by Elizabeth K. Jeffers
After Hurricane Katrina, the Rex Organization launched Pro Bono Publico, with initiatives named for Carnival’s traditional colors, each targeting a specific need in our recovering city. Project Gold offered aid to police officers and first responders. Project Green mobilized volunteers to clean up the streets after parades. Project Purple focused on education and provided “significant financial and volunteer support” for the new charter schools in New Orleans. Last Mardi Gras Day, former chairman of Pro Bono Publico Foundation, Christian T. Brown, toasted Mayor Mitch Landrieu to the success of charter schools.
Rex members now sit on boards of charter schools and many of the pro-charter organizations. Several of Pro Bono Publico Foundation’s board members have sat on one or more of the following boards: KIPP New Orleans, Bricolage Academy, Teach for America-Greater New Orleans/Louisiana Delta, Foundation for Louisiana, and the Greater New Orleans Education Foundation. One board member, H. Merritt Lane, sits on the Business Council of New Orleans’ board with Leslie Jacobs-Rosenthal, and he sits on the Idea Village board of directors with her husband, Scott.