Event generates funds to support programs in that serve Boy Scouts in urban communities

The 2018 Southeast Louisiana Council – Boy Scouts of America will host its Diversity In Scouting Gala  Thursday, Sept. 20, with a reception that begins at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and the program at 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

The Southeast Louisiana Council, Boy Scouts of America will provide youth development and leadership programs to approximately 7,000 young people in 11 parishes through Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venturing, Exploring and Learning for Life programs during 2018.

Funds raised from the Diversity in Scouting Gala will provide a variety of program services, support services, and direct support to individual scouts with a focus on inner-city programs.

This event will also honor several local leaders.

Bernette Joshua Johnson, Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court will be honored with the Whitney M Young, Jr. Award Honoree. As a community organizer with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Chief Justice Johnson educated and galvanized parents of school-aged children. While studying law, she interned with the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Chief Justice Johnson worked on discrimination cases that would structure the framework for the implementation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Having mastered the positions of manager, counselor, and litigator, she then ascended to the judiciary. She was installed as the 25th chief justice of the state’s highest court in February 2013.

Also being honored with the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award is Demetric Maria Mercadel, who serves as the Public Affairs Senior Customer Service Specialist at Entergy.  Mercadel’s service on countless boards, accomplishments as a statewide leader and as a public servant have earned her a spot in the Louisiana Center for Women in Government & Business Hall of Fame. She also received the Order of St. Louis IX Medallion, an honor bestowed on individuals devoted to the work of the Catholic Church throughout the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

New Orleans City Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen will be honored with the Asian American Spirit of Scouting. Nguyen moved to the United States at 5 years old with her family as they fled the fall of Saigon Before making history as the first Asian-American elected to the New Orleans City Council, Nguyen, a mother of six, worked as community organizer and was the co-founder of Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training (VIET), which helps break down economic barriers for Vietnamese families and connects them to resources. She serves on the board of New Orleans Chamber of Commerce and New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network and is an alumnus of the Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Fellow program.

Ileana Suquet will be honored with the Vala La Pena Award. Suquet is a well-known and involved community activist who is currently President of New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation and has been on the Greater New Orleans Foundation Board, Arts Council, Audubon Nature Institute’s Zoo-to-Do Committee and Board of Directors of Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. She also served on the Board of Trustees of Loyola University New Orleans and is a member of the Women of the Storm, Miracle Makers Committee for the Tom and Gayle Benson Cancer Center and the Catholic Women’s Giving Circle.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities or to purchase tickets, contact Torrey Hayden at (office) 504-889-0388 or (cell) 504-458-3361 or via email at torrey.hayden@scouting.org.

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