Groups to discuss public education reform

A coalition of public education advocacy groups led by the 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans will sponsor a public forum Wednesday to discuss an agenda for public education reform as a new governor prepares to take office.

The forum will be held at the Renaissance Hotel, 700 Tchoupitoulas St., from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The panel will feature Shavar Jefferies, the head of the national Democrats for Education Reform, along with former Xavier University President Norman Francis, former Orleans Parish schools Superintendent Darryl Kilbert and Warren Easton Charter High School Principal and CEO Alexina Medley.

Bill Rouselle will moderate the discussion on the implications for education reform of having a new Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards.

“This is an opportune time for individuals who have felt negatively about the reforms in public education to get clarity and develop an African-American education reform agenda,” said Jonathan Wilson, president-elect of 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans. “We are hoping the forum will help us to clarify the issues, to lay the foundation for the return of schools to local control, and to encourage true community engagement in the education of our children.”

RSVP by Monday to Bright Moments at (504) 592-1800 or to Brooks Duplessis at

Community health fair to be held Saturday

Second Harvest Food Bank will sponsor a “Second Line to Health” community health fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Daughters of Charity Health Center at 5630 Read Blvd. in New Orleans East.

The event will offer services that community members can access immediately plus a chance to enroll in programs offered by the Daughters of Charity, Catholic Charities, Green Light New Orleans, Walnut Grove Apartments and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Second Harvest’s community wellness team will be on site to assist with SNAP (food stamp) applications, prescription discount cards and other services. The team includes a bilingual staff member who can assist Spanish speakers.

The health fair will also offer nutrition classes and tips on how to shop for healthy food on a budget. There will be free blood pressure, glucose, vision and dental screenings, plus information on stress management, mental health referrals and fitness.

Participants are encouraged to bring a state-issued ID with them.

Each household served at the health fair will also receive a box of produce from the Second Harvest Food Bank mobile pantry.

SPCA offering discount, home delivery of pets

The Louisiana SPCA is offering 50 percent off the adoption fee for all animals through Dec. 27 and will deliver your new family pet to your front door for a $75 donation.

Regular adoption procedures will apply.

Holiday deliveries are available for anyone who adopts within two weeks of their desired delivery date. Deliveries will be made on your choice of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.

The organization’s offices are at 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., Algiers. Lobby hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adoption hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To view all of the animals available for adoption and for more information, visit

Neville to perform at zoo’s ‘Soulful Holiday’

Hometown favorite Charmaine Neville will highlight the “Souful Holiday” celebration Saturday at the Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St.

The family-friendly event will feature holiday tunes and performances by singer Gina Brown on the Capital One Stage at 1:45 p.m., and by Neville and her band at 3:15 p.m.

The entire family is invited for photos with Santa, a stroll through the zoo and holiday shopping at the zoo’s marketplace. “Soulful Holiday” is presented by the AARP.