Mitch Landrieu, E Pluribus Unum Launch First Cohort Of Policy Scholars To Address Systemic Racism
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2021
(NEW ORLEANS, LA) – Today, former New Orleans Mayor and E Pluribus Unum Founder & President Mitch Landrieu announced the organization’s inaugural cohort of Policy Scholars, an initiative that seeks to engage with researchers across the South to advance public policy by providing independent, in-depth, and actionable policy recommendations that advance racial equity and address systemic racism in America.
At EPU, we believe that the solutions to our problems as a nation will come from and by the South. If we don’t utilize the intellectual capital the bright minds of today afford the South, we risk losing it and missing opportunities to create the South as we should have in the first place. That’s why we’re tapping southern scholars to address the issues we face in the South.
E Pluribus Unum aims to help illuminate the policy challenges policymakers are facing while dealing with the compounded challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus will be on actions at the state and local levels.
Mayor Landrieu said, “Though the events of the past year and a half have sparked a nationwide conversation around racial equity and systemic racism, policy changes have been few and fleeting. Institutionalized racism pervades nearly every system in the nation, including financial, educational, health, housing, criminal justice, and voting. Leaders at every level are trying to understand our nation’s collective failure to fully address the long-standing issues of police brutality, rampant poverty, the racial wealth gap, and deeply entrenched healthcare inequities. The urgency to tackle these issues head-on is evident. That’s why we’re partnering with this cohort of knowledgeable and accomplished researchers to develop data- and research-driven policy recommendations for the leaders of today.”
Part of our three-pronged focus at E Pluribus Unum is to champion transformative policy change. The organization has worked to identify where inequities exist, their structural causes and the environments and conditions that perpetuate them. Now, EPU is working to accelerate change to create equal access to opportunity, democracy, and justice under the law at the local, state and federal levels. The Policy Scholars program will foster the creation of high-quality research and innovative policy prescriptions that can be impactful in the American South. Its mission is to advance public policies that help all Americans prosper in strong, fair and sustainable communities.
Through this initiative, E Pluribus Unum will elevate diverse voices from southern institutions and researchers with unique experiences and insights. The inaugural Policy Scholars are:
- Leslie Taylor Grover, Ph.D.—President-Founder, Assisi House, Inc.: Dr. Grover will be working in conjunction with fellow Policy Scholar Dr. Revathi Hines on the production of research and a set of workshops that provide actionable tools for policy makers to address pandemic induced housing challenges, a model of engagement for communities addressing contentious subjects, and addressing burnout among frontline workers during the pandemic. More on Dr. Grover here
- Revathi Hines, Ph.D.—Vice President, Assisi House, Inc.: Dr. Hines will be working in conjunction with fellow Policy Scholar Dr. Leslie Taylor Grover on the production of research and a set of workshops that provide actionable tools for policy makers to address pandemic induced housing challenges, a model of engagement for communities addressing contentious subjects, and addressing burnout among frontline workers during the pandemic. More on Dr. Hines here
- Mark Little, Ph.D.—Executive Direction, CREATE, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: In his research, Dr. Little will leverage his combined experience researching southern economic development and his work with the United Nations (UN) to explore how the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals can be applied to the American South to address long standing racial inequities. More on Dr. Little here
- Gregory N. Price, Ph.D. — Professor of Economics, University of New Orleans: As an economist, Dr. Price’s work will bring both an economic and a racial equity lens to examining the distribution of environmental quality, entrepreneurship opportunities for justice-involved populations, and the distribution of recovery funding. More on Dr. Price here
- Stephen Sills, Ph.D.—Professor and Director of The Center for Housing and Community Studies, University of North Carolina-Greensboro: Leveraging his years of experience as an applied researcher, Dr. Sills will provide innovative approaches for community leaders to uncover and address disparities linked to historical disinvestment and discrimination in housing. More on Dr. Sills here
E Pluribus Unum’s Director of Policy and Advocacy Donnie Charleston said, “The American South produces a wealth of talent and innovation, and these scholars represent just a sample of those intellectual riches. EPU is proud to partner with these scholars to advance inclusive and equitable policies for the entire country.”
In searching for this innovative inaugural class, E Pluribus Unum prioritized researchers who have particular insights on the American South. The team initially sought recommendations from influential researchers conducting research related to the COVID recovery and its intersections with longstanding systematic challenges in American society. To learn more about the EPU Policy Scholars program, visit https://www.unumfund.org/policy-scholars/.
ABOUT E PLURIBUS UNUM
Founded by former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu in 2018, E Pluribus Unum (EPU) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to build a more just, inclusive and equitable South, uprooting the barriers that have long divided the region by race and class. EPU’s focus is on cultivating and empowering courageous leaders who are focused on racial equity, changing the divisive narratives that perpetuate systemic and interpersonal racism and championing transformative policy change. To learn more, visit www.unumfund.org.