Expanding Our Roots: Global Conversations With 821 is an online interview series hosted by The 821 Project. The purpose of the series is to showcases the cultural diversity, global connections and social consciousness of the people of southeast Louisiana as well as those who work to expand southeast Louisiana’s roots to the world through works that promote social justice and global citizenship. 

The series presents community organizers, community leaders and residents living in southeast Louisiana who come from different parts of the world or who work to promote global citizenship, multiculturalism and social justice in our regional community. 

Every Friday, we will post an interview each week.

List of Conversations 

Alejandro: Poet, President of the Poetry Alliance 

Alejandro is a queer black woman living in Louisiana. A poet and lesbian fiction writer, she is dedicated to exploring the vast culture of black lesbian love. Alejandro is also the president of the Poetry Alliance, an arts organization that facilitates a monthly poetry reading and open mic for the local community in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Dr. Alejandra Torres: Community Engagement Director For Humanities Amped

Dr. Alejandra Torres is a bilingual educator and immigrant youth advocate. She is the Community Engagement Director for Humanities Amped and holds a PHD in English from Louisiana State University. Her dissertation and advocacy work address the educational needs of immigrant youth, particularly undocumented adolescent English learners. She serves on the Baton Rouge Immigrant Rights Coalition, Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants, and ICARE Advisory Board. She has worked with Humanities Amped since 2015.


Ed Daras: Director of the American Journal of French Studies 

Ed Daras is the director of an LSU based academic journal called the American Journal of French Studies (AFJS). As Director and Member of the Editorial Board, Ed has built partnerships with multiple high schools, universities and public institutions throughout the United States to promote French language and culture.

Dauda Sesay: President of the Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants 

Dauda Sesay is a refugee from Sierra Leone who lives in southeast Louisiana. He serves as the Vice Chair of the Refugee Congress as well as the President of the Louisiana Organization For Refugees and Immigrants.