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Support the Leona Tate Foundation for Change


Support Our New TEP Interpretive Center

Capital Building Fund


The Leona Tate Foundation for Change (LTFC), People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB) and Alembic Community Development are partnering to redevelop the historic McDonogh 19 elementary school building, located at 5909 St Claude Avenue in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, into the Tate, Etienne & Prevost (TEP) Center, an innovative anti-racism educational and training space coupled with 25 units of deeply affordable senior housing to create a facility with an overall mission to create a place of community power that advances racial equity. In January 2020, the project closed on $15.5 million of tax credit financing leveraged with additional public and private redevelopment sources, and the rehabilitation is now underway. LTFC and Alembic are currently seeking $2.3 million of additional funding to complete the build-out of the TEP Center and support LTFC’s operational sustainability.




The 1929 historic site, totaling 39,000 square feet on a 1.3-acre city block, was one of the initial two schools integrated across the Deep South. On November 14th, 1960, six years after separate black and white schools were ruled unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education, six-year old Leona Tate, Gail Etienne and Tessie Prevost were escorted by Federal Marshals through a crowd of shouting protesters to attend McDonogh 19, becoming the first African Americans along with Ruby Bridges to attend formerly white-only schools in Louisiana. The three young girls attended class alone – and under the protection of United States Marshals – in an otherwise empty building for a year and a half while their white peers and neighbors went to parochial and private schools elsewhere.

Donate TEP Building Fund

Civil Rights Pioneers

Gail Etienne, Tessie Prevost and Leona Tate

Groundbreaking Ceremony March 09, 2020 Pictured (L to R)

The TEP Center will include:


  • An Interpretive Center dedicated to sharing the history of the New Orleans Public School Desegregation Experience and other significant components of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement in the New Orleans. The TEP Interpretive Center will include an exhibit of film, photos, oral histories, and interactive media, and will also relocate and integrate a new home for the Lower 9th Ward Living Museum.


  • A training and educational space operated by PISAB that builds on its long history of organizing community members and conducting anti-racism trainings around the world. The TEP Center will become home to PISAB’s national office and its new Communiversity, a teaching and learning environment where anti-racist organizing principles, practices, and history will be shared.


  • 25 units of affordable senior housing on the building’s second and third floors, including 12 units for households earning less than 30% Area Median Income and 13 units for households earning less than 60% Area Median Income.


Donate Online

Make an easy online donation today to support the programming and work of the Leona Tate Foundation 

2020-04-30 09_40_04-Photos_ 'The McDonog
Civil Rights Pioneers - The McDonogh Three

Help us to expand our endowment to ensure long lasting & stable support for the Leona Tate Foundation 

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