March 29, 2018
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Celebrating ingenuity and innovation in New Orleans

Allstate and The Atlantic's annual Renewal Summit showcases change-makers in The Big Easy

They help young people achieve their full potential. They support mothers who dream of a better future for their daughters. They give aspiring entrepreneurs the tools to build their small businesses and renew their communities.

Allstate and The Atlantic traveled to New Orleans Tuesday to honor five nonprofit leaders who are filling these needs in their communities. The organizations they represent are winners of this year’s Renewal Awards, which recognize nonprofits that are creatively solving some of their communities’ most pressing social and economic issues. The winners were announced at The Renewal Summit, an annual event hosted by The Atlantic and made possible by Allstate.

“This is a mission. It’s really a labor of love, it’s not a job,” said Melissa Sawyer, co-founder and executive director of Youth Empowerment Project. Sawyer, whose nonprofit is located in New Orleans, joined leaders from the other winning organizations: Con Mi MADRE, Hazleton Integration Project (HIP), AnewAmerica, and Let’s Innovate Through Education (LITE). The Atlantic senior editor Ron Brownstein served as the moderator.

“All of us here sitting on this panel would say one thing that we have in common is that we listen carefully when the people that we’re serving they have needs that go so far beyond what we initially thought,” said Bob Curry, co-founder of HIP, which serves a changing community of newly arrived immigrants and first generation Americans in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Ten nonprofits in total were awarded grants from Allstate to further their work. Five winners received $20,000, and five runners-up each received $10,000.

Watch the full Renewal Summit in the player above. Featured guests included author Walter Isaacson and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Below, we’ve posted more videos from the event!

We gathered some of our favorite moments from the Summit, which also featured interviews with celebrated author and historian Walter Isaacson and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in the Twitter Moment below.

Margaret Myers

Margaret Myers

Margaret Myers is the editor of The Renewal Project.