United Negro College Fund Leadership Conference 2010 in New Orleans, LA

So I am in Day 3 of the UNCF Leadership Conference in New Orleans, LA and it has been really interesting and helpful for both the college students and me. The trip up to the Crescent City was just like a restful road trip, alternately between long naps and fun movie watching of Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married. It also felt a little like I was going to a Youth Retreat but I didn’t know anyone on the bus. The students were sleeping most of the ride to LA yet strangely, it was almost natural to fall into Advisor/Chaperone-mode. The trip took about 12 hrs.

We arrived in New Orleans at about 2PM Miami Time (3PM NOLA Time) and checked in. My room is at the top floor of the first half of the hotel (29th) so I have a great view of Canal Street from my window. Strangely, Canal Street reminds me a lot of the Canal Street from NYC (small greasy spoon eateries mingled with nationally recognized stores like CVS, Payless, and Popeye’s). The further uptown you went, the nicer the area became.

I learned on the hotel’s public access channel that in the 19th century, Canal Street was supposed to an actual canal so it was widened. But I guess the plans fell through. It later became a boundary between the American and French Creole cultures and communities during the 19th century. The cultural diversity was so strong that the money at that time in NOLA was written in English on one side and French on the other.

Another thing that I noticed when I took a trip to Bourbon Street was that the younger local New Orleans citizens don’t eat Creole and Cajun cusine regularly at all; they rather eat soul food like fried chicken, red beans and rice, Popeye’s chicken, etc.

Stay Tuned!

This is a picture I took with the Social Secretary for the White House and Personal Assistant of President Barack H. Obama. Her name is Desiree Rogers. She was very welcoming and humble when I met her, a true extension of the First Lady herself. I told her that it was an honor to meet her and that I also admired her strength in the face of adversity communicated in the current news.

For those who don’t know what I am talking about, let me give you some background . . .

About 3-6 months ago, Mrs. Rogers planned a wonderful party at the White House for dignataries from the country of India. It was a very exclusive affair; only the best of the best were admitted. Unfortunately, there was a couple who was invited to the event but because they were dressed appropriately and looked like they belonged, the Secret Service admitted them without question.

It was later found out that Mrs. Rogers did compile the guest list that was circulated to the Secret Service (the “bouncers” at the event) but at two checkpoints, the Secret Service did not have the list but let the couple in anyway. The news got a whiff of this story and it was publicized everywhere but the blame was laid upon Mrs. Rogers, claiming that she was socializing with the guests instead of checking the invitations. But what was not publicized was that her job responsibility for that night was to generate the guest list and make the guests feel comfortable. The Secret Service was in charge of screening, “bouncing” out anyone who did not belong.

The news got so bad that many people in Congress demanded that Mrs. Rogers confess to the fault in open court. Rightly, the White House blocked that request. So she didn’t lose her job and stayed true to the truth. We all can learn a great deal from this wonderful woman.

27 thoughts on “United Negro College Fund Leadership Conference 2010 in New Orleans, LA

  1. WOW…! I bet your having a blast up there. Never been to New Orleans, so I really couldn’t tell you about it. But What had cought my attention was when you said that, the diversity between the the French and American was so strong. That on the money it had English on one side and on the other it had French. I never know that New Orleans had something to do with that. But what can I say, I just learned something new….

    • Thank you! Yeh, it’s pretty interesting. I went to Borboun St. two nights ago and these two clerks at a clothing store set me straight about real NOLA cuisine that young citizens eat. I was like “WOW! But you have this great history . . . ” They were like “We didn’t care about all that! My grandma likes food like that!” LOL! Wow, what a disconnect! It’s just like Harlem kids!

  2. niesje8 says:

    this conference looks pretty interesting. i’m glad that you told us about the United Negro College Fund Leadership Conference 2010 in New Orleans, LA, because I didn’t know it was taking place. hope u are having fun over there, and learn more about the children over there.

    • The Beyonce interview was very interesting. Even though shes very rich and famous she is very humble.I personaly think that the destiny’s child was holding her back. This is because ever ever since she left the group she has been on top in many ways. Shes now a actress, singer ,and dancer. She has it all. Being 28 and won 10 grammies i think thats a success for anyone.

  3. I bet your having a blast up there. Never been to New Orleans, so I really couldn’t tell you about it.Thank you for telling me about the United Negro College Fund Leadership Conference 2010 in New Orleans, LA, because I didn’t know it was taking place.

  4. Seems like your having a great time up there. Very informative since I thought all they ate in New Orleans was cajun food. I always wanted to go to New Orleans and see what type of culture they have there.

  5. cutebabycee says:

    I hope you’re having a great time. I never been to New Orleans, but while reading your blog I could picture it in my mind a bit. The money in Nola seems pretty cool. I would love to see one, so bring us back a dollar.

