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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Adam Knapp
Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Restore Louisiana Task Force

Adam Knapp is the President and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, which he joined in 2008. BRAC is responsible for leading economic development in the nine-parish Capital Area of Louisiana, and is ranked by Site Selection as one of the top 10 regional economic development organizations in the US. BRAC’s talented team leads business development efforts for the region in collaboration with a network of strategic partners, while at the same time leading efforts to enhance the region’s competitiveness and improve the conditions for additional business investment.

In September, Governor John Bel Edwards appointed Mr. Knapp to the Restore Louisiana Task Force, which is charged with overseeing the state’s recovery efforts from the recent historic flooding across South Louisiana.

A native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, he attended Davidson College near Charlotte, North Carolina, and also studied at Julius-Maximillian University in Germany and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Adam started his career in the private sector, where he worked in in Chicago and Silicon Valley as a consultant for Accenture, a global management consulting firm. After Accenture, Adam returned to Louisiana to serve Governors Mike Foster and Kathleen Blanco as Economic Development Advisor. He worked at Louisiana Economic Development, and, after the 2005 hurricanes, as Deputy Director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority.

Adam serves on the Boards of Directors for Teach for America, the Center for Planning Excellence, New Schools Baton Rouge, the Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative, and attends University Presbyterian Church. He is married to Megan Johnson Knapp, and they have three young children, Sadie, Hattie, and Nicholas.

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?

Recent Topics


     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
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