We are Louisiana’s first and only statewide, non-profit, member-supported, and digitally-oriented news publication. The Bayou Brief was conceived in January of 2017 and born six months later.
We are focused on telling the stories of the politics and the people of the state of Louisiana, with a particular emphasis on those who live in communities and regions underserved by the establishment media.
At a time in which the very institution of a free and open press is under continual assault by our own political leaders and media coverage is too often dependent on permission from deep-pocketed corporations, The Bayou Brief strives to provide the unvarnished truth about a state whose very existence is threatened by a criminally negligent petrochemical industry, a corrupt and racist criminal justice system, and a broken political system dominated by some of the most radically right-wing ideologues in the nation.
We publish long-form investigative journalism about the most important issues confronting Louisiana, and while The Bayou Brief celebrates the unique magic and the inimitable culture and history of a place unlike any other in the world, our primary mission is to call attention and inform the public about the issues that threaten us.
We are not in the business of trivial promotion or concerned about curating Louisiana for tourists considering a trip to New Orleans.
The Bayou Brief is a publication about Louisiana, by Louisianians, and for Louisiana.
There’s a saying in the French vernacular spoken by the people of Acadiana: Un de nous autres. It means, “He’s one of us.”
That is our mission: All of us who work and contribute to The Bayou Brief have one thing in common with the people of Louisiana, regardless of race or religion or whether one lives above or below Interstate 10: We believe in this place, because we belong to this place.
Un de nous autres.
Our Founder and Publisher:
Lamar White, Jr.
For more than a dozen years, Lamar has been one of Louisiana’s most acclaimed online journalists and prominent progressive activists. Prior to launching The Bayou Brief in 2017, he published the popular blog CenLamar, which attracted more than two million readers from across the country and regularly received recognition from national and international news organizations for his hard-hitting commentary and investigative reporting.
Lamar, a native of Alexandria, Louisiana, is a graduate of Rice University, earning a degree in both English and Religious Studies, and Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, where he specialized in civil rights litigation, healthcare, and critical race theory.
He first garnered national attention in early 2012, as a result of his online correspondence with Andrew Breitbart. Lamar was the last person with whom Breitbart communicated publicly, less than an hour before his sudden death at the age of 43.
Lamar is most well-known, however, for his ongoing work in exposing racism by civic leaders and elected officials on all levels of government.
In December of 2014, Lamar made international headlines after exclusively reporting that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise had attended and spoken at a 2002 conference of white supremacists. His report earned repeated front-page coverage from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal and, for more than a week, was the top story on cable and network news, including a prominent feature on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
In February of 2015, he tweeted a picture of the portrait of Gov. Bobby Jindal had prominently displayed at the entrance to his office in the State Capitol for more than six years. The picture, taken by professional photographer Robin May, instantly became an internet sensation and part of a larger conversation about race, ethnicity, and identity politics. The portrait of Jindal, the very first Indian-American governor in the country’s history, unmistakably depicted him as a white man.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, he again earned international attention after reporting on the efforts of Ku Klux Klan members in support of Republican candidate Donald Trump, and, for the second time in as many years, the praise of Rachel Maddow on her eponymous MSNBC show.
In 2017, he worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center to expose a Louisiana District Attorney’s ties to a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, with whom he once practiced law, and in 2018, Lamar shed national attention on U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins’ extensive associations with known hate groups and on the threatening hate mail received by an African American candidate for mayor of Shreveport.
Lamar was a founding member of the Louisiana chapter of the New Leaders Council, a former national board member for an organization that works to protect high school students against those advancing Christian dominionism in public education, and currently serves as a board member of the Louisiana chapter of the ACLU.
He is a frequent public speaker and media commentator. Inquiries should be directed to email@example.com.
“There’s an old saying in politics about ‘knowing where the bones are buried,’” said James Carville. “Lamar knows that in Louisiana, sometimes the bones are buried and sometimes they’re above ground. We need folks like him to hold our politics and our politicians accountable.”
Sue Lincoln, Investigative Editor
Sue Lincoln is a veteran and widely-respected reporter who has been covering Louisiana politics for nearly three decades. Originally from Long Beach, California, Sue’s career in journalism began on the radio in Los Angeles. After moving to Louisiana, Sue enrolled at LSU and earned a degree in English. For ten years, from 2000-2010, she was the Assistant News Director at Louisiana Network.
