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Tuesday, August 22, 2017                                         For Immediate Release
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A Disappearance: Works by Sudanese Artist Khalid Abdel Rahman
Curated by: Khalid Albaih & Kristina Kay Robinson
Closing Reception
TONIGHT: Tuesday, August 22, 2017
7:00-9:00 PM

7:00-9:00 PM


Please join me for the closing reception of KHALID ABDEL RAHMAN'S: 'A DISAPPEARANCE' hosted by myself and Arts Council New Orleans. As we approach the 12th anniversary of Katrina. I invite everyone in attendance to reflect on water, home, what we've lost and what we've found. Bring a passage , a poem, a song, a thought (your own or someone else's) to share if you feel inclined. The world is a very heavy place right now and I'd like to surround us with the beauty of memory, color and the word. Open share begins at 8:00 pm. FREE ADMISSION.


Khalid Abdel Rahman
Khalid Abdel Rahman
KHALID ABDEL RAHMAN has a highly distinctive signature style of abstract architectural scenes of middle class neighborhoods in Khartoum. Documenting a middle class that is slowly disappearing due to either working with the government or leaving the country searching for a better living situation. The brightly sad coloring of these empty neighborhoods reflects the reality of a disappearing class and people. Like a surreal scene from a memory you saw in a dream.

Artist: Khalid Abdel Rahman

Curated by: Khalid Wad Albaih 
Kristina Kay Robinson

with support from Charitable Film Network
Kristina Kay Robinson
(504) 373-7578

Work Kristina Kay Robinson
Twitter @gypsy_27

Khalid Abdel Rahman is a fine artist based in Khartoum, Sudan. As an initiative of the Goethe Institut Sudan, Rahman was a recent participant in "Sudan Untold/Retold." A workshop led by political cartoonist, Khalid Wad Albaih, which gathered 20 Sudanese artists together to create a graphic novel exploring the diverse history of the country.

MIXED COMPANY Editors Jeri Hilt and Kristina Robinson hanging out before their Loving Festival readings.
Kristina Kay Robinson
Kristina Kay Robinson is a writer and visual artist born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her written and visual work centers the intellectual geographies and spiritual technologies of Black, Afro-Indigenous, and diasporic peoples. It interrogates the modern and ancient connections between world communities and examines the impact of globalization, militarism, and surveillance on society. In particular focus: the human and political consequences of Hurricane Katrina and their place in the analysis of current world affairs. She is the coeditor of Mixed Company, a collection of short fiction and visual narratives by women of color. Her writing in various genres has appeared in the Xavier Review, Guernica, The Baffler, The Nation and among other outlets.

The New Orleans Exchange Centre at the corner of O'Keefe and Gravier streets is a 21 story office tower in the heart of New Orleans. This unique property offers panoramic views of the city and luxurious office space to fit corporations looking for a business home as well as professionals who need a prestigious address in the central business district.


Growing the Ecosystem
New Orleans Startup Fund
The New Orleans Startup Fund is empowering entrepreneurs through PowerMoves.NOLA, an initiative to increase the number of startups led by entrepreneurs of color, and a new program for minority-owned small businesses. With the generous support of our sponsors, Chevron, Entergy, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we're helping to grow and strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem here in our region.

PowerMoves.NOLA Entrepreneurs Spotlight

Local business owner helps parents collect child support

By Charmaine Jackson, The Louisiana Weekly 

Simone Spence
Simone Spence
For nearly 20 years, assisting mothers with pursuing back child support has been the sole mission of Simone Spence, president and founder of Don't Get Mad Get Paid, LLC. According to her, the United States has a total of $116 billion in back child support.

For nearly 20 years, assisting mothers with pursuing back child support has been the sole mission of Simone Spence, president and founder of Don't Get Mad Get Paid, LLC. According to her, the United States has a total of $116 billion in back child support.

"We live in a society that promotes #deadbeatculture, the system was never designed to collect from errant fathers who were completely able but unwilling to pay and hasn't quite put the necessary resources into making collections possible and last, it really isn't a priority. Let's face it, if these same people owed Uncle Sam $50,000 or $100,000, would they get away it with? The government would find a way to collect that money - seizing their accounts, cars, house and underpants, if they had to," Spence stated.

Due to a back child support battle with her ex-husband, Spence vowed to aid mothers to get money owed to them.

"I got married right after college, had my first child a year later and when my marriage did not work out my ex decided to stiff me on child support payments," Spence stated. "I figured out how to get my money and I started helping other moms to do the same and I have been doing it since then. I want to help millions of moms to collect their past due support because they need someone on their side."

Catering to mothers, who are usually the primary caregivers, Spence has especially become privy to "locate absent parents, locate hidden income and assets belonging to an absent parent trying to hide them and how to effectively garnish wages, bank accounts, and place liens on personal and real property, if necessary," per her Web site, Spence contends back child support can drastically improve the quality of life for a child, including covering the cost of extra-curricular activities, school tuition and basic essentials, such as food and clothes.

Spence's website is a do-it-yourself digital platform to assist mothers with collecting back child support arrears. A subscription service, the site provides a list of services, as well as a wealth of information, including child support consultations, blogs, webinars, and articles addressing any topic concerning child support.

Spence says the digital services will be fully available in June.

The digital route, compared to the traditional route, has its advantages. Spence says cost and peace of mind are two of them.

"Family Law attorneys are not debt collectors and will refer a mom back to the courts or to Child Support Enforcement for an enforcement motion. This does not help a mom to collect money and this is one of the reasons why there is $116 billion in past due support in the states ($1.3 billion in Louisiana)," Spence stated.

Spence says her subscription service is a fraction of the cost, with fees as low as $100 per month for document preparation, skip tracing and forensic accounting, among other services.

