Twenty years ago, The New Orleans Tribune marked its 10th anniversary by introducing its Dare to Dream Awards, an honor that then recognized 10 young entrepreneurs.
Tribune publisher Beverly McKenna recently reflected on the awards given 20 years ago, noting proudly that so many of those honored then have grown into successful ventures that are strongholds in the business community.
Among those first Dare to Dream honorees were: Signs Now, G.Mc.+Company, Ultimate Marketing (now Ultimate Technical Solutions), Rodent Guard, Quick Courier Services (now QCS Logistics), Wicks ‘n Sticks and Loretta’s Authentic Pralines.
The Dare to Dream Awards were created because the founders of the modern-day Tribune understand the tenacity, creativity, hard work and determination it takes to step out, create opportunities and embrace innovation in an effort to not only transform one’s own life but to positively impact an entire community. That is the essence of Dare to Dream, McKenna says.
As The Tribune celebrated its 30th anniversary, The Dare to Dream Award was revived and reinvigorated. The focus of the 2015 awards expands beyond entrepreneurship to include those deserving of recognition in a number of areas including business leadership, community leadership, political leadership, education advocacy, corporate leadership, social justice/civic engagement and the trailblazer award.
The honorees were feted at The New Orleans Tribune’s 30th-anniversary celebration held earlier this month at the George and Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art. The Tribune continues to celebrate their tenacity, self-sacrifice and success by highlighting them in the December 2015 issue of The New Orleans Tribune as our 2015 People of The Year.
From its earliest days, The New Orleans Tribune has been about encouraging economic independence and development in the community—urging African-American business ownership, parity in economic opportunity and community support of our own institutions.
We excitedly welcome new businesses and are proud of those that have withstood the test of time, carving their positing as mainstays in our community.
Established in 1974—more than 40 years ago, Mona’s Accents is such an example.
From working a home-based business, to researching the market and earning required licenses, to buying the Claiborne Avenue building to house her florist shop, to surviving and rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, business owner Romona Baudy exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit.
She has served as president of the Black Economic Development Council and serves as a leader throughout the community. Baudy is the kind of business owner that makes it a point to support other businesses in the community. Her longevity is a testament to her business acumen and commitment to community.
Founded in 2013, Navigate Nola is the social and emotional community wellness program dedicated to cultivating an environment where New Orleans youth can thrive. Navigate Nola strives to meet the needs of young people by promoting leadership, civic engagement, emotional growth, and enhancing the social support systems of our most vulnerable youth.
A unique project of Navigate Nola has been the production of two documentaries, Navigate Him and Navigate Her. The films were dedicated to fostering an intergenerational conversation among African-Americans in New Orleans.
In addition to the documentaries, NavigateNOLA has also developed The Navigate Her Leadership Institute, which provides African-American adolescent girls with an eight-month youth development program comprised of intergenerational panels, workshops, socio-cultural activities, and service projects
Navigate NOLA is led by public health practitioner and licensed clinical social worker, Danielle K. Wright, a 2004 graduate of Spelman College. Wright also earned two master’s degrees from Tulane University in social work and public health. She has worked across various mental health and public health settings in the New Orleans metropolitan area and currently serves as site coordinator at Communities in Schools of Greater New Orleans.
RONALD CARRERE, JR
Ronald M. Carrere, Jr. is a native New Orleanian, a graduate of the University of New Orleans and an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Art and Practice of Leadership Development program, Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum, New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute, Loyola Institute of Politics and the Norman C. Francis Leadership Institute.
Currently employed by Liberty Bank & Trust Co., Ronald is a leader in both the real estate and commercial lending divisions, and still finds time to assist with several community initiatives.
His involvement in the community has been wide-ranging. He currently serves on: the Regional Planning Commission; Eastern New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission; New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute Board; New Orleans African American Museum Board; City Year New Orleans Advisory Board; Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans Board; VAYLA New Orleans Board; State of Louisiana Civil Service Commission; and the Urban League of Greater New Orleans Board.
He has also served on the board of Dress for Success Board; as campaign manager for several political candidates; on the planning committee for the Norman C. Francis Leadership Institute and the transition teams of Mayor Mitchell Landrieu and Sheriff Marlin Gusman.
