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Sunday, November 18, 2018
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Panelist Bio


Martha J. Kegel
Executive Director of UNITY of Greater New Orleans

Martha J. Kegel is an attorney and Executive Director of UNITY of Greater New Orleans, an award-winning collaborative of 60 agencies providing housing and services to end and prevent homelessness in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.

Since Katrina, UNITY has worked to rebuild its member organizations and homeless housing, launched a landmark initiative to create 3000 new units of Permanent Supportive Housing as part of the state hurricane recovery programs, partnered with Common Ground Community to develop supportive housing for the chronically homeless, and developed http://www.unityhousinglink.org to assist New Orleanians in finding affordable housing despite widespread destruction of rental units.

Ms. Kegel is an adjunct professor at Loyola University School of Law and has taught disability law at Tulane University’s School of Social Work. She was the 2002 recipient of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Career Public Interest Award.

Ms. Kegel holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Drake University and a juris doctorate degree from Stanford Law School, where she was an editor of the Stanford Law Review. She clerked for the Hon. Henry A. Politz, the late Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Ms. Kegel is a past recipient of a Skadden Fellowship from the law firm of Skadden, Arps, for legal assistance to the poor.

She formerly directed the Homeless Legal Advocacy Project at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services/New Orleans Legal Assistance, where she focused on disability, employment, and civil rights law.

She was Executive Director and Staff Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, and served as Associate Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. Ms. Kegel formerly was a reporter and editorial writer.

Current Topic


     11/18 - An Eye on Admissions

What standards should be used for college admissions?
This fall, LSU instituted a “holistic admissions” process for incoming students which relies more on essays and recommendations than on College Board test scores and grade point averages. Proponents of the move say it’s a better way to identify strong students while opening up opportunities for families not financially able to afford prep classes for standardized exams. Opponents say the move will increase student attrition and could endanger LSU’s flagship status. Examine the new standards from several different perspectives.

Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “An Eye on Admissions” Wednesday, November 21 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

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


     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?

Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     12/18 - News About the News (Encore)

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

Recent Topics


     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?

     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

     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?

     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?
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