- Rev. Tyronne Edwards, Founder, Zion Travelers Cooperative Center, Inc.
Reverend Tyronne Edwards is a native of downtown Phoenix, Louisiana, in Plaquemine Parish. He has 48 years of community organizing/human service experiences on local, state, and international levels. Reverend Edwards is a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, pastor, author, playwright, photojournalist, advocate, and mentor, training facilitator, and community historian. For 38 years as a trainer/facilitator for the People’s Institution for Survival & Beyond have conducted Undoing Racism workshops throughout the country. He is the founder of Zion Travelers Cooperative Center, Inc. organized after Hurricane Katrina. Reverend Edwards is an executive board member of the Christian Ministers Missionary Baptist Association (CMMBA) of Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes and Baptist Pastor’s Conference, New Orleans & Vicinity.Reverend Edwards tirelessly advocates for federal, state, and local support for the rebuilding of coastal communities and the restoration of coastal communities and the restoration of ecosystem damaged by hurricanes and the BP oil drilling diseaster. He continually testify before congressional hearing panels on climate change, environmental injustice, coastal restoration, and lobby representatives to support the continuing work of rebuilding the Gulf Coast. Reverend Edwards as former Executive Director of the Fishermen & Concerned Citizen Association brought international and national attention to the grassroots social change movement and plight of citizens in Plaquemines Parish. Reverend Tyronne Edwards is proud that he has helped his community to get a sense of their own power and self-determination.
- Lieutenant General Honore, US Army Retired Lieutenant General Honore is a native of Lakeland, Louisiana. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry and awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture upon graduation from Southern University and A&M College in 1971. He holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources from Troy State University as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Southern University and A&M College, an Honorary Doctorate in Laws from Stillman College, an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Virginia State University, Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Stillman College, an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Loyola University, an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Virginia State University & an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Meharry Medical College.Prior to his command of Joint Task Force-Katrina â€“ leading the Department of Defense response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana General Honore served in a variety of command and staff positions which focused on Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense. As Vice Director for Operations, J-3, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., and, as the Commander, Standing Joint Force Headquarters-Homeland Security, United States Northern Command, General Honore’s focus was Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense. For four of the past six hurricane seasons, he supported the Department of Defense planning and response for Hurricanes Floyd in 1999; Lilli and Isidore in 2002 (both hit the Gulf Coast); Isabel in 2003; and Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in 2004. General Honore also planned and supported the United States military response to the devastating flooding which swept Venezuela 1999 and Mozambique in 2000. As Vice Director for Operations, he led the Defense Departmentâ€™s planning and preparation for the anticipated Y2K Millennium anomaly. As Commander of SJFHQ-HLS under NORTHCOM direction, he planned and oversaw the military response to the Space Shuttle Columbia Tragedy and the DC Sniper Shootings. Additionally, General Honore participated in three TOPOFF (Top Officials) exercises as well as the United Endeavor series of Homeland Defense exercises.Among his assignments are Commanding General, First Army; Commanding General, SJFHQ-HLS, U.S. Northern Command; Commanding General, 2d Infantry Division, Korea; Deputy Commanding General/Assistant Commandant, United States Army Infantry Center and School, Fort Benning, Georgia; and the Assistant Division Commander, Maneuver/Support, 1st Calvary Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He has also served as the Brigade Commander, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia; Senior Mechanized Observer/Controller, â€œScorpion 07,â€ National Training Center (25 rotations); and Commander, 4th Battalion, 16th Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Germany. General Honors, awards, and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Distinguished Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (two Bronze Service Stars), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (one Bronze Service Star) the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon (4), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi), the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. Qualification badges include the Expert Infantry Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the Joint Staff Identification Badge. General Honore retired on February 29, 2008, following 37 years of active service with the United States Army. He continues to speak and consult nationally on Building a Culture of Preparedness.
- May Nguyen, JD (moderator)
Nguyen is the Community Outreach Director at Tulane Environmental Law Clinic where she develops and disseminates public education on Louisiana environmental law and policy (for example TELC’s “My Guide to Environmental Protection in Louisiana”), assists with advocacy campaigns led by TELC clients, processes intake requests, and writes grant proposals and reports. She also practices law part-time at Garcia Law Firm in Kenner, Louisiana. In 2013, Nguyen received the Rishwain Social Justice Entrepreneur Award for successfully demanding recognition and calculating damages for lost subsistence use due to the BP oil drilling disaster. After Hurricane Katrina, Nguyen created culturally competent small business assistance programs and built partnerships among diverse stakeholders to invest over $4 million in grants and low-interest loans for neighborhood businesses in New Orleans east. She earned a JD from UCLA Law School with a specialization in Public Interest Law and Policy, an MA from Johns Hopkins University in International Economics and Southeast Asia Studies, and a BA from Amherst College in Political Science. Vietnamese (fluent); Spanish (proficient).