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#TalkRadio – May 14: Breaking The Chains of Racial Gerrymandering: The Battle for Fair and Equitable Maps in Louisiana

May 14 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

May 14, 2024: Breaking The Chains of Racial Gerrymandering: The Battle for Fair and Equitable Maps in Louisiana

The nonpartisan “Igniting Change Radio Show with Barbara Arnwine, Esq. and Daryl Jones, Esq.” program will be aired from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Radio One’s WOL 1450 AM in the Washington, DC metropolitan area as well as nationwide on WOLDCNEWS.COM and Barbaraarnwine.com.

Please note, during the show there are 3 hard stop commercial breaks at 12:13 PM Eastern Time, 12:28 PM ET and 12:43 PM ET.


Dr. Press Robinson, Sr.: 12:00 PM – 12:57 PM ET
Baton Rouge Pioneer; LDF’s Client in Robinson v. Ardoin and Callais v. Landry; A leader in the civil rights community for decades; Served three terms as the President of the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board; Involved in the Southern University School System for over 42 years (where he has held several positions – professor, administrator, campus chancellor, and system vice president); Social Media handles: Instagram: @press.robinson or Twitter: @press_robinson

Sara Rohani, Esq.: 12:00 PM – 12:57 PM ET
Attorney & Redistricting Fellow with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF); Redistricting Fellow at LDF, where she focuses on Congressional, state legislative, and local redistricting litigation. During this post-2020 redistricting cycle, she is counsel in Robinson v. Landry, the successful challenge to Louisiana’s discriminatory congressional map, and Nairne v. Landry, the federal lawsuit challenging Louisiana’s state legislative maps, among other cases.

Personal Twitter/X: @sararohani; LDF Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/naacp_ldf

Sadijah Wallace: 12:00 PM – 12:57 PM ET
Transformative Justice Coalition Alumni, Phoenix 2024 Class; Howard University, Public Relations Major, 2017; Volunteered for a variety of state and local campaigns, such as Rock the Vote and Get Out The Vote, along with other grassroots efforts during my college years and beyond; volunteered with Emily’s List, phone banking, numerous campaigns at national, state, and local levels, and served on committees in my organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., as well as in various political action groups


The Igniting Change Radio Show on Tuesday, May 14th, 2024, from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Eastern Time, entitled, “Breaking The Chains of Racial Gerrymandering: The Battle for Fair and Equitable Maps in Louisiana”, will be live with Radio Show Co-Hosts and Transformative Justice Coalition (TJC) Co-Leaders Attorneys Barbara Arnwine, Esq. and Daryl Jones, Esq. and will feature special guests Sara Rohani, Esq.; Dr. Press Robinson, Sr.; and, Sadijah Wallace.

This show will discuss the legal fight over racial gerrymandering in congressional redistricting in Louisiana. Earlier this year, after years of federal litigation under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 challenging racial discrimination in redistricting following the 2020 Census, the Louisiana State Legislature finally voted to adopt a congressional map which created a second majority Black district. However on April 30th, 2024, a different federal court ruled in favor of White plaintiff’s that the newly created Congressional map is unconstitutional as it improperly prioritized race in violation of the 14th Amendment. On May 1st, 2024, The NAACP LDF filed a notice of appeal of this decision with the Supreme Court of the United States. Additionally, on May 8th, 2024, LDF filed an emergency stay application asking the Supreme Court of the United States to stay the District Court’s opinion in Callais v. Landry. 

This Tuesday’s show will feature the lead lawyer, Sara Rohani, from LDF on this case and the lead plaintiff, Dr. Press Robinson, and TJC alumni Sadijah Wallace from Louisiana who has been following this legal battle to discuss its impact and meaning. 

Robinson v. Ardoin and Callais v. Landry are LDF’s critical Louisiana congressional redistricting cases that are of national importance. Robinson v. Landry is the successful challenge to Louisiana’s discriminatory congressional map and Nairne v. Landry is the federal lawsuit challenging Louisiana’s state legislative maps. Dr. Press Robinson, Sr. is LDF’s Client in Robinson v. Ardoin and Callais v. Landry. “When Press Robinson registered to vote in South Carolina in 1963, he was handed a copy of the U.S. Constitution and told to read it aloud and interpret it. Robinson, then a college sophomore, wasn’t surprised. He heard stories from others in the South’s Black community who faced Jim Crow-era methods to suppress Black votes – from literacy tests to poll taxes to the infamous ‘jellybean test’ that required prospective voters to guess how many of the small candies were in a jar. As Robinson began reading, he thought about the woman behind him who was also registering to vote for the first time: his 43-year-old mother, who had never fulfilled her constitutional right, partly out of fear that she would encounter this exact situation.In 1965, the Voting Rights Act outlawed the discriminatory voting practices of many states in the South, where Jim Crow laws also restricted how and where Black people could live, work, eat and study. 

