Rep. Richmond Applauds Effort to Rename Jefferson Davis Parkway
New Orleans, LA – Today, Congressman Cedric Richmond (LA-02) issued the following statement in support of renaming Jefferson Davis Parkway to Norman C. Francis Parkway:
“Dr. Norman C. Francis is an icon, and we are proud to claim him as one of our own,” said Rep. Richmond. “He has dedicated his life to service and uplifting our community through his work in educational empowerment and civil rights. A U.S. Army veteran and trailblazer, Dr. Francis was the first African-American student at Loyola University in New Orleans and later became the first non-clergyman to serve as the President of Xavier University. He was also Xavier’s longest tenured university president upon his retirement in 2019. New Orleanians, as well as those touched by his legacy across Louisiana, deserve to have his illustrious career honored for the world to see.
“Dr. Francis is a hero and someone who exemplifies true leadership. During this time of injustice, grief, and protest for change, it is only right that we uplift his voice and what he stands for. As cities across the country mobilize to eradicate police brutality and strive for racial equity. I am equally encouraged by those who have mobilized to remove landmarks honoring racist historical figures. It is past time to remove the stain of symbolic racism and shine light on what New Orleans truly represents. I applaud the collaborative effort of New Orleans City Council Members Helena Moreno and Jason Williams for their work to make this transformative change in the city that we all love and respect.”