Lineup announced for TEDxLSU event

The lineup of speakers and performers have been announced for the sixth annual TEDxLSU event scheduled March 3 at the LSU Union Theater.

The 2018 TEDxLSU theme is “Refract.”

Launched in 2013, TEDxLSU is an intellectual and creative event designed to spur discussions and generate ideas that will move the state forward. TEDxLSU participants, speakers, volunteers and organizers come from all walks of life — business, nonprofits, art, education and technology, among others.

Registration and information are available at More information is available from R.L. Frazier at or (318) 574-2465.

Urban Congress plans mentor training

The Urban Congress plans to train 1,000 community members to mentor African-American males in Baton Rouge during National Mentoring Month in January.

Training will take place from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Jan. 6 and Jan. 20 at a location to be determined. Registration is now open online at

"It is a goal of the program to engage those who are already in mentoring roles by exposing them to evidence-based, culturally competent trainings that will enhance their committed work in our community," said Raymond A. Jetson, president and CEO of MetroMorphosis, the support staff for the Urban Congress on African-American Males in Baton Rouge.

Of the 1,000 trainees, the goal is to recruit at least 250 African-American men who are not active in mentoring and make them available to organizations in the community, he said.

The Urban Congress has partnered with MENTOR: the National Mentoring Partnership to create the training. To assist in recruitment and future mentoring objectives, the congress has formed a network, MentoringBR, of youth organizations including 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge, City Year, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge, Teach for America, the City of Baton Rouge's P3 Program and Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office. Over the next 90 days, MentoringBR will engage community-based organizations, churches, Greek organizations, barbershops and more through targeted community outreach efforts.

Applications sought for $1M social fund

Propeller’s is accepting applications for the Social Venture Fund, a $1 million loan fund for small businesses and nonprofits tackling social and environmental inequities in New Orleans.

"This fund will address a long-ignored funding gap faced by New Orleans’ small businesses, especially those owned by women and entrepreneurs of color, by offering loans with terms and mentorship that encourage the growth and continued success of our borrowers," said Flozell Daniels, chief executive officer and president of the Foundation for Louisiana.

Developed in partnership with the foundation, the fund was made possible by lead investor Living Cities, alongside investors the Reinvestment Fund, the blue moon fund, the Ella West Freeman Foundation and the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation.

The Social Venture Fund is structured to meet the needs of local for-profit and nonprofit entrepreneurs with below-market rate loans between $20,000 to $100,000 and terms that stretch between two and seven years. Loan recipients also will receive technical assistance from Propeller to better prepare them for repayment and growth. Applications and information are at

"We believe in this partnership between Propeller and Foundation for Louisiana because they have a proven track record of empowering talented entrepreneurs, especially entrepreneurs of color," said Ben Hecht, president and CEO of Living Cities.