Ashley Dewey [right]
Ashley survived physical and emotional abuse from her parents and in foster care. She credits Charin Richard and the help she received at Raintree with enabling her to over-come her difficult past, a debt she re-pays by returning to work as a mentor at Raintree.
Charin Richard [left]
Charin, a mentor at Raintree, works to provide therapeutic services to help abused and neglected girls overcome victimizing behaviors and lead independent, successful lives.
Sylvia Nuchurch Branch
Sylvia was the Ruby Bridges of Lusher Charter School in New Orleans. As a six-year old she and her fellow six-year old Toni Robinson, ignored the taunts of angry parents to integrate Lusher Elementary in 1961.
Felicia, a holocaust survivor of the Ravensbruck concentration camp, traveled extensively across the South until her death in 2012 to speak out against racism and bigotry in all its forms.
Ruth Rogan Benerito
Ruth, a native New Orleanian with a Tulane degree in chemistry, discovered a method to make cotton wrinkle-resistant. She received the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award for her work as a research chemist.
Keiana, a recent graduate of Lusher High School, had an asteroid named after her by NASA for her discovery of the toxins that were present in the BP oil spill.
Having survived the Holocaust as a young child, Anne works tirelessly against injustice everywhere, including fighting the election of a former KKK klansman in Louisiana.
Drawing from her musical New Orleans roots, Mahalia played a key role in the Civil Rights Movement as she became internationally known as the "Gospel Queen."
Michel, wife and primary care-giver of former Saints player, Steve Gleason, is also a major player on Team Gleason, which raises money for ALS, and is a leading voice for research on the neurodegenerative disease.
Having conjured up the courage as a child to face angry, hateful adults, Ruby integrated one of the first white elementary schools in the South. As an adult, she works tirelessly for justice and equality.
A fearless fighter for equal rights, Rosa used her strong values, intellect and resources - against the wishes of many of her family and friends - to integrate key institutions in New Orleans.
Leah doesn't just know how to cook, she used her restaurant as a meeting place during the New Orleans Civil Rights movement and she continues to use it as a gallery for underexposed, local African American artists.
Through Heroes of New Orleans students identify, research and write about local women who have made the city a better place. By learning about the barriers women faced and how they overcame them, Heroes provides role models for young people to draw upon when faced with obstacles of their own.
Heroes encourages and challenges students to reach beyond their textbooks and introduces them to a wider range of resources, such as primary source materials, libraries, archives and museums.
Launched two years ago as a pilot program in two schools, Sci High [New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School] and Lusher Charter School, four more local schools will participate in the final phase of the pilot this school year.
Heroes motivates students to think critically, be creative, analyze, interpret, debate and present their findings. It helps students understand the importance of negotiating differences through debate and collaborative work and instills in students an appreciation for the meaning of words, their consequences and the importance of language
Heroes can be adapted to any school and age groups, and can be used as a model to be replicated in other communities, near and far. Download the Toolkit below to learn about using Heroes in the classroom. Someone from the Heroes team will contact you to talk more about how your school can take part.
WHAT DO HEROES MEAN TO YOU?
We need programs like this in the world so that children can look up to someone to be their hero, so that they can be inspired to do something as helpful to the world just like our class hero.
Through Heroes my students and I discovered heroes who integrated schools, provided shelter for homeless girls, and survived the Holocaust. These amazing heroes have inspired all of us to search for ways we can be heroes.
If you wake up to a world with racism, then you shouldn’t have gone to bed.
Heroes puts students into the role of historian.
DOWNLOAD THE TOOLKIT
If you'd like your school to take part in the Heroes of New Orleans project, please fill in the following form and we will send you the toolkit to get you started.