LSU’s Manship School to Host Youth Civic Engagement Forum

Oct. 3, 2018
Baton Rouge, LA
 – Dozens of elected officials and change makers from across the state of Louisiana will gather to discuss both the challenges and opportunities that young people in Louisiana face as part of “Re-envisioning Louisiana: The State We Want to Be In,” hosted by The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication and organized by student leaders at LSU Oct. 16 from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. in the Manship School’s Holliday Forum.

The forum features discussions with U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, State Rep. Ted James, State Rep. Paula Davis, Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed, LSU Student Body President Stewart Lockett and student government leaders from Louisiana’s colleges and universities and high schools. Louisiana Board of Regents member Collis B. Temple III will give the forum’s keynote address.

“I was born and raised in Louisiana, so I’m familiar with its hurdles, but I’m also extremely optimistic about its future,” Sarah Procopio, lead organizer for the event, said. Procopio is a political communication sophomore in the Manship School and serves as director of governmental relations for LSU Student Government. “We will develop a young Louisianans’ platform from this summit and visit with those who are running for the top job in our state next year, the Governor. Keeping leaders from Louisiana is important to the state, as well as enticing our best and brightest to return.”

The forum will center around the pivotal question that many young Louisianans ask themselves as they contemplate college or beginning their careers: should I stay in Louisiana or should I go? This day-long event features experts on economic development, criminal justice, education, disaster prevention, arts and more and will explore the adversities and opportunities for growth in Louisiana.

“This gives our young people a chance to discover the ways in which they can capitalize on current growth and progress to create a better Louisiana for their futures,” Reilly Center director Jenée Slocum, Ph.D., said. “As we convene policy makers, high school and college students and people who are invested in our community, we hope attendees and participants alike emerge with a renewed sense of purpose when it comes to building a better Louisiana.”

“Re-envisioning Louisiana: The State We Want to Be In” is sponsored by the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication, The Ogden Honors College and LSU Student Government. The event will be held in the Holliday Forum of LSU’s Journalism Building (at the corner of Fieldhouse Drive and North Stadium Drive). General attendance parking is available at the LSU Barnes and Noble bookstore (at the corner of Highland Road and Veterans Drive). Registration for this event is requested by not required.

Reporters on deadline needing a closer parking pass should e-mail for assistance (24 hours’ notice is requested). 

The forum will feature the following discussions between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

  • 11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.  Lunch and Conversation: What Millennials Want
    • Courtney Scott, Lead Strategist, The Byan Group
  • 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Keynote
    • Collis Temple III, National Sales Director, Primerica
  • 12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.    Panel: Show Me the Money: Economic Development
    • Orlando Palmer, Owner, Parker’s Pharmacy
    • Jenni Peters, Owner, Varsity Sports\
    • Susie Schowen, Workforce Initiatives Manager, Louisiana Economic Development
    • Nick Speyrer, Founder and President, Emergent Method
    • Sevetri Wilson, Owner, Solid Ground Innovations, LLC
  • 1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.    Presentation: Criminal Justice Reform: Justice for All
    • Andrew Hundley, CEO, Louisiana Parole Project
  • 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.   Coffee and Conversation
    • James Carville, Political strategist, Professional-in-residence and fellow, Manship School
    • Stewart Lockett, LSU Student Body President
    • Sarah Procopio, LSU Student and organizer of youth civic engagement forum
  • 3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.    Panel: Education: Building Blocks for a Brighter Future
    • Erin Bendily, Assistant Superintendent, Policy and Governmental Affairs, Louisiana Department of Education
    • Sarah Broome, Founder and Executive Director, THRIVE Academy
    • Sen. Ann Duplessis, President, Louisiana Federation for Children
    • Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Commissioner, Louisiana Board of Regents
  • 4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.    Panel: Preventing and Preparing for Disaster in Louisiana
    • Rep. Garret Graves, Congressman, 6th District of Louisiana
    • Lt. General Russell Honoré, Public speaker, author and consultant
    • Kathryn Keating, 2018-19 Gulf Research Program Science Policy Fellow, National Academies of Science, Engineering and Mathematics
    • Dr. Margaret Reams, Professor, LSU Department of Environmental Sciences
    • James Waskom, Director, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
  • 5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.    Panel: Quality of Life: More than Just Mardi Gras
    • Kate Durio, Director of Marketing and Events, Lafayette Consolidated Government
    • Jonathan Dziuba, Race Director, The Louisiana Marathon
    • Steven Knight, Social Media Manager, Event Production and Coordination, Louisiana Film Prize
    • Luke St. John McKnight, Development and Catalyst Coordinator, MetroMorphosis, The Walls Project
    • Sarah Rainwater, Membership Chair & Events Co Chair, Fusion 5
  • 6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.    Dinner and Conversation: How to Engage Your Elected Officials
    • Lauren Chauvin, Director; Civil Justice Reform, Energy, Environmental Quality, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
  • 7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.    Conversation: The State We Want to Be In
    • Rep. Paula Davis, State Representative, Louisiana District 69
    • Councilwoman Erika Green, Council member, East Baton Rouge Parish District 5
    • Rep. Ted James, State Representative, Louisiana District 101
    • Representatives from the Louisiana Council of Student Body Presidents
  • 8:00 p.m.     Conclusion


The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is partnership-driven, action-oriented, and dedicated to exploring contemporary issues at the intersection of mass communication and public life. Its interdisciplinary approach draws together experts from diverse fields to advance research and dialogue. The intent is to inspire our communities to think deeply, take action, develop solutions and broaden knowledge. Underlying the Center’s endeavors is to strengthen and advance the Manship School’s national and state leadership in media and politics.

The Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College is a vibrant, diverse and prestigious community located at the heart of LSU. The Ogden Honors College provides students with a curriculum of rigorous seminar classes, as well as opportunities for undergraduate research, culminating in the Honors Thesis. Its focus on community service, study abroad, internships and independent research helps today’s high-achieving students become tomorrow’s leaders.

The mission of LSU Student Government is to advocate tirelessly the interests of LSU students by enhancing the student experience, promoting the image of the university and supporting student achievement on the campus and in the community.