Education Reform Now to hold annual conference in Washington, D.C.



Education Reform Now to hold annual conference in Washington, D.C.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to receive first ever ‘Change Agent Award’

NEW ORLEANS, LA – This week, Education Reform Now (ERN) will commence its fourth annual conference, Philos, in Washington, D.C. at the Fairmont Hotel. Philos convenes an influential group of stakeholders in the education reform movement: the thought leaders, philanthropists, and local, state, and national elected and appointed officials fighting for our nation’s schoolchildren, from classrooms to Capitol Hill. Participants attend Philos to connect, share experience, exchange policy ideas, and gear up for what’s next in the changing landscape of American public education.

As part of the conference, attendees will gather at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on the evening of Wednesday, November 15 to recognize leaders across the country who are committed to improving the lives of children. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will receive the inaugural ‘Change Agent Award,’ recognizing his leadership and commitment to changing student lives in New Orleans and throughout the country. The Change Agent Award is intended to recognize elected leaders who have taken bold and brave steps to not only improve the lives of students in their communities, but spur innovation and an ongoing commitment to equity and excellence for students everywhere.

ERN State Director Eva Kemp offered thoughts on Mayor Landrieu’s award, saying, “Because of Mayor Landrieu’s leadership, New Orleans shines as a beacon both for expanding educational opportunity for young people, especially children from low-income families, and initiating the kind of honest, tough conversations that are necessary for our nation to bridge the racial divisions that have confounded our country since its founding. It is clear that Mayor Landrieu embodies the values and leadership for this recognition, given his commitment to a quality education for all students in New Orleans and his  courageous actions for equity in our city. We hope that more leaders here and across the country take his lead and we look forward to seeing what the future has in store.” Some of ERN’s partners in Louisiana also offered the following thoughts on Mayor Landrieu’s award:

Dr. Henderson Lewis, Superintendent of the Orleans Parish School Board said, “More than anything, I want to say thank you to Mayor Landrieu. He has led New Orleans through one of our most challenging periods and has put young people at the very center of his agenda. From supporting important school reforms and rebuilding the now nationally accredited New Orleans Recreation Department to expanding the youth summer jobs program and starting Midnight Basketball, Mayor Landrieu has been a truly great leader and partner. Once again, thank you, and congratulations on this terrific honor. It is well deserved.”

Erika McConduit, President & CEO, Urban League of Louisiana said, “Mayor Landrieu’s policies and initiatives to expand economic and workforce development, coupled with a violence reduction strategy, are rooted in the understanding that children cannot thrive if their families aren’t thriving. In this body of work he has focused on opportunity youth, the chronically unemployed and African American men, and thoughtfully prioritized expanded opportunities for young people such as his Midnight Basketball Program. He’s been a great partner to New Orleans Public Schools teaming up to expand summer youth employment in the City. He’s taken bold steps to confront racial discrimination and to build bridges between communities who have historically been at odds in order that they may form unexpected partnerships and alliances aimed at reconciliation, justice and peace. Mayor Landrieu is a model of courageous leadership, a wonderful example for our children, our community and the nation at large.”

Caroline Roemer, Executive Director of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools said, “Mayor Landrieu gets it. He knows that the future of New Orleans is sitting in K-12 classrooms across the city  and he keeps them at the forefront of all that he does as Mayor. He was instrumental in securing funding to rebuild New Orleans schools following Hurricane Katrina, and in the years since then, he has successfully expanded recreation and summer camp opportunities for thousands of students. He is a leader that believes in the power of parents making choices about their children’s education and we are so grateful and appreciative of him.”

Carrie Monica, Executive Director of Stand for Children Louisiana said, “Mayor Landrieu has served as a tremendous example of leadership in the education space as he guided the Crescent City through an educational transformation that has become the North Star for other cities as a premier, innovative approach to improving opportunity, outcomes, and lifetime success for traditionally underserved students. Mayor Landrieu’s consistent support as a champion for improved student outcomes has helped us protect progress, while dreaming even higher for all of our students.”

Stacy Martin, Louisiana State Director of Black Alliance for Educational Options said, “BAEO Louisiana congratulates Mayor Landrieu on this award and on his successful tenure as mayor of New Orleans. Our city and our students are better because of his leadership. His commitment to high quality school options and equity for every child has made significant impacts on our students and should be recognized for years to come.”

Jamar McKneely, CEO of InspireNOLA Charter School Network said, “Mayor Landrieu is a true leader for our city and our children. Over the last eight years, Mayor Landrieu has been one of the strongest advocates for New Orleans public education and specifically, replicating and expanding high quality charter schools that serve the unique needs of children in our city. Without an advocate for student and parent choice as Mayor, our city would not have made the strides it did during those critical rebuilding and recovery years. Mayor Landrieu believes in our kids and he believes in the leaders who, like me, have a vision for providing a world class education for each and every student right here at home.”

Sarah Newell Usdin, Orleans Parish School Board Member for District 3 said, “It’s important to have Democratic leaders who take bold steps toward high quality, equitable opportunities for our students. It’s been an honor to serve as an Orleans Parish School Board member during Mayor Landrieu’s tenure in New Orleans; our young people and our city are better because of his leadership.”

Jonathan A. Wilson, President of the 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans said, “100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans congratulates Mayor Landrieu on this honor. We’ve been lucky to have a leader who believes that all young people have a fighting chance at becoming successful citizens.”

Patrick Dobard, CEO of New Schools New Orleans said, “Since Mayor Landrieu took office he has been a true champion of public education. Our schools made unprecedented progress during his tenure and now more students are graduating and heading off to college than ever before. His ongoing support of the teachers, leaders, students, and families that make up our school system has helped make this transformation possible.”


Contact: Leslie Leavoy,