Friday, August 26, 2011

Wanda's Picks: Year Six, Annual Hurricane Katrina Report Back

Sheila Phipps, artist, speaks about her son, No Limit Rapper, "Mac," who is serving 30 years, and her art currently at Sandra Berry's Neighborhood Gallery in New Orleans, who she says is innocent. Visit

Kenneth Cooper
is an independent writer and life-long resident of New Orleans. He recently graduated from the University of New Orleans (UNO) in 2008 with a degree in English and has his work published in the New Orleans Review, the Alternet, Sync504, and the New Orleans Examiner.

Meshawn Tarver: New Executive Director, Common Ground Health Clinic, graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana and went on to graduate from George Washington University with a Masters in Public Health. After her graduate studies, Meshawn returned to New Orleans and worked as the Senior Program Coordinator for Breastfeeding at Tulane Xavier National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health where she developed various breastfeeding programs educating the community, workplaces, health care providers and medical and public health students. In particular she developed a lay health education program called the Mommy and Mentor Alliance (MAMA).

Meshawn went on to become the Louisiana Statewide Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Supervisor for the Louisiana WIC Program and formed the Greater New Orleans Breastfeeding Awareness Coalition which has blossomed to initiate a statewide breastfeeding coalition and other regional coalitions.

Later she worked as the Director of Administration and Operations with the Youth Empowerment Project where she was instrumental in starting an educational program, NOPLAY, for at-risk and out-of school youth ages 16-24 with the goal of serving only 40 youth a year but grew to serve over 200 in the first year and over 400 in subsequent years with a budget ten times larger.

In June 2010 Meshawn became Executive Director of Common Ground Health Clinic (CGHC), a patient centered integrated medical home, serving the underinsured and uninsured population. CGHC also provides herbal medicine, acupuncture, women’s wellness group and broad array of classes including health education, cooking, gardening and art classes.

Meshawn, also a Certified HypnoBirthing Instructor, is married with three daughters who she birth using the natural childbirthing philosophy of HypnoBirthing. She is advocate for maternal and child’s health, healthcare access, youth and economic development.

Parnell Herb, "Poetic Panther," Katrina Survivor, who is on the road to Angola State Prison to visit Zulu, an inmate there. A member of the Coalition to Free the Angola 3, Herb, wrote a play about the Angola 3 which opened in NO two years ago and was recently produced in Houston at the 40th Anniversary of the murder of Carl Hampton, founder of the Black Panther Party affiliate organization, the People's Party 2. His story, edited by D-Ann Penner, Dr. Keith C. Ferdinand, is told in Overcoming Katrina.

Robert H. King, former political prisoner, only free member of the Angola 3, is author of From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Black Panther Robert Hillary King, with an introduction by Dr. Terry Kupers, MD, MSP. Kupers recently testified at the California Legislative Hearing hosted by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Assemblymember of the 13th District, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011. He spoke to the Research-Based Perspectives on Secure Housing Units or the SHU where inmates at Pelican Bay initiated a hunger strike for more humane and just treatment July 1-20, 2011. Their five basic demands have still not been met and from the statements made by CDCR representatives that same afternoon, the demands if met, will not be met any time soon. I expect a resumption of the strike. For people who are interested, I suggest you visit the website:

Aaron Viles is the deputy director of the Gulf Restoration Network, the only non profit environmental advocacy group with an exclusive focus on the Gulf of Mexico. Based in New Orleans, Aaron leads GRN’s response to the BP drilling disaster and the organization’s efforts to protect and restore coastal habitats throughout the Gulf. Dan, joins us in Aaron's place.

The second half of the program is a discussion with actors: L. Peter Callendar (Red Carter), Charles Branklyn (Hedley), and Shinelle Azoroh (Ruby), who are in the Marin Theatre Company production of August Wilson's Seven Guitars, up through September 11, 2011. Visit or call (415)388-5208.

Check out the review published posted earlier this month:

Music played this show were Somi's "When the Rain Comes" and Babatunde Olatunde Lea's title track on "Umbo Weti: Tribute to Leon Thomas."


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