SMHA is proud to have been invited to the White House Rural Forum in State College, Pennsylvania, on October 5th. Director of Life Quality Initiatives, Gabe Schwartzman, spoke about SMHA’s continued commitment to maintain a vibrant future for Gulf Coast communities. Schwartzman spoke on the Young Leaders in Rural America panel, alongside Whitney Kimball Coe, director of National Programs for the Center for Rural Strategies.
SMHA is proud to share this special announcement and congratulates Roberta Madden, the Chair of the Board of Directors of SMHA, on this special award, once again being recognized for her life-long work in making a difference!
As you will read, Sr. Helen is referred to as an "environmental virtuoso" and pioneer with a passion for the land. We can't agree more! What a perfect way to tell the story of her journey and mission.
Over the past year, Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc. (SMHA) has worked with Ducote and Associates and Ricoh-USA to convert nearly a half century of work, progress, and documentation into a comprehensive and user-friendly digital archive. This remarkable collection of documents reaches back to our earliest work with sugar cane farmworkers working to achieve fair pay, to our role in women’s leadership in Louisiana, to our innovative community development models. These learnings will not only document what SMHA has accomplished, but will also capture important stories for researchers, scholars, and community members alike.
Recently, Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc. (SMHA) staff met with an international data consultant in order to evaluate our in house data collection. SMHA has long been a believer in capturing and quantifying the positive change made in the lives of those we have helped, and we know that this extremely important data will help to direct the future of our work locally, state-wide, and nationally.
The staff of SMHA is so proud of Sr. Helen! Helen was among 85 recipients to receive the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award at a special Mass and Award Ceremony Celebration, held at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, in Lafayette on Friday, January 16, 2015. Our special thanks go to St. Peter’s Catholic Church in New Iberia and, in particular, Deacon Patrick Burke for nominating Sr. Helen.
Recently, Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc. (SMHA) President and CEO Lorna Bourg traveled to Chicago, Illinois for a meeting of minds with other MacArthur Foundation Fellows. Bourg was nominated and awarded her fellowship in 1992, for her outstanding work as a Rural Development Leader.
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