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Loyola centers discuss future of Avondale Shipyard

September 2, 2011

The Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice and the Lindy Boggs National Center for Community Literacy at Loyola University New Orleans have joined other local universities on the Avondale Shipyard Research Project. In 2010, the shipyard announced that it is scheduled to close in 2013. The project is designed to provide the necessary public discussion over the future of the shipyard and determining its significance to life in the area right now, before critical decisions are made.

Ted Quant, executive director of the Twomey Center, and Petrice Sams-Abiodun, Ph.D., executive director of the Boggs Center, are both participating in the Avondale Research Project along with three Loyola student interns. Consistent with the social justice mission of Loyola University, both centers are interested in the impact that the proposed closing of the shipyard will have on the surrounding community.

“Not only will job opportunities be lost for vulnerable populations at Avondale, small businesses and real estate values in the area will take a real hard hit after the closing,” said Quant. “Everything from restaurants to barber shops depend heavily on the shipyard, which has been one of the largest employers in Louisiana.”

Loyola is collaborating with colleagues from the University of New Orleans to specifically explore how Avondale has been central to the creation of a middle class in New Orleans during the post World War II era. Employment at Avondale was considered a way for the region’s working poor to enter the middle class.

The scholars gathered for the Avondale Shipyard Research Project, which also includes Tulane University and Southern University at New Orleans, represent diverse disciplines and approaches. They will work collectively to analyze and evaluate Avondale’s history and its influence on the community’s economic and social fabric. The researchers are committed to showing the research in both public and academic venues. They hope that their professional work will contribute to one of the most public policy discussions taking place today.

For more information, contact Sams-Abiodun at psabiodu@loyno.edu or Quant at quant@loyno.edu.

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