Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Tina Rosenberg spoke at the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s 30th anniversary celebration and biennial meeting Tuesday, May 21. Rosenberg’s latest book, Join the Club, illustrates how all kinds of positive social change can be achieved by using carefully applied positive peer pressure, or “the social cure.”
“People are unlikely to change simply because you give them information or instill fear in them,” said Rosenberg. “The strongest force we have at our disposal is our need for connection.”
Rosenberg gave several examples of how the social cure has brought about positive change across the U.S., including helping African American and Latino college students to excel in calculus and dramatically reducing violence at the Benning Terrace housing development in Washington, D.C.
“This is not a new lesson, but it bears repeating: we are better together,” said Rosenberg. “Tell all your friends about what you’re doing. Spread the word about philanthropy in New Orleans and watch people join your club.”
The event honored GNOF’s past, present, and future leadership. Outgoing board chair Anthony Recasner, Ph.D., handed over the reins to incoming board chair Ludovico Feoli, Ph.D.
Daryl G. Byrd, president and CEO of Iberia Bank, which sponsored the event, presented the second annual Spark Plug Award to Mrs. Phyllis M. Taylor for her extraordinary leadership in “sparking” social change in Greater New Orleans and beyond.
Among her many achievements, Mrs. Taylor has served as chair and CEO of Taylor Energy Company since the death of her husband, Patrick F. Taylor, in 2004. She is also chair and president of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation. Mrs. Taylor served on the board of the Greater New Orleans Foundation for 12 years, including two years as board chair.
Accepting the award, Mrs. Taylor commended the crowd, saying, “There are people here who laid the foundation for the Foundation thirty years ago. We now have so many wonderful, exciting projects underway. Tens of thousands of people are being helped and organizations are learning how to better serve. We live in an incredible area.”
The celebration took place at the Arbor Room at Popp Fountain in City Park. Entertainment was provided by the Roots of Music, and decorative flags and T-shirts were printed by Resurrection after Exoneration. Photography by Will Crocker. The below video montage was designed by Tom Varisco Designs.
To view photos from Tuesday, May 21 event, please visit our Facebook Page.
This article was written by freelance journalist, Rebecca Connor.