[STICC] A Dream Realized

(Ed: These materials come from the community organizing efforts of the St. Thomas Residents Council of the St. Thomas Housing Development, and STICC, a coalition of institutions near St. Thomas working to act accountably to the residents of the St. Thomas community. The organizing was facilitated by The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond from the late 1980's to the late 1990's. By the time Katrina hit New Orleans, HANO -- Housing Authority of New Orleans, HUD (U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development), and a private developer had successfully used HUD's Hope VI Project monies to destroy the St. Thomas projects, once home to thousands of low income African Americans. The new housing is called "River Gardens," a so-called "mixed income development," which houses 60 low income families, some middle income apartments, a Wal-Mart, and a planned high income tower for wealthy (mostly white) residents. Information on the River Gardens Development comes from Bill Quigley's "HUD to New Orleans Poor ā€“ 'Go F(ind) Yourself (Housing)!'" June 16, 2006. (See www.justiceforneworleans.org and www.survivorsvillage.org for more on struggles to keep public housing.)

A Dream Realized: "The Future is Open, We Shall Decide"

Five years ago there was "The Dream."

It lived in the hearts and minds of people who knew that their future and destiny must reside in their own hands. It was a dream of change ā€“ a dream that came to life in the St. Thomas Housing Development.

Five years ago, The Residents Council gave area agencies an ultimatum-develop a new way of relating to the community based on principles of self determination, or financial supporters would be asked to deny funding to organizations who refused to be accountable. The Residents Council dreamed of a community where its people could live their lives free from the hateful bonds of racism... where all could participate in the building of the community and the society in which they live'and enjoy the rewards of their labor.

The Dream was a place where deeply-rooted cultural ties could thrive and nourish a spiritual people. It was a place where political divisiveness and self-interest was replaced with cooperation and respect for diversity.

Five years ago there was The Dream. But today it is a dream rooted in the unlimited potential of determined neighbors. In this remarkable short time, the St. Thomas/Irish Channel Consortium has given substance to ideas, action to thoughts, form to dreams. And more, it has given the people of St. Thomas and the Irish Channel the reality of an organizational structure that is sustaining, resourceful, and committed to the self-determination of the community.

A dream taken seriously becomes a goal.

Seriousness of purpose is judged by the reality of accomplishment. Here you will find the reality beyond the dream-the reality of lives touched and goals achieved.


Welcome! On behalf of all the member agencies of the St. Thomas/lrish Channel Consortium, I wanl to say thank you for your support and involvement.

STICC is six years old in 1995. It seems like only a little while ago the idea of forming a consortium of agencies that would work in partnership with the residents of St. Thomas was just that - An Idea! But it was obviously an idea whose time had come and today we are on the threshold of achieving real things - for St. Thomas - for the City - and even beyond.

Today the SI. Thomas/Irish Channel CO/lsortium can look with pride at the plans.for a "New St. Thomas" - plans that were dreams only a few years ago.

We celebrate the work of the Kuji Center with our young people. The Kuji Center means so much to the youth of the St. Thomas/Irish Channel community. When we began some of our young people had hardly been outside the boundaries of their own neighborhood. Today Kuji Youth traveled worldwide and they know no boundaries. They can dream, too.

Plain Talk - STICC is known for Plain Talk. In more ways than one we tell it like it is and grow stronger for it. Plain Talk is spreading the word that we want our children to be safe; to be careful; and to know they are loved - Unconditionally. Plain Talk is about talking plain about sex -safe sex; responsible sex - demystifying what has been for too long a taboo subject.

Let me say thanks also to the women and men of the St. Thomas Residents Council. Without their wit and wisdom and grit STICC would not exist. The guidance they have given us every step along the way is the very soul of our work. They have entrusted us with great responsibility, but even greater community. The Residents Council is our lifeblood - energetic, contentious, visionary, struggling, but ever hopeful. Every day I remind myself if, they can KEEP ON with all they have to deal with then certainly the rest of us can keep going too.

Last of all let me thank the agencies that comprise the St. Thomas/Irish Channel Consortium (the STlCC). Our life together has just begun. In the words of a wise one - The Future is Open; We Shall Decide.

