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Staff Spotlight: A Business Manager’s Behind the Scenes Work

Posted on 23. Jul, 2014 by

Leonard Lewis, GNOFHAC’s business manager and a New Orleans native, has kept GNOFHAC running smoothly for almost four years now. On a day-to-day basis, Leonard’s job consists of a “mish mash” of administrative duties that “people need in order to get their jobs done”. He is the crucial behind-the-scenes guy responsible for far too many tasks we take for granted–making sure employees get paid, finding someone to fix the A/C when it breaks, ordering coffee and replacing toner, for example.

LeonardThroughout the workday Leonard, tunes in to C-Span or New Orleans City Council on his computer. This constant stream of news contributes to his impeccable knowledge of local, state, and federal government processes; he knows the ins and outs of a world that most of us only hear about from time to time. While some may think this makes for the dullest of television or radio, this rare pastime gives insight into why Leonard is so good at his job–not only doing his duties but contributing to the work of many other GNOFHAC departments as well.

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“Don’t Shy Away From Books About Tough Issues”

Posted on 22. Jul, 2014 by

Recently, Jabari Asim, a children’s book author and professor at Emerson College, published an opinion piece in the New York Times. Don’t Shy Away From Books About Tough Issues, argues the importance of exposing children to subjects like race, gender, and politics. Asim writes that these books not only make children better equipped for the tough issues they may eventually face, but it is also essential for children to see characters like themselves or their family reflected in books. Read More…

Fair Housing Five Featured in HUD’s Independent Publication

Posted on 21. Jul, 2014 by

Fair Housing FiveThe Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has recently released their latest issue of Evidence Matters, which spotlights various current fair housing challenges and solutions. This edition focuses on how the face of housing discrimination has changed since 1968. Before civil rights legislation was passed, discrimination was blatant and explicit. Read More…

Staff Spotlight: GNOFHAC’s Policy Team Doubles as Maxwell Ciardullo Climbs Aboard!

Posted on 09. Jul, 2014 by

Bio_Photo (1)GNOFHAC’s new Policy Analyst, Maxwell Ciardullo climbed on board less than a month ago to join Monika Gerhart and double GNOFHAC’s policy team! Maxwell was born in the suburbs of Chicago, but jumped all over the country–from DC to NYC to Massachusetts–before landing here in New Orleans two years ago through a fellowship. Although he could have been placed in 1 of 7 cities in the country, Maxwell got lucky, he says, as he and his partner already had friends here and he loves the friendly demeanor of New Orleans residents. Read More…

Upcoming Mortgages and Natural Disasters Training

Posted on 02. Jul, 2014 by

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 4.47.37 PMNext Monday, July 14th at 6:30 pm, GNOFHAC will partner with the Broadmoor Improvement Association and Evacuteers to present a course on Hurricane Preparedness.

GNOFHAC will give a presentation entitled Mortgages and Natural Disasters. This training covers information on how to prepare your home for a natural disaster and what steps to take after a natural disaster. The training wil be held at the Rosa F. Keller Library and Community Center, located at 4300 Broad St. Light refreshments will be provided. Contact Sophie Rosen at srosen@gnofairhousing.org or call her at 504-596-2100 ext. 109 for more information.

Staff Spotlight: Fair Housing Assistant Offers a Listening Ear to Incoming Clients

Posted on 01. Jul, 2014 by

MaddieMaddie Fireman, GNOFHAC’s Fair Housing Assistant, came to us almost a year ago by way of a fellowship through AVODAH, the Jewish Service Corps. While a native of Ohio, Maddie has always been fascinated by and deeply connected to New Orleans, her mother’s family hometown, and hoped to experience the city after college. Since her time at GNOFHAC is wrapping up, we talked about her accomplishments, advice for fellows to come, and her plans for the future. Read More…

Staff Spotlight: A Housing Counselor’s Work Helps Families Keep their Homes

Posted on 27. Jun, 2014 by

BradBrad Hellman is no rookie to the fair housing ballgame–he came to GNOFHAC about a year ago after working for a fair housing organization in California for the previous four years. He now works as a housing counselor here with GNOFHAC as a part of the Homeownership Protection Project.

As a housing counselor, Brad works with homeowners who are having trouble with their mortgages, and assists them in exploring options to avoid foreclosure and keep their homes. Brad reviews a client’s financial circumstances through one-on-one counseling, and analyzes what options they may have to keep their home. He then helps borrowers apply for workout options, and manages communications and negotiations with their loan servicers by advocating on behalf of clients. Read More…

Target ® Sponsors the Fair Housing Five!

Posted on 19. Jun, 2014 by

Target LogoExciting news! GNOFHAC has received a grant from Target® to lead numerous Fair Housing Five workshops with any youth camp or organization across the greater New Orleans area this summer. With this generous grant, GNOFHAC will be able to distribute our original children’s book to the youth organizations and lead the workshops for free.

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Staff Spotlight: Enforcing the Fair Housing Act: A Conversation with Staff Attorney, Aurora Bryant

Posted on 12. Jun, 2014 by

Our GNOFHAC staff members come from all over the country and bring a wide range of interests and expertise to our team. The staff’s diverse experiences and interests allows the organization to tackle civil rights issues from many angles including education, outreach, enforcement, policy and homeownership protection. To better understand the issues GNOFHAC addresses each day, this blog series will highlight various staff members and departments, their work, and how they contribute to GNOFHAC’s mission to eradicate housing discrimination throughout Louisiana.

AuroraAurora Bryant came to GNOFHAC as a staff attorney two and a half years ago. Since joining GNOFHAC, Bryant has played a vital role on the team of attorneys enforcing the Fair Housing Act on behalf of clients that report housing discrimination. The attorneys at GNOFHAC resolve complaints in different ways; while they can occasionally settle complaints between parties by simply educating the housing provider about discriminatory housing practices, they also frequently file administrative complaints and federal court litigation. Read More…

2014 Legislative Session Wrap Up

Posted on 05. Jun, 2014 by

Crop State CapThe 2014 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature wrapped last week. GNOFHAC fought vigorously to pass legislation that would expand fair housing protections to the LGBT community and victims of domestic violence, enrolling the support of over 50 organizations statewide, dozens of legislators, and hundreds of individual supporters.

Ultimately, too many Louisiana legislators bowed to hate speech from gay rights opponents and caved in to pressure from the landlord lobby instead of voting to protect domestic violence victims. Proposed legislation was ultimately not passed this year.

However, the outpouring of support from concerned citizens contributed to a gain in new legislative champions and bill sponsors, increased fair housing education amongst legislators, and helped us build strength in a tough environment. We are inspired by the incredible support and excited about the vital connections we built with legislators and partners that will make our chances of success even greater when we return to the Capitol next year.

Thank you for supporting our work by signing petitions, making donations, sending letters to your legislators, and speaking up on behalf of those who need your help the most. Advocates for justice across the state fought some really tough battles this session, but we’ll be back next year. Stay tuned because we’ll need your help again!