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Elders Sacred Talk Series with Ronnie Moore and Doratha “Dodie” Smith Simmons

Wed, November 1st, 2023 at 5:30 PM

NOMA’s Art Thrives initiative and the Congo Square Preservation Society present the Elders Sacred Talk Series with prolific elder New Orleanians, celebrating the lives they lead while learning firsthand about the impact they’ve had on the city.

On November 1, 5:30 pm, in NOMA’s Lapis Center for the Arts, the program will highlight Civil Rights activists Ronnie Moore and Doratha “Dodie” Smith Simmons. Doors open at 5 pm.

Free with museum admission. Louisiana residents receive free admission to NOMA on Wednesdays courtesy of The Helis Foundation. When you arrive at NOMA, check in at the admissions desk for directions to the Lapis Center for the Arts.

Plan Your Visit

To book your ticket in advance, click the link above.

About the Speakers

Ronnie Moore

Ronnie Moore is a veteran civil rights activist, community developer, and photographer. At the age of 15, he and his peers attempted to integrate a public park in his hometown of New Orleans. In 1961, while a student at Southern University in Baton Rouge, he led a group of 2,500 students to the state capitol to protest the city's hiring policies and segregated lunch counters. That activism led to his arrest and expulsion from the university and prompted his full-time commitment to CORE (the Congress of Racial Equality). Moore worked as a field secretary for CORE from 1961 to 1965, which included establishing voter registration initiatives in parts of Louisiana. From 1965 – 1973, he worked as the executive director of the Scholarship, Education and Defense Fund for Racial Equality, Inc. Moore also served as the director of the Institute for Resident Initiatives at Tulane University from 1996 to 2005 and the director of the African American Youth Congress from 1982 to 1994. During his lifetime of activism, Moore was arrested over 17 times and held in solitary confinement for 56 days for advocating for voting rights in Louisiana.

Doratha “Dodie” Smith-Simmons

Doratha “Dodie” Smith-Simmons joined New Orleans chapter of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) in 1961 when she was 14 or 15 years old. It was one of the most active chapters in the region and she became a very active member participating in sit-ins and picketing. Her participation resulted in police arresting her several times. Her dedication led her to become a Freedom Rider and test the law that made segregation on public buses unconstitutional. She and other members of the New Orleans CORE rode a bus from New Orleans to McComb, MS where they were met with severe violence and some of them suffered life-threatening injuries. “After the rides, Smith-Simmons trained freedom riders and taught members how to participate in nonviolent protests. In the ‘60s, she also worked to integrate hotels and Florida beaches and participated in the March on Washington.

About Congo Square Preservation Society

The Congo Square Preservation Society serves as a continuing catalyst in the resurrection and continuation of activities, advocacy, and preservation of historic and sacred Congo Square in New Orleans. Learn more at https://www.congosquarepreservationsociety.org/.

NOMA’s Art Thrives programs are supported by E.A. Michelson Philanthropy.


Wed, November 1st, 2023
5:30 PM
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New Orleans Museum of Art
1 Collins Diboll Circle
New Orleans, LA, 70119
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