Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013 as a direct response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the man who murdered unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Martin was a smart, popular and promising high school student who received good grades, played football and had dreams of someday becoming a pilot. He was well liked by many and adored by his family, including his parents: Sybrina Fulton & Tracy Martin, who also started The Trayvon Martin Foundation after the death of their son - link below. Martin’s father referred to his son as his hero in an interview with MSNBC, in which he recounted the time his then 9-year-old son saved his life by pulling him from a burning house fire.
The Black Lives Matter Foundation has grown exponentially - now a global organization - they are located here in the United States as well as the United Kingdom and Canada.
Their mission: “to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.”
'SPOTLIGHT' IS ABOUT SHINING THAT LIGHT ON FEATURED CAUSES, GROUPS, MOVEMENTS & INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE OR ARE STRIVING TO CHANGE & BETTER THE LIVES OF OTHERS, THE COMMUNITIES AROUND THEM AND THE WORLD AT LARGE.
“Step out today not seeking to be in the spotlight but seeking for a spot to light - be a blessing to someone” - Bernard Kelvin Cline
Lion’s Tooth Productions is located in New Orleans, Louisiana and as such - we are throwing a spotlight on three incredible local New Orleans groups who are doing amazing things in this community.
As we grow and expand we would like to feature notable groups in every state. If you have a suggestion for a group, please contact us and let us know!
We would love to hear who is doing what amazingness in your community and shine a spotlight on them as well.
We’re all connected. We’re all in this together.
“Green Light New Orleans invests energy in people by assisting New Orleans residents in person, one household at a time. Our volunteers install free energy efficient light bulbs and backyard vegetable gardens and rain barrels to demonstrate that a mass movement of individual actions creates a significant impact on our environment and community. We connect New Orleans residents to relevant, local opportunities and encourage individual actions so that everyone can benefit from a vibrant, resilient, and sustainable community.”
Green Light New Orleans helps over 4000 families per year in the greater New Orleans area. They go to individual homes and plant gardens, install rain barrels, sign people up for recycling, provide free energy light efficient light bulbs and more. Green Light New Orleans is reducing our collective carbon footprint by creating awareness, educating the public and implementing programs, systems and services that “create a budget reduction, provide access to healthy foods and build community.”
They have impacted 27,721 households, saving residents over $28 million in utility costs. They have offset 266 million pounds of CO2 emissions. They have signed 4,600 residents up for recycling, installed 894 rain barrels and over 600 gardens.
Founded by Sybrina Fulton & Tracy Martin after the death of their 17-year-old son, the Trayvon Martin Foundation is a non profit organization “whose main purpose is to provide both emotional and financial support to families who have lost a child to gun violence.” The Trayvon Martin Foundation has programs that include: Circle of Mothers - aimed at helping, supporting, healing and empowering mothers who have lost a child to gun violence, through counseling and financial, technical and emotional support; Circle of Fathers whose goal is to provide young men “with tools for fatherhood, earning potential and self-sustainability,”; as well as scholarship programs, medical mentorship programs, and a drone stem camp. “Our goal is to shift the conversation from intervention to reform. Our programs are strengthening families through leadership, support, guidance, and counseling.”
Founded in 1994, Community Visions Unlimited is a nonprofit “dedicated to revitalizing New Orleans neighborhoods through beautification, housing and empowerment. We are a resource for citizens to encourage homeownership, promote business development, sponsor community beautification, and encourage community projects.”
They created and implemented the Metro New Orleans Street Gallery Project which aims to “create beauty and economic development through works of art.” They have a utility art box program which has created commissions for many New Orleans artists who are paid and also given a paint kit to work with. Over 190 traffic signal boxes in the city have been beautifully painted.
Community Visions New Orleans has done incredible work forever changing housing, property and the community’s experience therein. In the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood of New Orleans alone, where there were once over 100 vacant and blighted buildings in a mere 5 block radius - CVU helped restore over 15 properties in just one year.
In a three year span, they completed over 78 projects, installed 3 community gardens and implemented a police detail. For their work, they have been awarded the Presidential Service Award and the Mayor’s Golden Hammer as well commendations from the Louisiana Preservation Alliance and St. Paul Interfaith Community.
Reconcile New Orleans works to change the lives of young adults in New Orleans - ages 16-24 by “encouraging personal growth, providing workforce development and training, promoting entrepreneurship, working with businesses, nonprofits and people of faith to support this transformation and building strong communities through community economic development.”
Founded in 1966 to “address the system of neglect, violence and generational poverty that had plagued out-of-school youth in New Orleans’ troubled Central City neighborhood.” Today, the Cafe Reconcile Workforce Development Program has had over 1,500 graduates who leave the 8-week program having learned basic independent living, interpersonal and work skills. Their focus is on providing opportunities to at-risk youth who want to learn how to successfully enter the food service and construction industries.
Students are trained at Cafe Reconcile which gives them hands-on experience while providing the community with a great restaurant and a chance to help support the students training.