To cover the peace of mind, Spence created a proprietary online wizard, named Athena, after the warrior goddess of law and justice. Designed to cater to the busy mom, "Athena will locate the other parent, locate his income and assets so that collections are possible, aggregate the forms and motions that a mom needs for her particular case, send them to her for her signature and then mail them on her behalf," Spence stated.

For the mom who wants to opt out of collecting back child support to cover everyday costs, Spence advises to consider opening an account, depositing the money there every month and giving it to the children when they turn 18.

"I mean really - I've put one of my children through college already and college tuition is no joke," Spence stated.

This article originally published in the March 6, 2017 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

Scheduling Solutions FollowMyCal Now Available for Iphone Users and Online

By Julia Ballard, Silicon Bayou News

Richard Carthon
Richard Carthon
New Orleans-based FollowMyCal is making strides with its digital scheduling solution for different types of calendars. The goal of the company is to make the best social and shareable calendar by providing a product that is simple, seamless, and customizable.

FollowMyCal launched on Google Play in January and is now available online and on the App Store. The user-friendly platform lets you manage multiple calendars in one place- social, personal, or professional- and easily share them as well.

We interviewed founder Richard Carthon earlier this year as part of the Silicon Bayou series highlighting New Orleans startups that have gone through local accelerator programs. He says that although there are tons of other social platforms out there, FollowMyCal is the first of its kind "social calendar" platform available.

"If you are part of a business, club, organization, church group, non-profit, family, or any other group of people that needs an easy and seamless way to create a calendar and share it with others, FollowMyCal is the best free solution you can find on the market," shared Carthon.

It has been a busy year for Carthon. He participated in The Big Idea, Startup Catalyst, and the IDEAcorps MBA Consulting Challenge during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, and has been accepted into PowerMoves.NOLA, an initiative of the New Orleans Startup Fund to support high-growth, high-tech startups led by entrepreneurs of color in New Orleans.

"PoweMoves.NOLA has helped me move my business forward by providing me with access to resources and an extensive network of advisors and businesses," said Carthon. "In addition to office space, PowerMoves.NOLA has invested in FollowMyCal with funding that has allowed me to launch and grow."

With more than 200 pre-launch downloads of the app, Carthon is confident he will continue to grow the business and soon hire additional employees.


New Orleans tech startup founder urges fellow African-American women 'demand to be at the table'

By Summer Suleiman, The Distillery

Sevetri Wilson
Sevetri Wilson, founder/CEO of Solid Ground Innovations and ExemptMeNow
It took Sevetri Wilson and her software engineering team five long months of late nights and technical hurdles to launch ExemptMeNow in November 2016. Today, the online platform, which seeks to simplify the process of creating and maintaining a nonprofit, is focused on growing a user base in all 50 states from its home base in New Orleans.
Wilson, 31, is a Hammond native and founder of communications firm Solid Ground Innovations, known as SGI. She recently helped lead Sharon Broome's successful run to become Baton Rouge's first African-American female mayor.

The Distillery caught up with her at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week to talk about her experience as an African-American woman founder of a tech startup.

TD: Tell us about ExemptMeNow.

SW: ExemptMeNow is like the TurboTax for non-profits. The IRS says the process of incorporating a nonprofit takes 101 hours. We've reduced that process to 10 hours, but really three hours if you sit down and do it all the way through.

TD: How did you come up with the idea?

SW: ExemptMeNow is like the TurboTax for non-profits. The IRS says the process of incorporating a nonprofit takes 101 hours. We've reduced that process to 10 hours, but really three hours if you sit down and do it all the way through.

TD: How did you come up with the idea?

SW: [It was] a service that we were already providing to our SGI clients. We used to do this service manually and it no longer fit our model. So we decided that we needed to either get rid of it or evolve it.

TD: Have you been able to secure funding?

SW: We are currently raising $1 million for ExemptMeNow. We've infused $400,000 into ExemptMeNow to date. We've raised $255,000 in investor capital, and put in $200,000 of our own capital. Fundraising has been a very humbling process for me.

TD: What is it like to be a young, African-American woman in the startup world?

SW: A lot of times I tell minority entrepreneurs who think they're not smart enough -- or fast enough -- that it's not the case. Rather, truly it's because they're just not at the table. There are factors that are out of their control. We lose out on opportunities because we don't even know they exist.

You have to turn over every rock. You have to demand to be at the table. You're more equipped when you know your disadvantages. When you know what's up against you, it better prepares you. You take losses in stride until you get your breakthrough.

Click here to read The Distillery's full Q&A with ExemptMeNow's Sevetri Wilson.

This story was originally published on The Distillery as a part of a content partnership with to offer unique, original coverage of entrepreneurship in New Orleans. Written by Summer Suleiman.


Anew: A media and entertainment platform for women of color


Lynne McDaniel
Lynne McDaniel
Having just wrapped filming on the scripted web series titled Date.Love.Repeat., Lynne McDaniel is well on her way to launching anew network, a media and entertainment platform for women of color. The network released a teaser video for the new web series, and you can sign up for updates and to be alerted when anew launches.


CONNEXSHIP: The New Way of Connecting Shippers to Routes


Jason Burns
Jason Burns
Seeing an opportunity to leverage technology to improve the shipping business,  Jason Burns created an online marketplace that allows users to search, select, and ship products on the most cost-effective and efficient existing route networks.


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Rodney & Etter, LLC is a law firm comprised of a diverse group of lawyers with backgrounds in business, government, and science.  We practice in New Orleans and in Houston, and are recognized by peers and legal organizations across the United States for our outstanding record of successful settlements and litigation.
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