On Wednesday, June 20, Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise and Glass House Collective will partner to host City Share, a speaker-based community conversation series focused on sharing creative solutions to community issues. City Share gives community members an opportunity to dialogue with individuals from around the country using web-based video projection.
This month’s City Share will feature Reconcile New Orleans (RNO), a New Orleans-based nonprofit that teaches at-risk youth aged 16 to 22 life skills and culinary training. RNO features an on-site restaurant, Cafe Reconcile, where students have the chance to use their training for a tangible product.
Speaking via video conference from New Orleans will be Craig Cuccia, Co-founder of Reconcile New Orleans, and Pamela Broom, former Assistant Executive Director of Reconcile New Orleans and current RNO Board Secretary.
RNO was founded in 1996 by the late Rev. Harry Tompson and community members Craig Cuccia and Tim Falcon to fuel economic vitality and growth in the troubled Central City neighborhood.
The organization started in a five-story building in the heart of the neighborhood, where children come once a week and learn culinary skills from waitressing to cooking, earning a small stipend. Cafe Reconcile was founded in 2000 in the same building, opening the doors to a community who wanted more than just another soup kitchen – a real opportunity.
To date, Reconcile New Orleans has provided more than 800 New Orleans youth with an opportunity to make positive changes in their lives and find stable employment. The organization has also grown to include construction training and is in the process of expanding nationally through The Reconciliation Institute (TRI). Broom is serving as the first year start up director for The Reconciliation Institute, a nonprofit aimed at sharing RNO’s innovative model with communities across the country.
A discussion will follow the video session on how the Cafe Reconcile model can be implemented in communities such as East Chattanooga and beyond.
The event will be held on Wednesday, June 20 at Greenspaces, 63 E. Main Street beginning at noon. The event is open to the public and lunch will be provided sponsored by Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise and the YMCA. Those planning to attend should RSVP to email@example.com.