Grab a friend and head out for a cup of coffee and casual conversation at Learning Before Lunch, a series of monthly talks designed to spark meaningful dialogue about our community. The talks take place from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the University of New Orleans in the Innsbruck Room at the University Center.

Speakers will be on hand to discuss a variety of topics including history, cooking, music and the people and places that make New Orleans one of the world’s most interesting cities. The event and parking is free. A $5 donation to support the series is welcome.

Learning Before Lunch is a nonprofit organization geared toward retirees and funded by memberships. This year's programs include:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 10, with Gwen Thompkins, host of the NPR/WWNO podcast “Music Inside Out.”
  • Tuesday, Nov. 14, with author Kathy Finn talking about the New Orleans Saints and owner Tom Benson.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 12, a discussion about how New Orleans will celebrate its tricentennial in 2018.

For information, visit

Doing the bounce

Bounce artist Big Freedia will perform and candidates will bounce ideas at the Millennials Matter mayoral forum at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, at Café Istanbul, 2372 St. Claude Ave.

The forum is sponsored by the Millennial Voter Engagement Initiative (MoVE Initiative) and organizer Clarke Perkins said hot topics among young voters include public safety, gun violence, the economy, health care, education and wages.

Candidates who agreed to participate in the forum include Michael Bagneris, Manny Chevrolet Bruno, LaToya Cantrell, Troy Henry, Derrick O’Brien Martin, Johnese Smith and Tommie Vassel. More candidates are expected to attend and MoVe plans to narrow its field of endorsements.

Resource fair

Housing, health care, insurance and banking will be among the topics at the Housing, Health and Community Resources Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at Dillard University, 2601 Gentilly Blvd., in the Professional Schools Building atrium exhibit hall.

The Dillard Office of Community Relations is sponsoring the community event, which is free to the public. Exhibitors will discuss a variety of topics including health care service agencies, housing contractors, real estate agents, home counseling agencies, medical and dental providers, banks, mortgage companies, property insurance, flood insurance, Medicaid and Medicare providers, home security, job training and employment agencies and technology services.

“This event gives local residents the opportunity to meet business representatives in a casual setting that provides valuable information about homeownership as well as business opportunities from reliable sources,” said Nick Harris, director of Dillard University Office of Community Relations.

Workshop topics include establishing a nonprofit organization, managing tuition debt, homeownership and grant writing for faith-based organizations.

The event also will feature forums on the process of purchasing Orleans Parish sheriff's sale properties, and HousingNOLA will release its 2017 annual housing report card.

The HousingNOLA 10-year Strategy and Implementation Plan, released in 2015, indicated the need for 33,600 additional affordable housing opportunities in the city by 2025.

The event is co-sponsored by Capital One Bank, Regions Bank, Amerigroup Louisiana, AARP, Whitney Bank, New Horizons, United Healthcare of Louisiana, Enterprise Community Partners, Iberia Bank, Greater New Orleans Foundation, LSU Health and Science Center, Sodexo Dining Services and Neighborhood Development Foundation.

For information, visit the Dillard events calendar at

Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at