About CSED

Staff

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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!"

  • John Taylor, Wetland Specialist

    A lifelong resident of the Lower Ninth Ward, John serves as CSED’s Wetland Specialist: providing visitor tours of Bayou Bienvenue and maintaining the viewing platform while helping to monitor water quality, fish and wildlife within this triangle of tupelo cypress swamp. He is also an amateur naturalist and talented photographer – documenting the return of killdeer, cardinals, osprey, white pelicans, yellow crowned night herons, red-winged blackbirds, ibis, alligators, nutrias, snappers, rabbits, otters and even a family of armadillos since the MRGO has closed. John also supplements his income as a folk artist, using old cypress wood and gar fish scales to make jewelry and other crafts.

    “While the wetland is slowly coming back on its own, if we ever want it to be the kind of swamp it was when I was a kid, it will take some serious help from everyone: residents, non-profits and politicians.”

  • 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

    Originally from Indianapolis, IN, Rachel moved to New Orleans in 2009  to pursue a J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. She graduated in 2012 and passed the Louisiana bar on her first.  As an attorney, she wants to practice environmental law, focusing on coastal preservation, wildlife conservation, and environmental justice. Rachel never imagined moving to the South, but now Rachel is immensely proud to call New Orleans home. And she can say and spell Tchoupitoulas.