Southern University, Louisiana Progress to offer free webinars about legislative session

Published 8:26 am Tuesday, August 10, 2021

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This Thursday, Aug. 12, from noon until 1:30 p.m., the Southern University Law Center (SULC) will partner with Louisiana Progress to present the first installment in a four-part webinar series on the 2021 Louisiana Legislative Session.

The following three webinars will occur every two weeks, on Thursdays at noon. Anyone who is interested in attending can register at

The first webinar will be moderated by SULC’s Alfreda Tillman Bester, Esq. Panelists will include State Representatives Jason Hughes and Matthew Willard; Davante Lewis, Director of Public Affairs and Outreach for the Louisiana Budget Project; Susan East Nelson, Executive Director of the Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families; Ashley Shelton, Founder, President, and CEO of the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice; Stephanie L. Willis, Esq., Policy Strategist at the ACLU of Louisiana; and Peter Robins-Brown, Policy and Advocacy Director at Louisiana Progress. This first session will provide a broad overview of the 2021 regular legislative and veto-override sessions, including discussion of the tax reform issues that will be on the Oct. 3 ballot and several controversial topics that dominated the political headlines in the state this year.

Subsequent sessions will focus on voting rights, criminal justice reform, education, women’s and workers’ rights, and more. The final webinar in the series is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 23, and will look ahead to the 2022 redistricting special session that will likely take place in February.

Every webinar session is free to the public, and will count for 1.5 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credits or 1.5 hours of social worker CEUs.

“Too often, policies in Louisiana ignore our state’s most vulnerable populations,” according to Alfreda Tillman Bester, Special Counsel for Human Services at SULC, and leader of the law school’s Vulnerable Communities and Peoples Initiative (VCPI). “We hope that by providing education opportunities like these we can demystify the legislative process and help empower people to advocate for policies that center people over profits.”

“Far too few people in Louisiana are well informed about what is happening in our state’s capital,” said Melissa Flournoy, Board Chair of Louisiana Progress. “At Louisiana Progress we want to take citizens behind the curtain of power and show them what the issues are and how we can fix them. We are excited to bring together legislators, advocates, and citizens to focus on solutions to Louisiana’s problems.”

The full schedule of webinars is as follows:

Aug. 12: 2021 Louisiana Legislative Overview

Aug. 26: Civil Rights — Criminal Justice and Police Reform, and Voting Rights

Sept. 9: Healthy Families — Women and Children, Workers’ Rights, Education

Sept. 23: Looking Ahead to 2022: Redistricting Session and Regular Session