/Oct 2015

Innocence Project New Orleans

Photo above features exonerated Kia Stewart courtesy of IP-NO.

In Louisiana and Mississippi, the two states with the highest incarceration rates in the world, Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) is a national leader in the fight for freedom. Their leadership and growth have made them the second-largest non-law school clinic, free-standing innocence project in the nation. They have an international reputation for winning exonerations, both in the minority of cases where DNA testing can prove innocence and in more difficult cases where DNA does not exist or has been destroyed. As of August 2015, IPNO has won the freedom or exoneration of 26 innocent men who collectively served 535 years behind bars before IPNO cleared their name. 

IPNO’s Website

The Roots of Music

The Roots of Music empowers the youth of New Orleans through music education, academic support, and mentoring, while preserving and promoting the unique musical and cultural heritage of the city.  Co-founded in 2007 by Derrick Tabb, snare drummer for the Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band and 2009 CNN Hero, Roots serves kids ages 9-14 from low-income households across the city and strives to use music as a tool for teaching students the skills they need to lead positive and productive lives.  The year-round after-school program provides music classes and performance opportunities, academic support and homework assistance, instruments and maintenance, round-trip transportation, and daily hot meals to its students five days a week, 12 months a year, all free of charge.  The Roots of Music serves more than 150 children from over 40 different schools throughout Orleans Parish each year.

See Website

Hurray for the Riff Raff

Hurray For The Riff Raff is Alynda Lee Segarra, but in many ways, it’s much more than that: it’s a young woman leaving her indelible stamp on the American folk tradition. If you’re listening to her new album, Small Town Heroes, odds are you’re part of the riff-raff, and these songs are for you.

Alynda’s Website

Ani DiFranco

Ani DiFranco’s visionary approach to folk music captivates her fans, inspires political change, and demands accountability from our leaders. Her songwriting is keenly prophetic, and her deeply revealing storytelling evokes a powerful sense of empathy. For her impassioned songwriting and masterful guitar skills, Ani DiFranco is lauded as one of our nation’s greatest singer-songwriters. For her blunt critiques of political corruption and unwavering advancement of feminist ideals, she is a cherished cultural icon.

Throughout a career spanning multiple decades, DiFranco has released over 20 albums and garnered critical acclaim, all while constantly rejecting and challenging a mainstream music industry dominated by male voices and influence. Her music forms a patchwork of distinct experiences and viewpoints that together tell the tale of a seasoned musician and acutely insightful observer.

See Ani’s website