Rev. Willie L. Calhoun, Jr. has lived in the Lower 9th Ward his whole life. He's always been an active community member, but now his visionary leadership is beginning to transform the neighborhood. Last week we spoke to him about his love, vision, and plan for the Lower 9th Ward.
It was over a year ago that Rev. Calhoun was having dinner in Diane and Austin Allen's home and they were struck with the idea of inviting the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to the Lower 9th Ward. They knew the AIA had had success in creating revitalization plans for similar communities around the country. It was their desire to have their own community see those successes, and come together, and build a plan for their own future.
On their invitation, along with a steering committee of other neighborhood leaders - and after an extensive application process - the AIA sent a team to the L9W. The neighborhood did comThank you We would like to say a huge "Thank You" to Rev. Calhoun for his unending service to this neighborhood and for taking a few moments to speak with us last week!e together for a series of meetings, and at the end of the project, Rev. Calhoun chaired the meeting where the AIA presented their recommendations.
The Housing Table
The AIA recognized 4 key features of the community, and established working tables in each of these areas: Culture, Infrastructure, Economic Development and Housing. The L9WHA has had the privilege of participating in this process with Rev. Calhoun by facilitating the Housing Table. Our first goal is to orchestrate the building of 10 new homes in the L9 in 2019. Our Housing Director, MA Sheehan, is also serving on an organizing committee with Rev. Calhoun to create an ongoing space for all L9 residents to be included in the decision-making process, to receive vital information, and to be able to share their input.
(Pictured Above: Members of the L9W Steering Committee, including Rev. Calhoun (center), and members of the AIA team, visit Bayou Bienvenue. Photo by Keith Calhoun.)
We would like to say a huge "Thank You" to Rev. Calhoun for his unending service to this neighborhood and for taking a few moments to speak with us last week!
We invite you to help us support Rev. Calhoun in his work by donating to the L9WHA on GiveNOLA Day, May 7th. By donating, you will help the L9WHA to continue facilitating the AIA Housing Table and to support the incredible work Rev. Calhoun has dedicated his life to!
To learn more about GiveNOLA day, the AIA process, and to schedule your GiveNOLA donation, visit: www.GiveNOLA.org/L9WHA
**DOUBLE YOUR DONATION! Two long-time partners of the L9WHA have generously agreed to match all donations made for GiveNOLA up to $2000 – double your impact with a GiveNOLA gift!!**
--And if you're in the New Orleans area, join us at Urban South Brewery from 6-8 pm on GiveNOLA day (May 7th) to celebrate this special day! --