Barbara Major, President

"I don't want my daughter growing up without her daddy.
That's why Iā€™m staying away from drugs,
so I'll be here for her."
-Leon Jolly
The St. Thomas Community Garden, a component of the
St. Thomas Economic Development, is a partnership
with the residents of the St. Thomas Housing Development,
Kingsley House, and G & E Courtyard Grill.
They grow herbs such as arugula, dill,
cilantro and chives for use in the restaurant.



In 1988, the St. Thomas Resident Council challenged businesses and organizations to form a more accountable partnership with the residents of St. Thomas. Businesses and organizations accepted the challenge, and the St. Thomas/Irish Channel Consortium was created. The St. Thomas/Irish Channel Consortium, STICC, is made up of 12 organizations and other entities whose work is based in or around the St. Thomas housing development. The Consortium insures that all committees and task forces will include the co-leadership of St. Thomas residents.

STICC operates on the basis of the following accountability statement:
" ... the acceptance of a role that fits within a cultural, political, and social perspective that leads to the liberation of peoples of color from racism, oppression, and cultural subordination. It requires a commitment to the vision of African-Americans and other oppressed peoples to assume self-determination over those areas deemed by them to directly affect their lives."

Members of the Consortium currently work with residents of St. Thomas, area universities and government agencies on a variety of community based efforts including:

A teenage pregnancy prevention program for youth, 12-19 years of age, in the St. Thomas Housing Development.

From the Kuji Center:
"If it wasn't for Kuji I would be
hanging on the street getting
into trouble or probably even
- Penny Dixon

A community education process centered around the needs of sexually active youth in the St. Thomas Housing Development.

An incubator project for small business development, job training and placement services, and economic partnerships between the residents of St. Thomas and other business entities in New Orleans.

The New St. Thomas emerged from a bottom-up process that involved community members in economic development, land use, housing renovation, and an array of community collaboration and partnerships, all designed to support family well being and safety.

A collaborative process formed by the St. Thomas/Irish Channel Consortium in conjunction with neighborhood associations, private developers, and area institutions to create a community Master plan inclusive of not only the St. Thomas Housing Development but also the neighborhoods surrounding it.

Other programs include:
Memorandum of Understanding with Loyola University, New Orleans;
"Ujlma Center";
Preservation Resource Center;
Community Peacekeepers Initiative;
Child and Family Safety Partnership;
The STICC Health Care Initiative; and the
Louisiana Alliance for Fiscal Fairness.

Critical to the overall development of the St. Thomas/Irish Channel
community is the involvement and leadership of men.
Through the Plain Talk Initiative, in collaboration with the
St. Thomas Resident Council, the men of St. Thomas
have become active in the process to
strengthen families and rebuilding the community.

President, Demetria Farve
Vice-President, Fannie McKnight
Corresponding Secretary, Barbara Bell
Recording Secretary, Louise Franklin
Treasurers, Cheryl Franklin Chaplin, Carol Stewart
Members, Mary Johnson, Shawn Lawrence, Cintha Bell, Virginia Braud, Gloria Thomas


  1. St. Thomas Resident Council
  2. Economic Development
  3. Irish Channel Action Foundation
  4. The People's Institute for Survival & Beyond
  5. Agenda for Children
  6. Greater New Orleans Urban Ministries
  7. Trinity Episcopal Church
  8. Institute of Mental Hygiene
  9. Kingsley House
  10. Hope House
  11. Tulane School of Medicine
  12. Planned Parenthood
  13. St. Thomas Health Services


  1. Corporation for National & Community Service
  2. Institute of Mental Hygiene
  3. Edward Wisner Foundation
  4. Children's Aid Society of New York
  5. Foundation for the Mid South
  6. Annie E. Casey Foundation
  7. Greater New Orleans Foundation
  8. Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
  9. City of New Orleans (NORD)
  10. Liberty Bank
  11. Trinity Episcopal Church (Vincent Memorial Legacy Grant)
  12. Christmas Bureau (VIA)
  13. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  14. Mennonite Central Committee
  15. Connective Ministries
  16. Action, Region VI
  17. People's Institute for Survival & Beyond
  18. Housing Authority of New Orleans
  19. First Bank & Trust
  20. St. Thomas Health Services
  21. Greater New Orleans Ministries
  22. Tenant Opportunity Program (HUD)
  23. Sisters of Mercy

Published 1993