Update to FFL community on Confederate monument removal

Lousiana’s

The foundation did not take a public position on the merits of the lawsuit while the case was undergoing litigation. However, President and CEO Flozell Daniels, Jr. states, “Foundation for Louisiana strongly supports equitable placemaking strategies – ensuring that public spaces are representative of and honor the people who live in this community. In this context, we recognize that true racial healing cannot occur while these egregious symbols remain. In order to move forward on a path of racial equity in our city it is time that we address the damage done in the past and make plans to enter the Tricentennial year as a city with a shared vision of equitable opportunity, inclusive democracy and transformative truths.”

New Orleans – The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the City of New Orleans has the right to remove the three public monuments that have been designated “Confederate monuments.” These are all located within the New Orleans City limits and include images of:

· Gen. Robert E. Lee
· Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard
· Confederacy President Jefferson Davis

Additionally, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier also declared that the Battle of Liberty Place monument could be removed, overruling a previous federal consent order.

Foundation for Louisiana is working with the City of New Orleans as a fiscal sponsor for the funds that have been provided by anonymous donors and will be used to pay the contractor to carry out the work of removing the monuments.

Although the majority of New Orleanians support replacing the Confederate monuments, there is controversy about their removal and dangerous threats have been made by opponents. For example, during the previous bidding process for a contractor to remove the monuments, threats were made against potential bidders and a contractor’s car was torched. FFL also has received negative attention, including several comments/negative reviews on its Facebook page and in news articles about the monuments’ removal.

The foundation did not take a public position on the merits of the lawsuit while the case was undergoing litigation. However, President and CEO Flozell Daniels, Jr. states, “Foundation for Louisiana strongly supports equitable placemaking strategies – ensuring that public spaces are representative of and honor the people who live in this community. In this context, we recognize that true racial healing cannot occur while these egregious symbols remain. In order to move forward on a path of racial equity in our city it is time that we address the damage done in the past and make plans to enter the Tricentennial year as a city with a shared vision of equitable opportunity, inclusive democracy and transformative truths.”

FFL respects the request for anonymity of the donors who wish to underwrite the cost of the removal and replacement of the Confederate monuments. Considering the acts of terrorism visited upon one of the former contractors, it’s more important than ever that those involved be protected from dangerous opponents. From the position of the foundation, these donations are no different than any other gift the foundation is given by a private donor.

While Foundation for Louisiana is a 501©3 entity, specific names of donors are not required to be released by the IRS. FFL’s publicly available filings do not require the explicit exposure of funding sources. Information about various contributions from funders is released on an as-required basis only, decided by the CEO with board approval.

The mission of Foundation for Louisiana (FFL) is to invest in people and practices that work to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities statewide. FFL works on a range of issues and challenges facing our state, including coastal resilience, economic development, disaster recovery, affordable housing, accessible transit, the role of culture bearers and strengthening of organizations and individual capacity. We welcome and encourage healthy, positive and constructive dialogue about these issues and our work, but we will moderate that dialogue accordingly and delete and report offensive, demeaning and inaccurate comments as needed.