BRCHR Newsletter


The Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations -- ꡮ, Feb, Mar 2004, Vol 39 No. 2





Richard Haymaker,



Marjorie Green,

Vice President


Joyce Robinson, Secretary


Mercedese Broussard, Asst. Secretary


Dan Yannitell, Treasurer


Phil Woodland,

Past President


Board Members


Evelyn Albert

Mercedese Broussard

Leslie Burris

Thomas Clemons

James Cross

Hallique Dawson

Jehad Mahmoud

Rogers Newman

Patrice Niquille

Margaret Pereboom

Joyce Robinson

254 Nelson Dr.

Baton Rouge, LA


225 766 6432

Stand up for Children

A Rally for Children on the steps of the state capitol,쯳pan>Tuesday April 20, 11:00 AM,쯳pan>Governor Kathleen Blanco to speak,

49 (and counting) statewide organizations have signed on


The program committee of the Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations, with Phil Woodland taking the lead,쯳pan>proposed last December that we time our spring forum to coincide with the legislative session with the theme: funding for childrenੳsues.༯span>The Council is now쯳pan>a member of the Children튠 Coalition which became the organizing base.This was the쯳pan>right idea at the right time쯳pan>and the forum grew into a rally in which we expectmany hundreds of people to attend.We will invite all legislators.The rally will focus on preserving and expanding funding for pre K and health care for children.


Our success in influencing state government depends crucially on turnout at the rally.༯span>Please make every effort to be there for one hour.쯳pan>Parking will be available on the west side of river road near the state capitol.


The flyer is enclosed.༯span>An electronic version is available.쯳pan>Contact us at our email쯳pan> to receive a copy.༯span>Please copy the flyer as you wish and take it to your place of worship and other gathering places.࠼/span>Please help spread the word.




February 19 Membership Meeting

Speaker,꼯span>Dr. Annette Bookter


The Director of Human Resources for City-Parish government,쯳pan>Dr. Annette Bookter,쯳pan>spoke쯳pan>at our February membership meeting.༯span>When she stepped in over a year ago the office was r a cloud䵥 to a high profile firing of the previous director.쯳pan>Dr. Bookter has a mandate to move quickly to plan a diversification program. The Council is offering our help in building public support for her vision.༯span>She described four steps for implementation:




ﳰan>쯳pan>Leveling the Playing Field: The grievance process has been revised to bring it more in line with쯳pan>EEO policies. Over 2000 employees have been trained on ﲫ With Respect쳰an style="mso-spacerun: yes">쯳pan>She is working to expand the selection pool for new hires from the present three top scorers on the civil service exam.


ﳰan>쯳pan>Educational Programs:쯳pan>There are mentoring programs and awareness courses integrating diversity throughout.


ﳰan>쯳pan>Workforce/Succession Planning: Over 65% of the current workforce will be retiring in the next few years. Benefits are good but salaries are low.쯳pan>She plans to add more employment levels to provide for fair compensation for highly qualified persons.


ﳰan>쯳pan>Evaluation: The present employee쯳pan>evaluation has two levels:쯳pan>satisfactory or unsatisfactory.쯳pan>Beginning in January 2005, the system will change to allow finer gradations.


We ask council members to be aware of the difficu-lty of changing an entrenched bureaucracy, to let us know of any relevant information,쯳pan>and to participate쯳pan>in쯳pan>any쯳pan>initiatives in support of Dr. Bookter.



Annual Humanitarian Award



The 24th annual Powell-Reznikoff Humanitarian Awards this year went to Rev. Charles T. Smith and to Tom and Kathy Gess.


Rev. Smith is the pastor at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, on Eddie Robinson Sr. Drive,쯳pan>a landmark institution offering programs and broad support for so many people in the community.༯span>He is also a member of several community organizations including the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors쯳pan>of the Young Leaders Academy and LSU튃ommunity Advisory Committee for Campus Diversity.


The Gesses have been involved with the Battered Womanвogram, the Interchurch Conference Committee on Criminal Justice and Friends of꼯span>Families.쯳pan>For the past eight years, they have focused on Louisiana Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants or CURE.쯳pan>They have received both national and local awards for their work.



