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Silverback Society News

M. L. King Day the Silverback Way - "elected" Silverback

Our Martin Luther King Holiday - sharing the dream -  improving our skills - helping a business

MLK Lunch group photo

We came together for lunch at a business in the community to get to know one another better, share our Silverback experiences and learn about effective communications from Norman Robinson, News Anchor at WDSU and now a Silverback with a very special mission, to help the rest of us become better communicators, something that will not only enhance our work in the Silverback Society but hopefully improve our lives overall.


This convening of Silverbacks was something suggested and requested by several Mentors over the last year. The guys want to know one another. In truth, since we have no regular meetings many of the guys had never met one another, and just as interesting, there were guys who knew one another but didn't know they shared involvement in the Silverback Society. There can be no more appropriate celebration of the King holiday than men who are working on his dream coming together to celebrate an become more effective in the vineyard.


We had ground rules designed to insure our solidarity in our singular purpose. There are three things we do not do when we come together: discuss politics, discuss religion, try to sell goods or services to one another. We are in an election cycle in New Orleans and I know for certain that not all Silverbacks are politically aligned. Norman at MLK LunchOur ground rules were most effective in having a very unified and friendly gathering today. As far as our mission and our passion for it, we are all on the same page.

After we went around the room and shared something about  ourselves, Norman Robinson told his personal story ending it with a lesson about how he more remembered what a caring encouraging man in his life said than all the big speeches. That simple observation is central to what we need our Mentors in training to learn, that the time we spend gets the results, not preaching at them or making great speeches. That is why a man must spend a year with us before he can lead, to learn that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, and that our twenty week process is how it gets done.  



crabburgerEating an elephant is kind of how some of the guys felt, downing the generous and delicious burgers we had for lunch. We enjoyed Sweet Lorraine's new burger lunch menu. Sweet Lorraine's is just getting back on its feet after a marathon of difficulties dealing with an insurance claim after Hurricaine Isaac tore off part of his roof and destroyed his state of the art sound system. It seems that the insurance company had difficulty believing how much Paul Sylvester had invested in a live music venue in the community. They had no idea of the global reputation Sweet Lorraine's had as a venue... and now more and more for their food. When I told Paul that I wanted to bring the guys together on the MLK Holiday he beamed about showing off his new burgers and offered us a discounted rate. I had the crab burger, get this, on a french bread hamburger bun.


Yes, I believe Dr. King would definitely have approved of our celebration. 


 Second elected official to become Silverback Mentor.

Edwin Shorty Photo

Edwin Shorty Jr., Constable 2nd City Court in Algiers has become the second elected official to become an active Silverback Society Mentor. Edwin Mentors each Wednesday afternoon at McDonogh 32 Elementary School in Algiers with Christopher Williams, Koby Sackey and Malcolm Armstrong. He, along with Silverback Darren Lombard, the clerk of 2nd City Court represent a breed of elected officials who will have an intimate knowledge of community needs and opportunities because they come out and work hands on in true civic engagement. Guys like this give us hope in the political process.