DR. CHARLES TEAMER
Born in Shelby, North Carolina, Dr. Charles Carl Teamer, Sr. obtained his B.S. degree from Clark University in Atlanta and later completed his M.A. degree at the University of Nebraska and his Ph.D. at Tulane University in New Orleans.
Dr. Teamer has been deeply involved in strengthening New Orleans and making it a better place for all of its residents to call home through his dedicated service in a variety of areas.
A former vice president at Dillard University, he has served as the chair of the boards of the United Way, the Metropolitan Area Committee, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans and the World Trade Center.
He has been honored by a number of organizations, including the Junior Achievement, the Anti-Defamation League of B’Nai B’rith, the United Way, the Young Leadership Council and the Urban League of Greater New Orleans.
He has also served on the boards of Children’s Hospital, New Orleans Council Boy Scouts of America, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, GNO Inc., Entergy New Orleans, Oschner Medical Foundation, the Audubon Institute Foundation and the Audubon Zoo Commission.
He is a distinguished business and civic leader and also currently serves on the Board of Directors of First NBC Bank.
KARRAN HARPER ROYAL
Karran Harper Royal is the assistant director of Pyramid Community Parent Resource Center where she is the co-host of Pyramid Parent Talk, a radio show on WBOK 1230 AM radio in New Orleans. Mrs. Harper Royal is a tireless advocate for students with disabilities; and she has contributed to a number of broadcasts and publications related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and public education reform. She works as a consultant with the Southern Poverty Law Center and is a contributor with Research on Reforms. She’s a member of the National Journey for Justice Alliance, Coalition for Community Schools, the Louisiana Coalition for Public Education and the New Orleans Education Equity Roundtable.
Karran Harper Royal served on the national board of CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder) where she participated in a Congressional Black Caucus briefing on the combating mental health stigma in the African American community. She is also a founding staff member of the New Orleans Parent Organizing Network.
In 2013, she was honored by the NAACP New Orleans Branch for her work and has a received a number of awards in recognition of her advocacy on behalf of students and parents navigating the public education system.
Her two sons attended public school in Orleans Parish. The fact they have graduated has not stopped Karran Harper Royal from dedicating her life to helping other students and parents.
DR. RAYNARD SANDERS
As a high school principal, Dr. Raynard Sanders developed the first high school DNA lab in the state of Louisiana. He also developed the Creole Cottage Project, where students built houses and sold them to first-time homebuyers.
He is a contributor to Research on Reforms, and co-founder of The New Orleans Education Equity Roundtable. Dr. Sanders has served as the Executive Director of The National Faculty at New Orleans which worked with low-performing schools throughout the Mississippi and as Director of the Urban Education Program at Southern University at New Orleans.
He has also served on numerous boards over the years including the Plessy & Ferguson Foundation, Save our Schools, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana and the Louisiana Episcopal Community Services Board.
Currently, he is the host of the first local, weekly radio show that focuses on public education, The New Orleans Imperative. Through this show and a number of other related efforts, Dr. Sanders has worked to educate the community about the critical issues related to quality public education with the premise that fostering public awareness around public education is essential to creating an environment where equity and excellence is a standard for all children.
DR. JOSEPH BOUIE
Dr. Joseph Bouie received his bachelor’s degree from Southern University at New Orleans and holds a master’s degree in social work from Tulane University and a doctorate in Administration and Planning from Clark-Atlanta University.
To most New Orleanians, he is known for his many years of work as an educator and administrator at Southern University at New Orleans.
However, The New Orleans Tribune honors him for his work as an elected official. As the elected representative of house district 97, Dr. Bouie has been an uncompromised, clear voice for the people of New Orleans, standing up and speaking out in plain language for what is fair and right.
When state representative Bouie went to the state house for his very first term, he wasted no time authoring and introducing relevant legislation that spoke to the desires of his constituency—without reservation or trepidation.
And though HB 166 and HB 180 did not garner the votes needed to pass last session that has not stopped Bouie from vowing to present his bills again to continue to push for local control of public education and the right of every child to simply attend a public school not built on toxic dump site.
