Together, Leona Tate (shown in photo), Gail Etienne, and Tessie Prevost desegregated McDonogh 19 on

November 14, 1960

Why Should You Support?

You might be aware of the TEP project underway in the Lower 9th Ward. It is the redevelopment of McDonogh 19 where Leona Tate, Gail Etienne, and Tessie Prevost walked through the doors on November 14, 1960 beginning the process to desegregate New Orleans. In partnership with Alembic Community Development, Ms. Tate’s foundation now owns the school which once barred her attendance.

The campus, scheduled to reopen in 2021, will provide deeply affordable senior housing and office/ meeting space for organizations dedicated to social justice. The TEP Interpretive Center’s mission is to teach, exhibit, and engage visitors in the history of civil rights in New Orleans.

Why support?

  1. The TEP Interpretive Center will be an anchor in the Lower 9th Ward. It’s programs and partners have a strong record of stability and accountability in New Orleans.

  2. Black Ownership -- We know U.S. History is filled with ruinous gaps that exclude African American contributions and successes. The Center exemplifies the importance of owning both the campus and the story told within.

  3. Reliable partnerships -- There are many stories to be told about black life in the 9th Ward, New Orleans, and the United States. The TEP Center demonstrates how like-minded parties working together can create a cultural product and manage its location within a budget that is sustainable.


Your donation will contribute specifically to:

  1. Exhibition/program development.

  2. Initial operational costs.


Once opened, operations -- staffing, maintenance, education, safety -- will be funded by revenue generated through visitor admissions, facility rental, workshop tuition, senior employment training programs, and grants.


Thank you for your time, and considering supporting our work.

© 2019 TEP Center