexander, author of the phenomenal book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness."

I had her speak at Philander last November, so I knew she was a home run hitter. And New Orleans responded. In a room that seats 400, we probably had 500 with people sitting on the floor, standing in the back, on the side, and out the door. Incredible audience to hear tough truths about Louisiana, the incarceration capital of the world.

I encourage EVERYONE to read the book. But more than that, as Michelle Alexander stated, I hope we start a revolution here to end mass incarceration.

The Prez

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving tradition

After our youngest was born in November of 2008, we knew we wouln't be traveling to visit parents that year. So we stayed put while people came to see us. The next year, we said we'd stay as well, but realized that there were students with no place to go for Thanksgiving. So a few came to eat with us.

In 2010 we had a nice sized group, and also had a local TV station do a story on what out of state (and country) students do for Thanksgiving. By then it had become our tradition.

So moving to New Orleans we knew we would continue the tradition. I sent out an e-mail to students indicating that if they needed a place to eat, we would have seats. I am sure this caught many of them off guard, and some probably didn't know what to think.

But today, 14 students came to have dinner with us. We also had one of my students from Philande Smith College drive down, making this her third year in a row having Thanksgiving dinner with us (but she had to help cook this time!)

I had a chance to meet some students I had not met, including one from Zimbabwe who celebrated his first Thanksgiving. I was glad we were able to provide that for him.

The Prez

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Practice LSAT

My wife has really been working with Dillard students who have an interest in law. She has been forging partnerships with local attorneys and judges, reaching out to law schools, and advising students. Once we put it out that she is a member of the bar in 4 states, students jumped at the opportunity.

So she spent the last 2 weekends finding time to proctor a practice LSAT so that students would not walk in cold. This has definiely been an asset for our students.

The Prez

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bleu Pride Rising Tour

Last week I began the Bleu Pride Rising Tour, starting in New Orleans and then on to Chicago and Washington D. C. There was good energy in each meeting and positive responses from alumni.

The best part is always meeting new people. Dillard alumni are very proud of their institution, and many rededicated themselves to moving the university forward. We're going into homecoming and then Thanksgiving, so the tour will pick up again in December in Atlanta, then to Dallas and Detroit. Trying to schedule Shreveport, Baton Rouge and Houston before the end of the year. I'll be heading west in the sprng.

The Prez

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Benjamin

Benjamin Barack Kimbrough was born on election day in 2008, and he turned 4 today.