St. Charles Streetcar Line Designated National Landmark

On Dec. 9, the Regional Transit Authority celebrated the designation by the United States Department of the Interior and the National Parks Service of the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar Line as a National Historic Landmark.

The celebration took place on Howard Avenue at Lee Circle.

On Sept. 30, the United States Department of the Interior declared that the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar Line was designated a National Historic Landmark. Operating since 1835, the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar Line is the nation’s oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world.

The St. Charles Avenue Streetcar Line is also significant for its 35 arch-roofed, steel-bodied green Perley Thomas streetcars, which represent an evolution in the engineering of streetcar technology and have operated on the line’s tracks since 1923.

National Historic Landmarks are historic places that possess exceptional value in commemorating or illustrating the history of the United States.

Urban League Celebrates Headquarters Ribbon Cutting

The Urban League of Greater New Orleans held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new headquarters at 4640 S. Carrollton Blvd, on Dec. 10.

The event was held in conjunction with the organization’s annual meeting.

ULGNO staff, board of directors and major supporters were joined by elected officials and other community leaders to celebrate the opening of the 26,000 square-foot facility that centralizes the Urban League’s offices and its Centers of Excellence under one roof.

The building provides a permanent home for the organization’s administrative offices, Parent Information Center, Office of Work Force Development, Education Empowerment Program and Women’s Business Resource Center and official launches the opening of the Urban League’s Contractor Resource Center, which offers space for local and minority contractors to access equipment and software as well as offers construction-related training and workshops.

Funding to purchase and renovate the facility was made possible with support from Louisiana Healthcare Connections, The Patrick Taylor Foundation, The Goldring Foundation, the New Orleans Advocate and First NBC Bank.

For more information about the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, its programs or Centers of Excellence, visit

NOLA FOR LIFE Hosts Two-Day Symposium

DSCN0908In conjunction with President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge and NOLA FOR LIFE, Mayor Mitch Landrieu recently hosted a two-day symposium designed to educate the greater local community about the NOLA FOR LIFE strategy, highlight the accomplishments we have seen to date, provide greater insight into the hard-hitting issues that contribute to violence in our community, and set actionable goals to address those issues.

The event featured breakout and plenary sessions on topics that included education, race and equity, the criminal justice system, income inequality and media, race and contemporary culture, which was moderated by Essence magazine editor-in-chief Vanessa K. DeLuca and featured New Orleans native and rapper Dee-1 and Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough, Ph.D.

To learn more about NOLA FOR LIFE, visit.

Local Girl and Family Visit White House

BLINDGIRLWITHMICHELLEEight-year-old Jayla Raymond, a student at Lafayette Academy Charter School, and her mother Nicole Simmons-Raymond brought the holiday season in with a visit to the White House on Dec. 4 for the lighting of the White House Christmas Tree.

In addition to meeting President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Sasha and Malia Obama, the Raymonds also met many of the stars who performed for the ceremony, including Patti LaBelle.

Simmons-Raymond says her daughter, who is visually impaired, is a very talkative young lady who happened to mention to the right person that her dream was to meet the Obamas. She says that person contacted the White House and the First Lady on Jayla’s behalf, with an invitation to the annual Christmas Tree lighting soon following.

Jayla was very excited to meet the first family,  and her mother says she has already been invited to return for the 2015 White House Easter Egg Roll.

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