Who Are We?

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Raynard Sanders, Ed.D.

Executive Director, CAHP

Dr. Sanders has over thirty years of experience in teaching, educational administration, and economic and community development. From 1972-1982 Dr. Sanders was a member of Tambourine and Fan Educational and Cultural Center, during that period he worked with The Claiborne Avenue Design Team (CADT) in developing a comprehensive plan for the redevelopment of the right-of-way for the neighborhood adjacent to the I-10 Highway shortly after its construction (1974-1976). As a principal of John McDonogh High School, the Louisiana State Department of Education recognized Dr. Sanders for guiding his high school through four consecutive years of improvement on the state graduate exit exam (the only non-magnet high school in New Orleans to receive such an honor).

In 1991 Dr. Sanders developed the first high school DNA lab in the state of Louisiana (which received significant funds and services from the Southeastern Area Health Association and Louisiana State University Medical School). Of the 50 high school DNA labs across the country the DNA lab at John McDonogh was one of few labs that served a urban student and majority minority student population. Dr. Sanders also created the Creole Cottage Project, an innovative program for his students to build and renovate houses in the school’s community and sold them to first time home buyers. Dr. Sanders also served as the Executive Director of The National Faculty at New Orleans, a professional development agency designed to improve the quality of teaching in poor performing schools throughout the Mississippi Delta. He was also the Director of the Urban Education Graduate Program at Southern University at New Orleans. Dr. Sanders has provided consulting services around workforce development for the City of New Orleans, Louisiana Department of Labor, non-profit organizations, state legislative caucuses, school districts and professional associations.

From 2009 until 2016 Dr. Sanders hosted The New Orleans Imperative on WBOK and since 2018, the program has been on WHIV 102.3 FM. It is the only weekly radio show in New Orleans to focus on public education and educational equity, and the show has provided important information about public education to the New Orleans community. The New Orleans Imperative’s mission is to nurture and foster community awareness around public education. Public awareness is essential in creating an environment where equity and excellence are standards for all children. Shows are available at TheNewOrleansImperative.org.

Dr. Sanders received his B.A. from Dillard University in New Orleans; a Master’s in Education Administration from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and his Doctorate of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University Teachers in New York City. His recent publications are 21st Century Jim Crow Schools; The Impact of Charters on Public Education (available April, 2018) and The Coup D’état of the New Orleans Public Schools: Money, Power and the Illegal Takeover of a Public School System (available September, 2018).

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Katherine Cecil, M.A.

Director/Producer, CAHP Documentary, & CAHP Project Curator 

Katherine Cecil is a British-born filmmaker whose work has focused on politics, current affairs, history, and culture. Ms. Cecil has worked on programs and television news shows for PBS; Louisiana Public Broadcasting; WNET; National Geographic; Democracy Now!; Associated Pressthe BBC, and with Soledad O’Brien and Starfish Media Group on juvenile justice issues for the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Ms. Cecil’s documentary film Race (2010), about the first New Orleans mayoral election post-Katrina won the 2010 “HBO Best Documentary Award” at The Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAAFF). The film was also was a finalist for the Saatchi & Saatchi “Nothing is Impossible Producer’s Award” and for the New Orleans Film Festival’s “Louisiana Filmmaker’s Award”. Ms. Cecil was Co-producer on Ben Lemoine’s documentary feature The Experiment (2011), about the New Orleans educational landscape post-Katrina (Best Documentary, The New Orleans Film Festival), and Field Producer & Associate Producer on Bess Carrick’s documentary Lindy Boggs: Steel & Velvet (2006).

In early 2006 Ms. Cecil formed CecilFilm Productions, producing and shooting for clients including Al Jazeera; Cox Cable; Amnesty International; Greek Public Television; The W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Habitat for Humanity, Dillard, Tulane, and Louisiana State Universities; Newcomb College Institute, and for non-profit organizations such as The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Louisiana Landmarks Society, The Historic New Orleans Collection, and The Early Childhood & Family Learning Foundation.

From 2009-2017 Ms. Cecil organized conferences for The New York Review of Books Foundation; topics included: “The Hope for Humanism: Within the West, Beyond the West”, Oslo, 2010; “Tony Judt: A Distinctive Presence Among Us” (Paris, 2011); “Who and What are Universities For?” (New York, 2011); “Challenges to Multiculturalism: A Conference on Migration, Citizenship, and Free Speech” (Oslo, 2012); “Power, Privacy & the Internet” (New York, 2013); “What’s the Matter with the Economy and with Economics?” (New York, 2015); “The Governance of China” (Hong Kong, 2016); “The Middle East: World Crisis?” (Berlin, 2016); “Technology and the Human Future” (Oslo, 2016; and “Agon at Sixty: A Symposium to Mark the 60th Anniversary of the First Performance of the Stravinsky-Balanchine Ballet ‘Agon’ (New York, 2017).

