Advocacy in Action | United Way of Southeast Louisiana

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Advocacy in Action




UWSELA Supporters Honored as 2019 Activists of the Year2019 Activists of the Year

United Way SELA Public Policy Committee Chair & Women United Founder Kim Sport, UWSELA Million Dollar Roundtable Founding Member Bob Merrick, and Women United Member Susan O. Hess were named in St. Charles Avenue Magazine's 2019 Activists of the Year. Read more on their accomplishments here.




UWSELA Public Policy Interviewed by Gambit on 2020 Legislative Priorities

Charmaine Caccioppi and Kim Sport were interviewed for an article in Gambit highlighting local leaders’ hopes for Governor John Bel Edwards’ second term. Read the article here.


23 Community Members Graduate from Marsiglia Institute of Justice Prepared to Reclaim Civil Discourse
Marsiglia Fall 2019 Graduation

Congratulations to the newest Distinguished Fellows of the Nancy M. Marsiglia Institute of Justice! These 23 community members successfully completed the 12-week U.S. Constitution course designed to reclaim civil discourse and empower participants lift their community through civic engagement and advocacy. View a list of the graduates here.





New Orleans Campaign for Grade-Level Reading ECE Press Conference
Early Childhood Education Press Conference

UWSELA Public Policy was proud to join New Orleans City Councilmember Jared Brossett, the New Orleans Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, and other partners for a press conference celebrating New Orleans’ historic $3 million investment in early childhood education. Watch a live stream of the event here.





Early Care & Education Advocacy Continues

UWSELA Public Policy coordinated a meeting with Governor John Bel Edwards’ staff and collaborative partners to discuss legislative priorities for the 2020 legislative session.


LIVE UNITED Radio Show on Early Childhood Education

UWSELA’s Charmaine Caccioppi was joined by Louisiana Policy Institute for Children Executive Director Libbie Sonnier-Netto to discuss how quality early care and education prepares children to succeed in school and life and current advocacy efforts around increasing access to high-quality ECE. Listen to the show here


Charmaine Caccioppi Featured in Wonder Women in Business Podcast

Charmaine Caccioppi was selected to participate in the Wonder Women in Business podcast. Listen here


Investing in Louisiana’s Children investing in Louisiana's Children

UWSELA Public Policy, Kingsley House, and collaborative partners held an “Investing In Louisiana’s Children: The Progress We’ve Made and The Road Ahead” forum featuring DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters; Miles Thomas, Board President, Kingsley House; Charmaine Caccioppi, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, United Way of Southeast Louisiana; Jan Moller, Louisiana Budget Project; and other state and local policy experts.  



BGR Annual Meeting

UWSELA Public Policy attended BGR’s Annual Meeting featuring best-selling author Michael Lewis.



New Orleans Family Justice Center HOPE Clinic Ribbon Cutting HOPE Clinic Ribbon Cutitng

UWSELA Public Policy staff attended the New Orleans Family Justice Center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new, on-site HOPE Community Health Center to tour the facility and learn about this new service offered under FJC’s umbrella. The Family Justice Center operates as Orleans Parish’s designated service provider for domestic violence and sexual assault. The HOPE clinic was created with support from grants and generous community partners like United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Women United whose $25,000 grant sponsored an exam room. 




New Orleans City Council NGO Tax Exemption Hearing

Charmaine Caccioppi participated in the New Orleans City Council NGO Tax Exemption hearing to speak on United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s support for the establishment of a task force to evaluate the issue and make a fair and equitable recommendation to the council.


2019 Candid Conversations: Strengthening the Sisterhood

UWSELA Public Policy staff participated in the 2019 Candid Conversations: Strengthening the Sisterhood hosted by Tonya Bolden-Ball, a Louisiana Women’s Policy and Research Commission member. The event covered women’s and equity issues.


Tide Risers Summit Tide Risers

Charmaine Caccioppi joined Cate Swinburn and Jo-Ná Williams as a panelist for the Tide Risers Summit in New Orleans. The panel discussion, “Leadership and Belonging in New Orleans and Beyond,” was facilitated by Lara Holliday, president and founder of Tide Risers.   







SoLA Gubernatorial Forum

UWSELA Public Policy attended the SoLA Gubernatorial Forum, a statewide economic development summit presented by Entergy in Baton Rouge, which brought together economic development practitioners, the business community, elected officials, and thought leaders to focus on building a stronger economy.


Mayor’s Philanthropic Partners’ Meeting

UWSELA Public Policy attended Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s Philanthropic Partners' meeting to be briefed by senior members of the administration on their priorities for the upcoming quarter and to field questions on city policy/strategy work around affordable housing, investments in youth and families, infrastructure investments, gun violence reduction, homelessness, and resilience. The meeting sought to ensure investments are impactful and yield the best outcomes possible for the citizens of New Orleans. 


