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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Roxann Pedesclaux Johnson
Executive Director of the Shreveport YWCA

Roxann Pedesclaux Johnson is currently the chief executive officer of the YWCA of N. W. Louisiana; a not-for-profit United Way agency which includes 2 locations, 11 programs, and 200 plus staff and volunteers. She is also the owner/president of RPJ Diversity Consultants, which offers customized trainings, in conflict resolution/anger management, leadership, customer service, and cultural sensitivity.

A native of Louisiana, Shreveport has been her home for close to 10 years. She has also lived in Spain; England; and Germany. She very recently returning from Paris, France where she was able to introduce her youngest son to his first trip abroad.

Here in Shreveport she is executive board member of the N. W. Louisiana Women's Political Caucus, Christus Schumper Hospital board, executive member of the Southern University Shreveport Foundation, chair-links/services to youth, monthly columnist for City Lights, chair of the Louisiana's Women Leaders Conference, weekly television panelist for Citywide-Dateline.

She is a 2004 Shreveport Athena award nominee, 2005 Harry Blake-distinguished award winner, 2005 Women of the Year presented by the Zontas, 2006 Citizen of the Year presented by the Men's Omega Fraternity of Shreveport. Here in 2007 she has been named as one of Bossier's distinguished Athena award nominees. She is most proud to have a scholarship named after her; the "Roxann Johnson Scholarship."

Roxann is a widow; she has three children: a Byrd High School graduate son who is now a marine biology graduate from Tampa Florida university, a daughter who is a regional trainer, and another proud son in the U.S. Air Force currently serving in Iraq.

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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