Sue also worked as the education reporter for Louisiana Public Broadcasting and has contributed to various state publications as a freelance journalist. But she is perhaps best known for her work with WRFK, Baton Rouge’s NPR affiliate, where, for the past four years, she hosted the popular daily segment Capitol Access.
Casey Parks, Contributing Editor
Casey is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker who worked for the past decade as an enterprise reporter at The Oregonian, the second largest newspaper in the Pacific Northwest. Currently, she is living in New York City and attending the Master of Arts program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where her scholarship is focused on poverty, mass incarceration, and education in her home state of Louisiana.
She was born in West Monroe and attended high school in Alexandria, graduating as valedictorian of her class. Casey got her first job in the newspaper business as a high school student, working as a youth correspondent for The Alexandria Daily Town Talk. She attended college at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi and served as an assistant editor at The Jackson Free Press. Shortly after graduation, Casey was selected by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, edging out over 8,000 other applicants and earning a two-month trip to Africa, where she and Kristof collaborated on a series of stories. Her experience was featured on NBC’s Today Show, among others.
Casey has won numerous awards for her writing and reporting. In 2015, she was a finalist for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists. In 2016, the Society of Professional Journalists awarded her first place in its Long Feature category, and in 2017, the Society for Features Journalism awarded Casey first place prizes in both General Feature writing and Narrative Storytelling, along with a second place prize in Diversity in Digital Media and a third place prize in Feature Writing.
She has also won several awards for her filmmaking. In 2010, her short film “The Amazin’ Jerks” won the Grand Prize at the Portland Bridge Festival. In 2016, the Crossroads Film Festival named her movie “Ballad of Little Pam,” which follows an isolated lesbian couple living in rural Louisiana, as the Most Transformative Film of the year.
Casey has told the stories of people and places all across the world, but she is most passionate about the exploring the back roads and the hidden truths of Louisiana.
Zack Kopplin, Contributing Editor
Zack is an internationally-renowned writer and activist and a graduate of Rice University. Zack is the recipient of numerous awards in social advocacy, including the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award, the National Center for Science Education’s Friend of Darwin Award, and the very-first Troublemaker of the Year Award. As a high school student in Baton Rouge, Zack garnered the support of 78 Nobel laureate scientists in his campaign to repeal a creationism in the classroom law, the largest-ever number of Nobel Prize winners to endorse a change in state law. He is a contributing writer for Slate and The Daily Beast and has been interviewed on Real Time With Bill Maher and Moyers and Company, among others.
Nath Pizzolatto, Sports Editor
Nath is The Bayou Brief‘s renaissance man: A former professional poker player, a musician, a stand-up comedian, an actor, a football analyst, a screenwriter, and a freelance reporter with an expansive portfolio.
Nath was born and raised in Lake Charles, and although he will always consider himself a native son of Louisiana, he has called Houston home for nearly two decades. He is a graduate of Rice University and the co-founder of the website Zone Reads. Nath’s work has previously appeared in The Houston Chronicle, The Houston Press, and Houstonia.
Peter Athas, Contributing Writer
Peter has been blogging as Adrastos since 2005. He is currently one of the principal bloggers at First Draft. He is a founding member of the Spank sub-krewe of Krewe du Vieux and one of the founders of the Rising Tide Conference.
He apparently has a penchant for founding things. He lives in Uptown New Orleans with his wife and two cats.
Cayman Clevenger, Chairman of the Board
Cayman is a native of both Many and Shreveport, Louisiana and a current resident of New Orleans. He is a graduate of Tulane University and Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, with honors. Cayman has been working in Louisiana politics since he was seventeen. He is currently a practicing healthcare attorney, a real estate agent, and an art broker for fine Louisiana art and artists.
He is married to his wife Sarah, and together, they are the proud parents of a baby daughter, Evangeline.
Jesse Gilmore, Vice Chairman of the Board
Jesse Gilmore raises funds for good people and better causes, and works tirelessly to build a better Louisiana. Jesse adopted Shreveport as his home nine years ago and never looked back. A former senior staffer with the Louisiana Democratic Party and a veteran of a half-dozen political campaigns, Jesse currently serves as the Director of Development for the LSU Health Sciences Foundation. In addition, Jesse also owns and operates Pelican Blue Strategies, LLC, a political and public policy consulting firm. In his spare time, Jesse serves as the board chair of New Leaders Council Louisiana, a leadership development non-profit and is the board treasurer of the Louisiana Budget Project. You can hear him host Health Matters on KDAQ 89.9, and find him at Alex Box in the spring and Tiger Stadium in the fall.