Dr. Bouie was re-elected in October.
JUSTICE & BEYOND
SOCIAL JUSTICE/CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
When unworthy challenges to the rightful appointment of the first African-American chief justice of the state supreme court arose, a coalition of community leaders, activists and organizations began to meet, rally, strategize and leverage their collective voice to demand justice.
Their goal was straightforward — Justice for Justice Johnson.
When that objective was accomplished, they didn’t pack up and leave. They didn’t stop. Instead they realized that our community faces a number issues beyond the one they had just taken up. They realized that there were varied and ample matters of concern that required attention.
Since then, moderators, organizers and members of Justice & Beyond have dedicated themselves to weekly meetings, planning sessions and most of all – action, coalescing around issues related to economic parity and minority businesses, education, criminal justice, and so much more including organizing to provide rides to polls on election days.
More importantly, they have provided a time and space for the community to contemplate salient issues. Justice and Beyond is wholly dedicated to galvanizing grassroots activism at a time when our community continues to recover and reclaim its place in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
This coalition has become an inspiration. But more than that, it is force to be reckoned with. Through the type of power and strength found in joining forces for common goals and common good, Justice and Beyond continues to demand accountability on behalf of the of the people of New Orleans.
Justice and Beyond is represented by its co-moderators Rev. Dr. Dwight Webster, pastor of Christian Unity Baptist Church, and Pat Bryant.
SOCIAL JUSTICE/CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Although Jacques Morial has chosen a different lifepath than his father and brother—both former mayors of the city of New Orleans—he, nonetheless, has served and continues to serve the people of New Orleans in his own very significant way.
Because of his well-informed political, social and civic knowledge and sense of justice and parity, he has emerged as a go-to source in the community for those seeking insightful guidance or analysis of salient issues.
He earned an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Chicago and completed post graduate level coursework and research at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He later earned a Master of Public Administration Degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where his studies concentrated on negotiation, dispute resolution, international diplomacy and international trade.
A native of New Orleans with more than 25 years of experience in the areas of community organization, public policy analysis and development, capital finance, dispute resolution and strategic communications, Morial has put his know-how to use for the people of this city
Since Hurricane Katrina, Jacques Morial has been involved as a community organizer and public advocate. He has fought for fairness and equity in a number of areas including housing, healthcare, environmental justice and workers’ rights. He has accomplished this work by joining with neighborhood and civic groups, social justice organizations, churches and international foundations to advance the cause of equitable recovery.
THE HONORABLE BERNETTE
A graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson was one of the first African-American women to attend the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University, where she received her Juris Doctorate degree in 1969. She also received an Honorary Doctorate in Law from Spelman College at commencement services in 2001.
Chief Justice Johnson’s judicial career began in 1984 when she was the first woman elected to serve on the Civil District Court of New Orleans. In 1994, her colleagues elected her Chief Judge. Chief Justice Johnson was then elected to serve on the Louisiana Supreme Court in 1994, and was re-elected without opposition in 2000 and 2010. As the senior justice on the Court, she was sworn in as Chief Justice on February 1, 2013. She is the Court’s 25th Chief Justice, its second female Chief Justice, and its first African-American Chief Justice.
And we were all inspired by the grace and dignity she exuded even as she faced challenges to assuming the position.
On the bench, Chief Justice Johnson emphasizes principles of fairness and equality. As Chief Justice, she chairs the Louisiana Judicial Council and the Human Resources Committee, and is a member of the Judicial Budgetary Control Board.
Chief Justice Johnson has always been an advocate for social justice and civil rights. She worked as a community organizer with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense & Educational Fund, and at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Following law school, Chief Justice Johnson became the Managing Attorney of the New Orleans Legal Assistance Corporation (NOLAC), where she provided legal services to clients in socio-economically deprived neighborhoods. She practiced in federal, state and juvenile courts, advancing the rights of children, the poor, the elderly and the disenfranchised. In 1981, Chief Justice Johnson joined the City Attorney’s staff, and later became a Deputy City Attorney for the City of New Orleans.