Everyone within walking, flying, or hiking distance of the Croissant City is urged to sign up now for the seventh annual Rising Tide conference on the future of New Orleans. This year’s keynote speakers—why have just one?—are the talented Treme-born writer Lolis Eric Elie, director of the documentary Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans, and (just-retired) Tulane professor of history Lawrence N. Powell, author of The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans. (Dr. Powell appears in a previous LNW post here.)

The day-long event at Xavier University in Mid-City, New Orleans, will feature panel discussions on the status and future of local journalism, changes to the education system, environmental impacts of the 2010 BP oil spill, development of cultural economy, parenting, entrepreneurship, and neighborhood activism. Click here for the RT blog, and here for a detailed schedule.

Among the scheduled speakers and panel discussions:

  • Lawrence Powell: “The Accidental History of an Accidental Book”
  • The Education Experiment: Petri Dish Reform in New Orleans and Louisiana
  • Take This Job and Love It: Owning Your Own Business in NOLA
  • Community or Commodity?
  • Neighborhoods: Shake for Ya ’Hood (If It’s All Good)
  • Lolis Eric Elie: “At War with Ourselves: New Orleans Culture at the Crossroads . . . Again . . . and Again”
  • Oil & Water
  • Mardi Gras Moms and Who Dat Dads: A Discussion on Parenting in New Orleans
  • Black and White and Red All Over: The Digital Future of the New Orleans Media Market

Conference registration is open at www.risingtidenola.com, and is only $28 until September 21, with a discount registration of $18 for students with valid ID. Registration at the door is $38. Lunch is included in the price of admission. There will be a pre-conference party on Friday, Sept. 21, from 9 p.m. till, at the Big Top, 1638 Clio Street, New Orleans, featuring the TBC Brass Band.


As RT7 the press release explains, Rising Tide NOLA, Inc., is a nonprofit organization formed by New Orleans bloggers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the federally built levees. After the disaster, the Internet became a vital connection among dispersed New Orleanians, former New Orleanians, and friends of the city and the Gulf Coast region. A surge of new blogs were created, and combined with those that were already online, an online community with a shared interest in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast developed. In the summer of 2006, to mark the anniversary of the flood, the bloggers of New Orleans organized the first Rising Tide Conference, taking their shared interest in technology, the arts, the internet and social media and turning advocacy in the city into action.

Past speakers have included the actor and activist Harry Shearer; David Simon, co-creator of HBO’s Treme and The Wire; N.O. geographer and historian Rich Campanella; authors John Barry, Dave Zirin, and Chris Cooper and Bobby Block; and Mother Jones human rights and environmental reporter (Ms.) Mac McClelland. (See links below for previous RTs.)

Rising Tide 7 is sponsored by The Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Xavier University, The Gambit, VeracityStew.com, InTheNOLA.com, Yelp.com, Cara Jougland Photography, WTUL 91.5 FM, 3 Ring Circus Productions, and The Lens.


Since 2007, we have been to four of the six Rising Tides. The first conference, which we missed, was on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, in August 2006. We strongly recommend joining this fun and stimulating gathering of bloggers, activists, teachers, writers, techies and other geeks, and all around bright and creative people who care about the present and future of New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast. We are sad that 2012 travel budget constraints won’t allow us to attend RT7—though we did get to attend a planning meeting when we visited New Orleans in March. But we’ll be back next year if we have to walk. Be there for us, won’t you? And have a great time! See y’all next time around.


Click below to read about previous Rising Tides (most recent first):

Dedra Johnson of ‘The G Bitch Spot’ Wins Rising Tide’s Ashley Award (2011)

Live-Blogging from Rising Tide 6 (2011)

Rising Tide 6 Is August 27, So Register Today (2010)

Live-Blogging from Rising Tide 5 in New Orleans (2010)

Come Surf the Rising Tide : Aug. 28 in New Orleans (2008)

Rising Tide 5 Is Aug. 28 in New Orleans: Register Today (2010)

RT4: Sinking to New Heights (2009)

Rising Tide III in New Orleans Aug. 22–24 (2008)

Viva New Orleans—for Art’s Sake! (2007)

Making Blogging Sexy: Rising Tide 2  (2007)