This project will enlarge upon the core mission of BISCO, which is to build a powerful interfaith, multi-ethnic, multi-race, multi-issue organization serving the parishes of Lafourche and Terrebonne in southeastern Louisiana, addressing longstanding patterns of racism and poverty in the region. This project would increase BISCO’s ability to address those patterns through the use of Community Organizing strategies, public awareness and education, and dialogue, striving to encourage ethnic, cultural, economic and religious diversity in every function and event, with the understanding of the many positive impacts from such diversity.
Through increased staffing, this project will allow BISCO to reach a larger number of community members, and to ensure the inclusion of additional youth in this process for systemic change. Specifically, funding would grow the newly formed BISCO Youth Division and support an annual Diversity Retreat. Forming a structured debate for youth on the subjects of race and equity, the initiative will include collaboration with local school districts and include major financial prizes to the winning team and individual debaters. This debate team project would also have the added benefit of training high school students in the development of a voice for long term changes, as well as individual growth.