  6. Wow you really sounds like you are enjoying yourself. I hope you have a great time. I have never been to New Orleans, but I have always dream of going there one day. I really thank you for informing me on the conference. I did not know it was in New Orleans this year.

  7. morf0128 says:

    I hope you are having a blast. I’m sure the food is amazing, have you tried crawfish? Im a huge fan of them. Also,I was curious, how are the fans in preparation to the Super Bowl?

  8. It’s nice to hear that you are having a blast on your trip. I need to do some serious research on NO. I didn’t even know about “Canal Street”. Anyway, I hope to take a picture up to NO some time soon. Oh and nice picture 🙂

    • It’s nice to hear that you are having a blast on your trip. I need to do some serious research on NO. I didn’t even know about “Canal Street”. Anyway, I hope to take a trip up to NO some time soon. Oh and nice picture 🙂

  9. Jean Daverne.It is nice the you had a chance to experience a wonderful expedation.I always wanted to visit the city of New Orlean since childhood. I would want to visit New Orlean to hear the wonderful sound of jazz and eat the great food there. I never knew that the cultural diversity was so strong that it had English written on one side and French on the other. I studied about the Canal Street how beautiful the view was. One day I will visit that city also be involved with UNCF Leadership Conference.

  10. crenshaw02 says:

    beside’s your trip to new orleans the issue with mrs.rogers is perpetuous, personally i think the goverment wants themselves to look good so they need a person to blame and this was a case where they didnt want to be looked at by america as unprofessional…….

  11. lachrisa09 says:

    Just finished watching President Obama video “Weekly Address: Opening doors for small business”. I think what he want to do for the small businesses is a very great plan. Because a business always start small and most of them end up being bigger long as they have help and support, like what President Obama is giving. I like that President Obama is not just focusing on one thing but is trying his best to work on everthing step by step. Let’s me know that my vote is making a difference for real.

    Lacrishia Jeffries

  12. What miss Rogers did make shows great courage and honesty. There is not alot of people who would of told the truth just like that. They would have told a fib or spice things up to look good on their behalf. New Orleans sounded like a fantastic area. I never been their but the way the article spoke about it i felt like i was their.

  13. rays09 says:

    I’ve always wanted to visit NO, the history and sites there appear to be interesting. I didn’t know that the United Negro College Fund conference took place there either.

  14. tyshona says:

    The conference sounded like so much fun! Especially because it was in New Orleans, I have wanted to go there ever since Katrina.And to go representing the UNCF as one of there supporting schools must have been amazing.It suprised me that you said the younger people dont eat as much Creole and Cajun cusine because I was under the same impression as you. Im not even from there nd I love their food and would eat it everday if I could but I understand that they most likely grew tired of eating the same old same old. And i heard the story about Desiree Rogers, and I dont think I was her fault that two stragers.uninvited guest got in with no hesatation.

  15. I never knew that they had two sides one in french and the other in english. I wonder if a lot of people still eat Creole and Cajun cusine like they did in the past years?

  16. vesp0405 says:

    Im jealous of your trip. I have always wanted to visit new orleans to enjoy the creole culture and all that good stuff. I hope to become a UNCF member one day.

  17. darlida says:

    I never been to New Orleans It sound like you had a nice time. I would love to go to New Orleans. I also would like to see some of the places you seen. I also Would like to try the Cajun and Creole food.

  18. shanistar89 says:

    I have never been to new orleans but i am planning a trip for next year mardi gras. It sounds like you had a nice time. I think meeting anybody that was even in the same room with president obama is exciting and life changing. You can only imagine if i every meet him what my reaction might be.

  19. I was stunned about the article. I beleive that the secret service needed a scapegoat to get out of their own guilt. So they blamed it on Mrs. Rogers, then soon enough the news got to the media and the secret service did not want to look bad in the public eye. Eventually Mrs. Rogers stayed true to the fact that she was not guilt of the uninvited guest and that rest her case.

  20. I mostly enjoyed reading this blog, more so because i can relate. i was born and raised in New Orleans, LA, and all my years living there i never knew the history about Canal St. This city has an huge impact on my life and i glad you had a chance to visit knowing it will never be the same due to Hurricane Katrina

  21. danero242 says:

    I think it is very cool that you get to go on such a trip, because you get to interact with other people who you don’t even know. It also brings back memories of road trips in the passed and the fun that they possed. One would think that it was the perfect occasion to learn about the culture and life of those places.

  22. Im glad to see that your enjoying your trip,and that is education related.And I remember the story about the couple who crash the dinner party and the white house.It’s a blessing that everything was later resolve and Mrs.Rogers was able to keep her job

  23. wwwlboogie81 says:

    hmm that sounds like rateher interesting trip. anways as far as ms.rogers goes she is most defunitely and admirable woman to be strong enought o push through such an incident. and it strikes me as sheerly amazing to know how easily someone can get passed the secret service without even much effort!

Very Interesting.

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