Janet Gorence Davas opened our first location across the street from a New Orleans courthouse as a counterpoint to incarceration. Her vision was to create a place where young adults who had been neglected or criminalized could come for a hot meal, a job opportunity, and a support system.
Over ten years later, we are still that place, and 1,000+ young people have come through our doors. One important factor has changed. The young people who knocked on our door seeking guidance are now guiding us.
Over the years, Liberty’s Kitchen has operated two dine-in locations, a catering business, and several community food access projects. The one constant that has remained in this rapidly-changing environment is our commitment to training motivated young adults facing extraordinary challenges by connecting them with employment and education opportunities and developing their skills as leaders and mentors. These young leaders play pivotal roles in our businesses, programs, and planning.
In our second decade, we still sit around a kitchen table. But we are leveraging our expanded community presence and deep well of graduate talent to work toward a better city–one where every young person can succeed. We hope you will join us in this mission.
Liberty’s Kitchen provides pathways for New Orleans young people to create and achieve their vision of success. Food–at the heart of our city’s economy, culture, and future–is our chosen vehicle for change.
A community where all young people can succeed.
The conditions that have deprived so many youth of the opportunity to reach their full potential are not new–they have existed for hundreds of years. We know we will not change these conditions overnight. However, we envision that our work today will enable the life of the children and grandchildren of our graduates to be easier than theirs have been.
We exist to be a platform for youth to create and achieve their vision of success. Therefore we must hear, respect, and amplify their voices.
Adverse conditions disproportionately facing youth of color are a legacy of structural inequality. We simultaneously support the individual while working to address patterns of inequity.
Overcoming entrenched social challenges requires vision, creativity, and effort equal to the scope of the problem. We strive to do our best work on a daily basis.
“We are because you are.” Our work in the kitchen, in the program, and in the community is highly collaborative. We use partnerships and relationships to create the change we envision.
PERCENT EMPLOYMENT RATE FOR GRADUATES
POUNDS OF PRODUCE PURCHASED IN CORNER STORES
BUSINESSES STARTED BY ALUMNI (AND COUNTING!)