Lamar White, Jr. Publisher, Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more than eleven years, Lamar White, Jr. published CenLamar, one of Louisiana’s most acclaimed and well-known progressive blogs, attracting more than two million readers and repeatedly receiving recognition from national and international news organizations.
White, 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 healthcare and administrative law. He first garnered national attention in early 2012, as a result of his online correspondence with Andrew Breitbart. White was the last person with whom Breitbart communicated publicly, less than an hour before his sudden death at the age of 43.
As a law school student in Dallas, White, who was born with a mild form of spastic quadriplegia, a subset of cerebral palsy that affects motor skills, became an outspoken advocate for the rights of disabled Americans. After speaking at a press conference on behalf of Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, White was labeled as a “campaign prop” by a small handful of national conservative pundits. White’s one sentence response- “I am a human being, not a campaign prop”- quickly went viral, earning praise from The Houston Chronicle, The Austin-American Statesman, Raw Story, and Salon.
In November of 2014, White was one of two online journalists who broke the story of Bill Cassidy, then a congressman campaigning for the U.S. Senate, failing to document the majority of the work he performed while on the payroll of LSU.
One month later, in December of 2014, White 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.” Although some in the conservative media attempted to “debunk” White’s reporting, Rep. Scalise has repeatedly acknowledged his attendance, which was further corroborated by The Washington Post.
In February of 2015, White 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.
Later in 2015, during the campaign for Louisiana governor, White was the first to report that Republican gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Sen. David Vitter hired a private investigator who was arrested after a bizarre encounter with Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand. During the 2016 presidential campaign, White again earned international attention after reporting on the efforts of Ku Klux Klan members in support of Republican candidate Donald Trump.
“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, Capitol Correspondent
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, Board Member 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.
Mitch Rabalais, Contributing Writer
A lover of all things Louisiana, Mitch is a native of St. Tammany Parish, a resident of Abita Springs, a former staffer for Gov. John Bel Edwards, and The Bayou Brief‘s youngest contributor. He is currently a candidate for a degree from Southeastern Louisiana University, where he is pursuing a double major in history and political science.
Prior to his work for the governor, Mitch extensively covered political news for LSU Student Media. Among other things, he conducted in-depth interviews with current and former political figures and hosted several forums on issues involving the state’s higher education system. He is perhaps best known for moderating the final debate of the 2015 gubernatorial primary campaign, earning high praise from both the candidates and the press for his professionalism and insightful questions.
In addition to being a diehard fan of the LSU Tigers and New Orleans Saints, Mitch is an avid reader, golfer, and collector of Louisiana political memorabilia.
In addition to Lamar White, Jr. and Casey Parks, The Bayou Brief’s Board of Directors are:
Cayman Clevenger, Chairman
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.
Jesse Gilmore, Vice Chairman
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.
Eric Dai, Treasurer
Eric is a native of Los Alamos, New Mexico and a current resident of Dallas, Texas. He is a graduate of Rice University and currently works in loyalty program marketing and technology. Outside of the office, Eric enjoys collecting Snoopy memorabilia, scuba diving, and traveling.
Dorian, living with HIV/AIDS since 2006, embraces life as much as possible. He’s committed to public service and social justice, serving on many community and statewide boards. Dorian networks and advocates via the airwaves by hosting a radio show, “Proof Positive, ” on WHIV 102.3 FM in New Orleans. He can be seen hitting the streets as a 610 Stomper or at a local bar. Dorian values his participation in advocacy, training and education regarding HIV at events, forums, and conferences by sharing ideas for treatment, linkage to care, and retention in care for HIV. Other than that, some say he’s a pretty cool cat.