Josh Benitez

Josh Benitez

Co-Director of Administration

A born and raised New Orleanian, I have always been passionate about contributing to the communities that give our city and state its important environmental and cultural identity. Growing up in the city, living in the surrounding parishes, and coming from childhood poverty I understand the need to develop equitable and accessible programming. I have always strived to bring healthy growth and understanding to all of my endeavors. From my collegiate career, through decades of volunteering & music, or front-line activism.

As President of Delgado Student Government I managed an ambitious event schedule which brought more events than ever to a historically underserved campus while reducing our operational costs by utilizing the surplus resources in educational departments which had capacity. This looked like refocusing SGA money into hiring Students from our Art, Music, Culinary, and engineering departments. Not only did we save money and while having more events, yet more importantly we also invested into our Student Body which primarily consisted of folks with limited economic resources.

Beyond academia and financial management, I have a long history of hands-on volunteering and service learning for front line communities. I have worked with SOUL NOLA in Urban Reforestation, with Healthy Gulf for hurricane relief, with One Book One New Orleans to increase literacy, and with the Sunrise Movements “400 Mile March” where we canvassed across the entire Gulf South of Louisiana to raise awareness for the ongoing environmental crisis. In addition to these acts of service, as a musician I have performed pro-bono at hurricane shelters for people awaiting relocation. I have taught music lessons to disadvantaged folks, and performed at unhoused shelters, as I feel an essential purpose of the New Orleans musical legacy is to foster a sense of radical hope.

As an activist, musician, or volunteer I have fully committed to implementing the ideals of intersectional justice in all spaces. This has meant intentionally working to meet the needs of folks who are traditionally marginalized through increasing financial, educational, and cultural accessibility in all organizational structures. Tangibly, this looks like hiring experts and culture bearers and connecting them with the communities that benefit the most. I have accomplished this through partners, outreach, and intentionally creating dialogue wherever I go- even with the cashier at the gas station.