“Yet, nearly 60 years later, Robinson and civil rights activists say those gains are being eroded…Every 10 years, state lawmakers, armed with new U.S. Census Bureau information, redraw political maps for seats in the U.S. House, state Senate and state House. It is typically an extraordinarily partisan process, with each major party trying to scoop up enough of its voters to guarantee wins in the largest number of districts. The boundaries determine which political parties will make decisions that have a profound impact on people’s lives, such as abortion, gun control and how billions of tax dollars are spent. Under the Voting Rights Act, mapmakers are required to draw districts with a plurality or majority of African Americans or other minority groups if they live in a relatively compact area with a white population that votes starkly differently from them…Both Alabama’s and Louisiana’s Republican-dominated legislatures produced such maps after receiving the latest numbers from the 2020 U.S. census. 

“In both cases, Democrats and civil rights groups sued, and courts ordered new maps drawn…In Louisiana, where nearly one-third of the state’s population is Black, GOP lawmakers approved a map containing five majority-white districts, all of which favor Republican incumbents. The 2nd Congressional District, held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Troy Carter, is the sole Black-majority district. It stretches from the New Orleans area along the Mississippi River up to the capital city of Baton Rouge. Democrats and Black activists want two Black-majority districts instead of just the one…But Republican leaders say placing the state’s widely dispersed Black population in two districts would actually result in very narrow Black majorities that could diminish Black voter power. There is also another reason why the GOP generally opposes — and Democrats support — additional majority-Black districts. For decades, Black voters have overwhelmingly voted Democratic. Adding Black-majority districts could boost the party’s representation in the House…The way Robinson sees it, though, it’s not about more Democratic seats and fewer Republican ones; it’s about fundamental rights for which Blacks have fought too long and hard to let slip away.” (Read the source: https://apnews.com/article/voting-rights-race-and-ethnicity-racial-injustice-baton-rouge-858f45d759c333b9e0718a504c772a7c )


  • Attorney Rohani, our show has been covering these issues of unlawful racially discriminatory redistricting for years now. Can you tell our audience what is involved in this multi-year litigation, originally in the case of Robinson v. Ardoin and its evolution into the case of Callais v. Landry?
  • Dr. Robinson, Sr., please tell our audience why you have devoted these several years in fighting against Louisiana’s racist maps at both the congressional and state legislative levels?
  • Dr. Robinson, you have an amazing family background of fighting for voting rights. Tell us more.
  • Sadijah, you are a young TJC Alumni living in Louisiana. What has this legal battle meant to you?
  • Attorney Rohani, explain to our audience why you have filed for an emergency stay. What is the impact on this litigation if the stay is granted?
  • Attorney Rohani, in this Callais case, who were these plaintiffs? Tell us more about the judges in the case. Who were they appointed by? Did you expect this kind of a ruling?
  • Dr. Robinson and Sadijah, the 2020 Census revealed that Louisiana’s Black population increased while its White population decreased, yet the Louisiana Legislature persisted in denying African American voters a fair opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. Has this served to have a chilling effect on peoples’ desire to vote or has it had the opposite effect as we saw in the 2nd Congressional District in Alabama where turnout more than doubled?
  • Dr. Robinson, in reading how just months ago everyone was celebrating the creation of a second Congressional District in Louisiana and now to have this victory stripped away, how have you persisted in light of these unjust developments?
  • What efforts are being made to educate the public about this case?
  • What do you think is the most important grassroots organizing that you think needs to happen in order to ensure strong voter protection and engagement in November 2024?
  • Sadijah, you’ve heard Dr. Robinson’s amazing story. In light of all these updates, what actions will you be taking to mobilize young voters?
  • What work is being done to build knowledge and support for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act?
  • How can our listeners get involved? What are the next steps for each of you?
  • What are your one-minute final thoughts to our listeners?
  • Thank you for all of your hard work. How do our listeners get in contact with you?


Transformative Justice Coalition


News Talk Radio 1450