Ms. Cecil holds degrees from City & Guilds of London Art School (Foundation in Art & Design); University College London (B.A. in English Literature); Tulane University (M.A. in Southern Literature); and the University of New Orleans (M.A. in Communications).

Greg Beaman, M.A.

Director of Research, CAHP

Greg Beaman is a historian who writes histories of diverse communities in the United States and Europe. In 2010, Mr. Beaman opened Our House Stories, where he developed an expertise in New Orleans property history, uncovering hundreds of stories of ordinary New Orleanians who built not only homes but lives, families, and careers in the Crescent City.

Mr. Beaman has investigated neighborhoods and historic properties and written house histories for clients from all over the city of New Orleans. Earning local and national praise, his House History Books and Timelines include in-depth studies of specific examples of New Orleans architecture. Guided by the core values of common sense, straightforward analysis, and trust in reputable sources, Mr. Beaman utilizes every resource available while conducting historical research. His research methods adhere to the strictest standards set forth by the American Historical Association and his qualifications meet the Secretary of the Interior’s “Professional Qualifications Standards for History.”

Mr. Beaman’s general research interests concentrate on New Orleans history, ca. 1850-1920; history of music venues in the city; African American genealogy; and personal identity and the built environment. In 2010, Mr. Beaman released a paper titled “Postwar New Orleans Music: Urban Renewal, Race, and Progress, 1945-1960.” Current projects include The Chandeliers: A History of the Espinosa-DuRapau Family of New Orleans; The History of Faubourg Franklin and St. Roch, 1828-1918; and A Biography of Felix J. Conrad: New Orleans’ Most Notorious 19th Century Policeman.

He designed and taught a course at Upper Iowa University, titled “Your Community in United States History- New Orleans,” Jackson Barracks Campus. He currently teaches U.S. History as a member of the Distance Education Faculty at Vincennes University in Indiana. Mr. Beaman served as president (2014) and vice-president (2013) of the Fifth District Police Community Advisory Board (PCAB) for the New Orleans Police Department. While serving as PCAB President, Mr. Beaman co-chaired, then served as sole chairperson, of the Training Advisory Committee to NOPD. Mr. Beaman guided the committee through research into police training best practices, curriculum development, and formulation of a training plan for the NOPD Academy.

Mr. Beaman received his B.M.A. from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana; an M.A. in History from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and an M.M. in Performance from Loyola University-New Orleans.

Mr. Beaman has spent the last ten years as a freelance musician in New Orleans and elsewhere, performed with various groups at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and French Quarter Festival, and appeared at weekly gigs throughout the city.

He lives near Washington, D.C. with his wife, Rosie, and their daughter.

John Slade

Community Researcher, CAHP

John Slade, WBOK radio host, comic book and political cartoonist of Think504.com has joined The Claiborne Avenue History Project (CAHP) as a community researcher to add to our resources to bring this grand project to even greater life. 

John Slade is a lifelong resident of New Orleans and has witnessed the changes on North Claiborne Avenue from when it had a broad grassy neutral ground until its time as a route for the Interstate highway system. John Slade brings his personal memories as well as a journalist’s nose to help find out what the North Claiborne Avenue area was like. 

Mr. Slade’s roots in the area go back to the 1960s when his father Mr. Louis P. Slade owned the Esso, which became the Exxon station at 1600 St. Bernard Avenue just across from the historic Circle Food Store. He remembers the Martinez Nursery School at 1763-65 North Roman Street where he went as a child, and also the amenities of the area such as the old Circle Theater and the Afro House barber shop. 

John Slade worked in the Claiborne expanse in his early days in media at The Spectator News Journal, whose offices were situated above the one-time Boissiere Funeral Home on Dumaine Street, which was half a block from North Claiborne Avenue. 

Mr. Slade will be assisting CAHP to seek out historical information such as family photographs and other memorabilia to illustrate CAHP interviewees’ memories of commerce, culture, and carnival along the avenue. Mr. Slade is the newest addition to the CAHP team and will add to the work being done here at CAHP as we continue to uncover pieces of a great and exciting past.