Dr. Murelle G. Harrison is a retired professor of psychology from Southern University, but volunteers as the Associate Dean, Nelson Mandela School of Government & Social Studies. Dr. Harrison has been awarded grants from local, state, and national agencies totaling more than $6 million in the area of substance abuse and violence prevention. She currently serves as a prevention consultant for the Office of Behavioral Health to develop the Prevention workforce in Louisiana. She provides training in several areas such as mental, emotional, and behavioral health promotion, coalition building and others.Most recently, Dr. Harrison is the Executive Director and a founding member of the Gardere Initiative Coalition; a faith-based coalition addressing the social ills in a high crime area of Baton Rouge.
The Office and Learning Center were established in the Gardere community in November 2013. They provide Internet access for residents to apply for jobs, contact social service agencies, schools and other entities, provide tutoring for elementary and high school students four days per week, opportunities for high school students to interact with the deputies fostering positive relationships with law enforcement, an eight-week summer programs for elementary and middle school students and hires 20 middle and high school students. The overall goal is to make Gardere a safe and healthy community for all its residents. From playgrounds in partnership with BREC, to community gardens, to access to wifi and other services, to cycling with Front Yard Bikes, they've brought an incredible resource to the community.
This episode shows the compassion and kindness of the folks doing good work in communities that need it.