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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


E. Reid Brau
Executive Director, American Red Cross - Northwest Louisiana Chapter

E. Reid Brau has served as the Executive Director of the Northwest Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross since 1989. Mr. Brau has been with the Red Cross for almost 31 years. The Northwest Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross covers an area spanning ten parishes. He also serves as the Regional Executive Director for the North Louisiana Red Cross chapters, including Central and Northeast Louisiana, an area covering 30 parishes.

Mr. Brau works with his chapter Board of Directors, the American National Red Cross, his community chapters, staff and the general public on a daily basis. He is the chief liaison between the Red Cross and regional organizations such as the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. He works closely with the politicians and leaders in several of the major cities throughout north Louisiana. He also spearheads all Northwest Louisiana Red Cross Disaster Response. In fact, Mr. Brau has been with Red Cross for all five of the biggest disasters to hit our area or the nation (Bossier Tornado - 1978, North Louisiana Floods - 1991, Benton Tornado - 1999, September 11th - 2001, Hurricanes Katrina & Rita - 2005). He has watched the face of disaster response change dramatically over the years, evolving into what it has become today - a much more interactive, personal approach.

Mr. Brau is a past member of the Board of Directors for Noel United Methodist Church, the North Shreveport Industrial Park and the Caddo Council on Aging. He is a member of the Rotary Club and serves on several committees related to disaster preparedness. Mr. Brau has a B.S. in Industrial Technology from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. He is married with two daughters: Heather, an interior designer in Florida and Molly, an accomplished artist who is currently a senior at LSU in Baton Rouge.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

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