Caring, talented, committed to a sustained renewal of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward – that’s our growing team at CSED. From our offices in the back of Greater Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church at Chartres and Lizardi, CSED staffers can be found frequently at community events from river to bayou and throughout New Orleans while working every week with many neighborhood residents and business owners.
Arthur Johnson, Chief Executive Officer
Arthur was born in the Nation’s Capital but his roots are in New Orleans and date back to visits with his grandmother who lived in the Lower Ninth Ward on Forstall Street. He grew up in Washington, DC and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from The George Washington University and the University of the District of Columbia, respectively. He relocated to New Orleans in 1999 where he has established himself as an accomplished fundraising professional and non-profit leader with a number of educational institutions and organizations. This has included work with Tulane and Xavier Universities and the New Orleans Public Schools. More recently, he has served as Regional Vice President for Major Gifts with the American Heart Association, Director for the Office of Development for Episcopal Community Services of Louisiana, and Chief Development Officer for Operation Reach. As CSED’s Interim Executive Director, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization and works closely with staff and volunteers to advance CSED’s key initiatives focused on Food Security, the Natural Environment and the Built Environment.
“I am very excited and honored to be part of the CSED family. This opportunity will allow me to contribute to the betterment of the Lower Nine community and to provide leadership and direction for an organization whose mission is vested in my heart!”
Happy Johnson, Chief Resilience Officer
Happy Johnson is a nationally acclaimed children’s author, humanitarian, and former White House Intern. He drove an Emergency Response Vehicle in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, co-founded Team Happy Foundation and served as Senior Education Manager for National Wildlife Federation Mississippi River Delta Division. He is a Board Member of Louisiana Civil Rights Museum and 2018 Co-Chair of the City of New Orleans MLK Planning Commission. A longtime leader in the Lower Ninth Ward, his CSED portfolio includes sustainable urban water management and climate resilience, coastal restoration policy, and youth success. Happy is a graduate of Georgetown and The Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. HJohnson@SustainTheNine.org
Charles Reddick, Energy Efficiency Assistant
A lifelong resident of the community, Charles and his family have called the Lower Ninth Ward home for several generations. As Energy Efficient Apprentice, he works directly with Kathy Muse and Vincent Fedeli in CSED’s radiant barrier program on the path to earning his RESNET certification. In addition, he has recently expressed a desire to explore the opportunity of the Urban Farm Apprenticeship. Whether Charles remains with the radiant barrier program or transitions over to the urban farm, he will be instrumental in tapping into the younger population in our community to discover that next generation of farmers and gardeners.
Beverly R. Jackson, Community Resiliency Assistant
Beverly, a long-time resident of the Lower 9, started her career as a part-time community worker at Macarty and Edison School with the Head Start Program. After raising two sons, she worked as a receptionist, clerk and secretary at Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital in the Respiratory Therapy Department. She came out of retirement to assist the LSU Stanley Scott Cancer Center’s STAR prevention program for underserved women. Following Hurricane Katrina, she worked as part-time receptionist with The Department of Environmental Quality in Lockport, Louisiana – returning in 2009 to the Lower Ninth Ward. For CSED, Beverly will focus on Neighborhood Planning: recruiting residents and community leaders for the planning committee, overseeing scheduled meetings, finding and developing local food options.
“As Coordinator for the food planning action process this position has provided me with a unique experience to learn about community organizing and community service. I have come to see that our food planning process is so valuable and important towards addressing food access. Food access is critical to our way of life (spirit, mind, body), not just for Lower 9 but for all of humanity.”
Rachel Pickens, Resiliency Manager for Coastal Restoration and Community Awareness