Neo-Nazis Attempting to Organize in South Baton Rogue


The Neo-Nazi ᴩonal Allianceനeir founder,쯳pan>William Pierce;쯳pan>and the novel they promote, 襠Turner Diaries,㰡n style="mso-spacerun: yes">쯳pan>have become household words after the Oklahoma City bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in 1995.쯳pan>Their ideology쯳pan>was a major influence on Timothy McVey.쯳pan>


This organization has now distributed recruiting쯳pan>flyers to over four hundred homes in the Kenilworth subdivision and surrounding areas.༯span>


A resident of the area, Dotti Berry, received one of the flyers and acted promptly to report it in every way she could.쯳pan>She located the Human Relations쯳pan>Council through our registration in the East쯳pan>Baton Rouge Parish Library. She reported the incident to the Southern Poverty Law Center.쯳pan>We wish to commend her for raising community awareness and reminding us that it can happen here.


There is a New Orleans P.O. Box쯳pan>address on the flyer.쯳pan>The web site can be found through Google쯳pan>and one can see how insidious an organization this is.쯳pan>



The B. R. Advocacy Coalition for Economic and Racial Justice


The Council is moving forward with this initiative which we reported in the last newsletter.༯span>Invitations to join the coalition have been sent to organizations on our advisory committee for their final review: The YWCA of Greater Baton Rouge, Working Interfaith Network,쯳pan>Bien-

ville House for Peace and Justice and the Greater Baton Rouge Federation of Churches and Synagogues.༯span>The YWCA has joined.


Our mission is to be an information clearinghouse for organizations that have the elimination of racism쯳pan>as part of their mission.쯳pan>We will post on our web site (i) a profile of쯳pan>each group,쯳pan>(ii) contact infor-mation,쯳pan>(iii) links to their web sites and (iv) a calendar of events related to this mission.꼯span>Our goal is to bring more cohesion to the movement to end racism and to become better acquainted with all efforts in the community.





The쯳pan>BR Council is co-sponsoring a pilot쯳pan>interfaith dialogue among the faith communities stemming from Abraham.튼/span>This is a response to a book by Bruce Feiler: ⲡham ᠊ourney of Three Faiths.㰡n style="mso-spacerun: yes">쯳pan>The group쯳pan>will seek representatives of both synagogues, both mosques and Catholic and Protestant congregations.쯳pan>Hopefully the pilot group will lead to further dialogue groups across the city.


Co-sponsors are the National Conference of Com-munity and Justice and The Greater Baton Rouge Federation of Churches and Synagogues.꼯span>



In Memoriam


Two of our very close friends on the Council passed away recently.튼/span>Dorothy Newman and Kathleen Burns were both dear to our hearts as friends and activists working쯳pan>along with their Council member husbands Rogers Newman and Paul Burns.쯳pan>They will be missed.쯳pan>Our hearts go out to their families.


Dorothy Newman


Dorothy Alice Willis Newman passed away on January 21, 2004.쯳pan>She was serving as a board member of the Council at the time of her death.쯳pan>


Dorothy was born in Monroe, Louisiana. She received쯳pan>degrees at Southern University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison and continued her studies at LSU, Harvard University and

Columbia University.༯span>She joined the English Department at Southern University in 1953쯳pan>where she remained until her retirement in 1998.쯳pan>


Donations in her memory may be made to Southern University English Faculty Scholarship Fund, Department of English, Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA 70813


Kathleen Burns


Kathleen C. Burns passed away on쯳pan>March 14, 2004.쯳pan>She had served as a director on the Council board.


Kathleen was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She served in many capacities during 49 years at the University Presbyterian Church.쯳pan>Her volunteer work included many Baton Rouge organizations including Meals on Wheels, International Hospitality, Friends of Public Education,꼯span>Operation Upgrade,쯳pan>Peace Links and the YWCA.࠼/span>She received the Wade-Mackie Peacemaking Award from Bienville House for Peace and Justice.쯳pan>


Memorial donations can be made to University Presbyterian Church, 3240 Dalrymple Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70802



Email Database


The council now has an email address:쯳pan>tbrcohr@yahoo.com༯span>(remember the full initials).࠼/span>We would like to get email addresses from the membership.쯳pan>Very often the directors are alerted to events of interest.쯳pan>We will be able to contact the membership more easily and with no cost if we have your email addresses.༯span>Please send a brief message, including your name, to our new email address and then we can capture it and쯳pan>enter it into our new database.쯳pan>




































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