Daughters of Charity gears up for ribbon cutting, annual gala

The Daughters of Charity, an organization whose history and service to New Orleans spans 180 years, is preparing for the ribbon cutting at its new facility in New Orleans East at 5630 Read Boulevard.

The event will take place at 9:30 a.m. Friday, March 28. Later that evening, Daughters of Charity Foundation of New Orleans’ third annual “Keeping Our Promises” Gala will take place at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

The 2014 Gala will feature entertainment, silent auction and a raffle!

Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans offers primary and preventive health services that address the needs of the total individual at its four health centers, located in Bywater, Carrollton, Metairie and eastern New Orleans.

Daughters of Charity is a member of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest Catholic and non-profit health care system.

For more information about the gala or tickets, call 504-212-5455 or go to dcsno.org.

The fight for a living wage, jobs, and climate justice

Community leaders will gather at 6 p.m. Tuesday April 1 at the Sanctuary of the Unitarian Universalist Church, 5212 S. Claiborne Ave. to discuss the fight for a living wage, jobs and climate justice.

The speakers at this forum, which include Loyola Law Professor and longtime social justice activist Bill Quigley, will address the connection between these important issues.

Following brief presentations given by a panel of speakers that includes representatives of the local SEIU, Louisiana Eco socialists, and NOLA Socialist Alternative, the floor will be opened to questions and comments from the audience.

In addition to Quigley, panelists will include longtime activist Eloise Williams; Mike Howells of Fight for 15; Elizabeth Cook of Louisiana Eco-socialists; Paula Russel of NOLA Socialist Alternative and others. This event is free and open to all.

For more information call Mike Howells at 504-587-0080 or Elizabeth Cook at 504-644-7221.

National Commission on Voting Rights holds hearing in NOLA

The National Commission on Voting Rights is hosting hearings across the country to learn more about the current landscape of elections.

And they want to hear from you!

Over the past few years, numerous states have enacted restrictive voting laws, while many others continue to grapple with recurring election administration and electoral reform challenges.

Come out and testify on problems, successes and opportunities for reform in all aspects of voting in Louisiana, such as voter registration, voting discrimination, early voting, redistricting, and issues for individuals with disabilities, language minority voters, and communities of color.

The hearing will take place from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m., Monday, April 7, at the Delgado Community College (City Park Campus) Student Life Center. Parking is available in front of the Student Life Center (by the baseball field).

To attend, register at LAHearing.lawyerscommittee.org.

The hearing is free and open to the public. There will be formal panels of witnesses representing voting rights organizations, community leaders, election officials, and other stakeholders. There will also be opportunities throughout the event for voters to speak about their experiences. Visit LAHearing.lawyerscommittee.org for more information.

NOLA Food Fest returns

NOLA FoodFest, a weekend-long celebration of America’s hometown eats that attracts chefs from across the country to New Orleans, will take place from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday, March 29, and from 11a.m. until 6 p.m. Sunday, March 30.
For more information, visit http://www.nolafoodfest.com.

The Festival is encouraging fans to like FoodFest on Facebook, follow @NOLAFoodFest on Twitter and use the hashtag #NOLAFoodFest throughout the weekend.

New initiative could position New Orleans as a minority start-up hub

Local leaders along with representatives of Chevron, the 2014 ESSENCE Festival™, Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, INC), and the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), recently announced PowerMoves.NOLA, an initiative to support minority entrepreneurs by providing access to capital, high-impact mentors, and technical assistance.

Sponsored by Chevron, PowerMoves.NOLA will launch July 4 weekend in a promotional partnership with the ESSENCE Festival™. The initiative will feature pitch competitions, networking events, a tech boot camp and fellowship opportunities.

Minority entrepreneurs are significantly underrepresented in the overall US economy. Although the number of minority-owned businesses has grown significantly over the past two decades, only 7 percent of the firms who presented to angel investors in 2011 were minority owned.

“PowerMoves.NOLA is an exciting initiative resulting from our citywide strategic plan: ProsperityNOLA,” said Rodrick T. Miller, president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “New Orleans’ competitive business climate and unparalleled lifestyle amenities have made it a hotbed for high-growth companies, and this initiative will promote greater participation by underrepresented groups through harnessing all of our local resources to make our economy stronger and more competitive.”

The first component of the program is the Chevron PowerMoves Pitch. The Chevron PowerMoves Pitch session will be held on Saturday, July 5, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center as part of the 2014 ESSENCE Festival™ program. The session will feature four minority women entrepreneurs. The winning pitch as selected by the judges will receive a $25,000 cash prize. Attendees will also select an “audience favorite,” who will be awarded a $5,000 prize.

There will be two additional pitch sessions throughout the July 4 weekend, sponsored by Entergy and the New Orleans Startup Fund. The Entergy Tech Pitch and Startup Fund Pitch Sessions will be held on Friday, July 4, at Manning’s Restaurant. The winners of these two pitch events will also each receive a $25,000 prize and access to early-stage investors, mentors and advisers.

To participate in the pitch events, eligible businesses must be at least 25 percent owned by an under-represented minority and a minority team member must do the pitch. Ideally, businesses should represent high-growth sectors, have completed the research and prototype phase, have initial revenues, customer validation, and have raised capital through personal, friend or family investment(s).

PowerMoves.NOLA will also offer a Risingstars Boot Camp presented by Techstars. The goal of Techstars’ Risingstars Boot Camp is to extend start-up opportunities to demographic groups that are currently underrepresented in the technology start-up community. Up to 25 early-stage entrepreneurs will be selected to participate in an intense two-day program to help them build viable, revenue generating technology start-up companies.

The Boot Camp will take place July 4-5 and will end with a Demo Day to potential investors. Not only will one participant be selected to receive a $25,000 cash prize, Risingstars will also select up to five entrepreneurs to join the Risingstars mentorship program, and PowerMoves.NOLA will select one entrepreneur to receive a $50,000 fellowship.

Applications for the Risingstars Boot Camp will be accepted through April 15 on the PowerMoves.NOLA website. Participants for all events will be notified by May 15.

Additionally, PowerMoves.NOLA will invite five startup companies to become fellows. Four fellows will receive a $25,000 investment and one participant from the Risingstars Boot Camp will be selected for a $50,000 fellowship. Fellows must commit to having a C-Level executive from the company and at least 25 percent of their employees residing in the Greater New Orleans region for at least a year. Fellows will receive technical assistance, access to high-impact mentors and free or subsidized office space.

For more information about PowerMoves.NOLA or to apply for the Risingstars Boot Camp, please visit www.powermovesnola.org.

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