OVNV was founded in 2015 to organize parents to expand quality educational access for students in New Orleans. We needed to create a more equitable system, and we needed to ensure that any reforms, recommendations, or campaigns we executed were grounded in what parents and communities identified as needs. In order to identify those needs, we needed to organize parents and hear their voices. We focused our initial efforts in the Latinx community given it was the community with the greatest need. By approaching parents in car lines and conducting one-on-one meetings with parents, we set out to build authentic relationships in the Latinx and Spanish speaking communities, learn about the obstacles they faced, and devise solutions to create better educational outcomes for students.
While our initial work centered on education, our evolving mission and vision seeks to widen the scope of what is possible for Black and Brown communities in New Orleans. OVNV has been breaking new ground by expanding the scope of issues organizing to be cross-cultural and include the voices of both Black and Brown families. OVNV’s work, staffing, and culture are aligned to innovatively disrupt inequities impacting Black and Brown communities by transforming the role of parents, families, and communities in policy-creation and governance throughout New Orleans. Our strategy focuses around empowering communities through direct action organizing, capacity building, centering identity and culture, and collaboration with institutions, stakeholders, and policymakers.
Our Voice Nuestra Voice is a nation-building organization, anchoring ancestry while building Black and Brown solidarity in New Orleans. We remember our shared culture and language, reconnect to the land, and organize our community around collective action. We build the capacity of community members, parents, and families to act as advocates in order to create a more equitable city, focusing on a number of issues including education, criminal justice, and immigration.
Our deep understanding of the racial and structural inequities that exist in our country empowers us to dismantle them. We envision a world where Black and Brown people live without harm, practice liberatory education, and enact restorative justice. We reconnect with our ancestors and our culture, because our ancestors sowed seeds so that we could reap a bountiful harvest.