The Project

Youth of color in the city of New Orleans are disproportionately affected by poverty. The adverse effects of poverty are integrated throughout both the physical and social environments of our city’s most economically disadvantaged youth. While DSCEJ has a long standing history of addressing disparities in the physical environment of marginalized groups, we recognize the need to dually address the gaps in the social environment of this population.

Navigate Her, funded by the Institute of Mental Hygiene, a project of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice Inc., announces the Navigate Her Leadership Institute (NHLI), an African-American Female Youth Leadership Training Academy. NHLI will aim to bridge the transgenerational leadership gap that exists in the African-American community among adolescent girls, young women and more mature women. The goal of the youth leadership academy will be to: 1.) to promote the positive portrayal of African-American Women in New Orleans, 2.) to provide African-American girls, in the city of New Orleans, with positive adult role models, and 3.) to facilitate the engagement of African-American women in New Orleans cultivating the leadership of African-American adolescent girls in the city. The program will utilize a transgenerational leadership approach by partnering with the following two professional womens’ organizations:African-American Women of Power and Purpose and The Links Inc., Crescent City Chapter.

Target Population

The target population for program participants is 25 African-American girls in high-school in the greater New Orleans area. While there are continuous efforts being made to provide programming and resources for African-American boys, programming for their female counterparts is scarce. NHLI seeks to meet the unique needs of this target population.

NHLI is currently being implemented at two sites, Joseph S. Clark High School, and in partnership with The Urban League of Greater New Orleans Project Ready at Lake Area New Tech Early College High-School.  

The Navigate Her Leadership Institute Team

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller

Program Director: Danielle K. Wright; contact

Partners: AAWPP, Links, Inc., Crescent City Chapter & Le Musee de f.p.c.

NHLI Planning Committee

Brigette Wright 

Jamila Coleman Hazel 

Devin Mundy 

Navigate Her Leadership Institute Speakers

Beverly Wright, PhD

Margaret Montgomery Richard, PhD

Brandy Trepagnier

Petrice Sams Abiodun, PhD

Timolynn Sams Sumter

Amanda Aiken

Kelli Jordan, PhD