Rev. Tyronne Edwards, Executive Director, Zion Travelers Cooperative Center, Phoenix, Louisiana
Rev. Tyronne Edwards is a native of Phoenix, Louisiana, in Plaquemines Parish. He has thirty-seven years of community organizing/human service experiences on local, state, and international levels. Along with his community development work, Rev. Edwards is a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, facilitator, paralegal, playwright, photojournalist, ordained minister, local historian, and substance abuse specialist.
Rev. Edwards is the founder and Executive Director of the Zion Traveler Cooperative Center of Plaquemines Parish, which was organized in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Cooperative Center was the only relief program available to east bank residents. Rev. Edwards has successfully written proposals that have garnered over $500,000 in grant monies and millions of dollars of in-kind donations for rebuilding. He has recruited, trained, and coordinated volunteer programs for thousands of national and international faith-based and activist organizations to provide relief work to the area. Within the Plaquemines Parish community, he has trained and developed women's leadership, school outreach, and fitness and nutrition programs. Bringing national attention to the rebuilding work in Plaquemines Parish, Rev. Edwards has participated on congressional hearing panels and lobbied representatives to support the continuing work of rebuilding the Gulf Coast.
For twenty-six years, Rev. Edwards has organized Undoing Racism workshops throughout the United States. He conducted Undoing Racism overview sessions with over 2,000 Common Ground and People's Hurricane Relief Fund volunteers working in New Orleans, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parish. He is a Core-trainer for the People's Institute for Survival & Beyond and was active in the Civil Rights movement of the sixties and seventies. With Stevie Wonder, he was on the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday Committee and helped organize the Million Man March. As Executive Director of the Fisherman & Concerned Citizen Association, he brought national attention to the grassroots social change movement in Plaquemines Parish. Throughout his work, Rev. Edwards has successfully developed new community leadership and helped residents gain a sense of their own power.