NOLA Black Panthers on campus
Campus News, Newsletter

Dillard Hosted A Conversation with the New Orleans Black Panthers  

Dillard students had a unique opportunity to hear firsthand accounts from former members of the New Orleans chapter of the Black Panther Party. The gathering, hosted by the Beta Phi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., provided a platform for these individuals to recount their experiences as activists, detailing key initiatives such as the Free Breakfast Program and a significant standoff with the New Orleans Police Department in the Desire Housing Development.

The event delved into the collective journey of the New Orleans Black Panthers, shedding light on their deep-rooted commitment to community upliftment and social justice. A significant part of the discussion focused on the life-changing Free Breakfast Program, a groundbreaking initiative pioneered by the Black Panther Party to address food insecurity among children in underserved communities. By providing nutritious meals before school, the program not only nourished bodies but also nourished minds, underlining the crucial role of basic needs support in empowering youth.

Additionally, the panelists shared riveting accounts of the historic standoff between the Black Panthers and the New Orleans Police Department in the Desire Housing Development. 

Throughout the session, students were not just passive listeners, but actively engaged with the narratives of these trailblazing activists, gaining valuable insights into the challenges faced by the Black Panther Party and the enduring legacy of their advocacy work. Prospective students from Oakland, CA, paused their tour to participate actively in the Q&A session and further discuss the speakers’ experiences compared to what they witnessed in Oakland. The speakers’ stories served as a testament to the transformative impact of grassroots activism and the unwavering dedication required to effect positive change within society.

By engaging with the New Orleans Black Panthers and learning from their remarkable journey, students were not only inspired by the past achievements of these courageous individuals. Still, they were also encouraged to continue the fight for social justice and community empowerment in their capacities. The event served as a powerful reminder of the importance of understanding and honoring the contributions of those who paved the way for progress and equality in our communities.

The New Orleans Black Panthers’ testimonies resonated deeply with the audience, reinforcing the significance of unity, resilience, and activism in creating a more inclusive and equitable society. Their stories will undoubtedly continue to inspire future generations to stand up for their beliefs and strive toward building a brighter and more just future for all.