Nancy M. Marsiglia Institute Announces Fall 2019 ClassMarsiglia Fall Class

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and United Way of Southeast Louisiana are proud to announce the fall 2019 class of the Nancy M. Marsiglia Institute of Justice. View the list of participants here.






Equal Pay Roundtable Discussion with Gov. John Bel Edwards

Charmaine Caccioppi participated in an Equal Pay Roundtable Discussion with Governor John Bel Edwards and equal pay advocates and legislators to discuss Louisiana’s nation-worst gender pay gap and the ongoing fight to close that gap. According to surveys, 90% of Louisianans believe men and women should be paid the same wage for the same work.  Louisiana has the worst gender pay gap in America, with women earning only 69 cents for every dollar a man makes.


SNAP Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility Revision Outreach

UWSELA Public Policy conducted outreach in opposition to proposed rule changes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to SNAP’s Broad-based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE) that would limit access to benefits for households with savings and other assets. Charmaine Caccioppi co-authored a guest column in The New Orleans Advocate, submitted a formal letter to the Federal Register, and reached out to our advocacy partners encouraging them to submit personal comments in opposition. UWSELA is also part of the statewide Louisiana Anti-Hunger Coalition which spread information on the topic.


Louisiana Women’s Policy & Research Commission

Charmaine Caccioppi serves as chair for the Louisiana Women’s Policy & Research Commission. The Commission updated its committee assignments and strategy to prepare a comprehensive annual statewide report on the status of women to be delivered to the governor and all state legislators prior to the 2020 State Legislative Session.


Reception Honoring Louisiana Policy Institute for Children Founding Executive Director

UWSELA Public Policy participated in a surprise retirement reception honoring Melanie Bronfin, Policy Advisor and founding Executive Director of the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, for her extraordinary work in advancing policy to ensure that Louisiana’s young children are ready for success in school and life.  Melanie has been involved in early childhood policy in Louisiana for the past 15 years and has been a committed UWSELA collaborative partner.


Ready Louisiana Coalition Editorial Board Meeting at The New Orleans Advocate

UWSELA’s Charmaine Caccioppi joined Ready Louisiana coalition members from the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, GNO, Inc., Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, and the Jefferson Business Council to discuss why increasing access to quality early care and education should be a top priority for our entire community. We are also proud to be one of 61 organizations joining Ready LA’s Joint Statement of Support for inclusion of increased investment in quality early care and education in governor, legislator, board of elementary and secondary education candidates’ platforms.



ALICE Presentation to St. Tammany Leadership Class

On Sept. 11, UWSELA Public Policy and Community Impact provided a presentation on ALICE to the St. Tammany Leadership class highlighting St. Tammany Parish data. 


2020 Census Complete Count Committee

UWSELA Public Policy is a member of the Complete Count Committee for the 2020 Census. The 2020 Census will determine how much federal funding communities will receive for roads, schools, health care, child care, housing, food assistance, and so much more. 


Reception for Speaker Pro Tempore Walt Leger

UWSELA joined in with collaboratives, advocates, and friends to host a reception for Speaker Pro Tempore Walt Leger in appreciation for his leadership and service in the legislatures and for his commitment to early childhood and education.


“Invest in Louisiana” Policy Conference

UWSELA was a major sponsor for Louisiana Budget Project’s “Invest in Louisiana Policy Conference,” which brought together community leaders and activists from around Louisiana for a day of conversation and learning about how we can craft a stronger, more inclusive state economy that works for everyone. Featuring artist and scholar Clint Smith, the conference was built around the Invest in Louisiana policy agenda and included workshops about the policies that should be front-and-center in the 2019 elections.  Visit for more information.


“Research Gun Violence Now Rally” with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell
“Research Gun Violence Now Rally” with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell

On Saturday, Aug. 17, medical professionals and advocates, including UWSELA’s Charmaine Caccioppi, joined Mayor Cantrell at the Ogden Library for a rally to tell the Senate: Congress must fund gun violence research. Research is an essential step to creating bipartisan support to end the senseless gun violence plaguing our nation. 






Women’s Equality Day

UWSELA’s Charmaine Caccioppi was the keynote speaker for the Southeast Veterans Health Care System Diversity and Inclusion office at their annual Women’s Equality Day event on Aug. 26. United Way of Southeast Louisiana remains committed to a comprehensive approach to assuring equity in every aspect of our work, including gender equity. We’ve evaluated our own practices and policies, and made changes where necessary. We know there is always room to grow, and continue to hold ourselves to account, even as we advocate for women’s equality and equal pay more broadly across our state.




“Battered Justice: The Challenges of Women Who Kill Their Abusers” Panel
“Battered Justice: The Challenges of Women Who Kill Their Abusers” Panel

United Way of Southeast Louisiana Public Policy Chair Kim Sport and community partners joined in a panel discussion titled “Battered Justice: The Challenges of Women Who Kill Their Abusers” on changes to domestic violence laws in the 2019 session and an overview and discussion of the latest developments in the Catina Curley Case.