New Orleans, Historic McDonogh 19 was the first elementary school to desegregate in Louisiana. On November 14th, 1960, six years after separate black and white schools were ruled unconstitutional in Brown vs. Board of Education, six-year old Leona Tate, Gail Etienne and Tessie Prevost were escorted by Federal Marshals through a crowd of shouting protesters to attend McDonogh 19, becoming the first African Americans along with Ruby Bridges to attend formerly white-only schools in Louisiana. The three young girls attended class alone - and under the protection of United States Marshals - in an otherwise empty building for a year and a half while their white peers and neighbors went to parochial and private schools elsewhere.
As one of the McDonogh 3, Leona Tate has worked tirelessly for more than a decade to gain control of McDonogh 19 for redevelopment. In 2018, Ms. Tate was successful in obtaining site control and in the first quarter of 2020 , the Leona Tate Foundation for Change will break ground with the goal of the TEP Center opening in the second quarter of 2021.
The renovated historic site will include a museum and interpretive center, a small civil rights research library, and an educational space operated by LTFC that is dedicated to teaching New Orleans' history of school desegregation and civil rights with an anti-rascism agenda. The space will also include 25 units of affordable housing for seniors in New Orleans.
LTFC and Alembic have sourced 82% or 13.3M of 16.1M in investment for the redevelopment, and are working with national and local donors and philanthropists to close the gap on 1.5M needed by January 31st 2020.
Please join the final push to re-open this landmark school as an institute for justice & equality. Our goal is to raise $333,000 of the 1.5M, three 3's for each girl in the month of November as we celebrate school integration month.
The efforts of this project has been nothing short of a labor of love and we are so close to bringing the T.E.P. Center to life. Please join us in making history right by supporting the lives, work and history of the McDonogh 3.
To find out more information about the Leona Tate Foundation for Change, please visit our website at https://www.leonatatefoundation.org/