Yesterday, Lifetime kicked off their latest digital content series giving voice to women across the country, Her America: 50 Women, 50 States. Baton Rouge Councilwoman, Chauna Banks of District 2 was chosen to represent the state of Louisiana. “I hoped by participating in HER AMERICA: 50 WOMEN, 50 STATES, it would offer an opportunity to
Yesterday, Lifetime kicked off their latest digital content series giving voice to women across the country, Her America: 50 Women, 50 States. Baton Rouge Councilwoman, Chauna Banks of District 2 was chosen to represent the state of Louisiana.
“I hoped by participating in HER AMERICA: 50 WOMEN, 50 STATES, it would offer an opportunity to highlight both the challenges and rewards in the community where I serve,” Councilwoman Banks says.
The community she is referring to is her district (District 2) which consists of most of Baker, Alsen, Scotlandville, Beechwood, Brownsfield, and north of Hooper Road to the Comite River. The historical Southern University A&M College, of which Banks is a graduate, is also located in this area, along with more than 30 plants that provide jobs for many in the Baton Rouge area.
According to NeighborhoodScouts.com, the area has a 17.9% vacancy rate which is higher than most U. S. neighborhoods, with a median real estate price is $97,599. The councilwoman says that investors do not want to put money into the community due to the “large concentration of petrochemical plants” and describes the situation as “systemic racism and disinvestment. This area of Baton Rouge became synonymous with poverty, pollution and blight.”
We asked how hard it is to represent a district that is crippled by systemic racism and disinvestment? “It’s relatively difficult because the ‘powers that be’ reject the very thought of systemic racism and believe that disinvested communities are at fault when there is inequity in the distribution of private funding for quality of life improvements,” Banks shares.
So will the campaign help give any insight to District 2’s constituents or will they be learning of any new projects taking place in the area? To this the Scotlandville representative replies, “I believe my constituents are well aware of the positive attributes that exist in Metro District 2 communities. My hope is to broaden the scope of recognition and gain community partners and stakeholders that will be dedicated to middle class housing for young professionals, a greater partnership with existing economic development anchors, healthcare and retail options.
The Her America campaign began shortly after the 2016 US Presidential Election, at a time when our country seemed more fractured than ever, Lifetime set out to capture the truth about women’s lives in America, bringing them closer together and amplifying the voices that go unheard and unrecognized
To view the campaign, visit https://www.heramerica.com.
To view Banks’s feature, you can visit https://www.heramerica.com/?fromBack=1#chauna-louisiana-new-orleans-essay.
Photo by Stacy Kranitz for Lifetime.