Who We Are

BAR NONE is a grassroots-minded, nonprofit organization offering Black people who are currently and formerly incarcerated, seven elements of service: *therapeutic healing, *education, *entrepreneurship, *arts, *homes, community-driven justice, and *partnership.

A mask of life and death



State and federal prisons throughout Louisiana and neighboring states like Mississippi are losing people who are incarcerated at rapid rates because sheltering in place for them, unlike us on the outside, is a death sentence. Places like Oakdale Federal Correctional Institution, which has been deemed “ground zero” having the first case of COVID-19 in the state of Louisiana, houses 1700 men and as of May 1st, 60 have been infected with COVID-19 and 7 deaths. Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women aka St. Gabriel Women’s Prison holds 233 women and currently 211 of those women have been infected with COVID-19 with one third of them being asymptomatic and 2 women have already died. Angola has started fo place  those infected with the virus in the notorious Camp J also known has “The Death Camp.”

Gloria Williams, affectionately known as Mama Glo who has been incarcerated in LCIW for nearly 50 years, since 1971, for robbing a grocery store (with others) with a toy gun where after a struggle with the armed store owner someone in her group shot the owner with his own gun. She was a 25 years old, mother of five, survivor of domestic violence, sentenced to prison for the rest of her life, currently Louisiana’s longest-serving incarcerated woman, and although The Board of Pardons unanimously approved her clemency application, Governor John Bel Edwards still has yet to sign her clemency application (it has been sheltering in place on his desk for nearly eleven months) and she, too, has now tested positive for Covid-19, receiving oxygen and antibiotics to fight pneumonia in both her lungs at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Hospital. She was recently returned to LCIW after her battle with the virus as her family and supporters continuing to fight for her freedom while Gov. Edwards… 60-year-old Queen Warrior LeSandrea Bartley has also been incarcerated in LCIW for 39 years for domestic violence; the murder of her abuser. She is one of the few that has not contracted the coronavirus… yet… thankfully. However, she is one of our elders. She has been a fervent mentor to so many behind the wall and is an AH-MAZING performing artist with The LCIW (Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women) Drama Club. Everyday she continues to encourage the women around her to stay and be strong and know that there are people on the outside fighting for them.

Yazoo Federal Institution in Mississippi houses 1728 men and 105 are currently infected with COVID-19. And these are just those that are incarcerated. Because we know that they literally can’t go anywhere, it is clear that the virus was brought in by staffers. And although there are laws in place (CARES Act, First Step Act—both for people who are incarcerated on the Federal side) the red tape is making it damn near impossible for them to be released. ​There is much trepidation surrounding the coronavirus, especially regarding people who are directly impacted by the prison industrial complex, BAR NONE, Ashe’ Cultural Arts Center, Pave It Forward, Nola DDM (design| development| manufacture), and AYA Designs, LLC are partnering to create washable, reusable masks for people who are incarcerated as well as the employees as an effort to reduce the spread of the virus and keep everyone as safe as possible. We are also working to ensure that people who are incarcerated receive the bare essentials as most correctional facilities are on locked down and not distributing goods, allowing people to purchase goods, or just lacking the basic necessities like soap, toilet paper, maxi pads, etc. And some of these things were already extremely hard for women to access.

Collectively we have a vested interest in humankind, and we are clear that Black people, regardless of their socioeconomic status and/or upbringing– know the horrific hand we have been and continue to be dealt– are an important, effective, grand and much needed part of that eco-system. Your donation will help us administer mask to the prisons that the BAR NONE staff have already secured yes’ from. The masks are to keep them as safe as possible and drive down exposure of the virus. Bringing them home will do much, much more! Please click fhe links for the petitions below, sign and share them!


http://www.bar-none.net/ | IG: @__bydesign__ |Twitter: @BARNONEInc |FB: @WeArebyDeSign | 

IG: Pave.it.forward | FB: pave.it.forward 

http://www.ashecac.org/ | IG: @ashe_cac | FB: @Ashe’ CAC | Twitter: Ashe’ CAC

http://noladdmfashion.com/ | IG: @NOLADDM | FB: noladdm


What We Do


Aligning with our mission, our AIR program speaks to an array of art. Our goal is to assist the artists with honing in on their gift/s, and developing as entrepreneurs through various standard, required business mediums. Graduation is a full out production of what they’ve learned and contributed during their residency.




A partner effort with nationally licensed counseling agency, True Love Movement, More Than a DOC# speaks to the need of counseling for those returning home from prison for a multitude of reasons; 1) the inferiority the feel returning back to society, 2) removing the stigma of being the property of the department of correction 3) reminding society that they are human being as well and we should treat them as such.




Our Education element has many levels to it as it serves to prevent children from entering the prison system, it intervenes in the juvenile injustice system, works to make the school to prison pipeline obsolete, fights to ensure that a quality, equitable, education is mandatory for all youth and adults who want it. We also partner with AERI to ensure those we serve attain tutoring and HiSET/GEDs so that can participate in our Artists In Resident Program. We believe in literacy and know that it is impossible to do anything if you cannot read or write. In order to be an effective and successful entrepreneurial leader, being literate is vital.




From Artist to Entrepreneur is the goal of BN for those we serve! Learning the ins and outs of the what it takes to run a business, including branding, marketing, promoting, networking, planning, etc. on both the state and federal levels is what is learned and received in our program.






                             Danielle Metz

“I heard about BAR NONE through a childhood friend. They invited me to attend an event and I did. I think this program is amazing! Art is one of the best forms of expression. It is very therapeutic, especially for those who are incarcerated. I was moved by what I witnessed and accepted the invitation to become a board member.”

                   Gerald “G-Dot” Davis

“My experience with BAR NONE has been helpful because it gave me a chance to build as an artist and work with other kids who were in situations similar to those I had been in previously. While working with BAR NONE, I began preparing for my next project, “Audible”, the inspiration from which came from New Orleans/Summertime energy. I’m also working on an EP to released once the proper groundwork has been laid for my musical career.”



LEGACY: In the Fight for Our Freedom Fighters

 Political Prisoners are people who are incarcerated for their political beliefs and/or actions. People like members of the Black Panther Party have been incarcerated for years because they exercised their rights under the law to ensure that Black people were recognized and treated like human beings. Some have been incarcerated for as long as 60 years in the most horrible of conditions, sick and far away from family and other loved ones. They are all our elders! It is now our responsibility to fight for their freedom the way they lawfully fought for us to enjoy some of the freedoms we do today! 

View Incarcerated Political Prisoners




Literal About Literacy Book Club

A few months ago, we started a book club mainly just discussing books that we read via sporadic phone calls/ emails when able (it’s really expensive to do either). We have received another huge donation of books from the celebrated journalist, now famed, best-selling author, Ta-Nehisi Coates of his new book, “The Water Dancer”, we have decided to do more than just donate the books to people who are incarcerated, but start a book club and have a more organized approach to our Literacy program. 

Having dialogue via email or phone about the books we are reading, gaging overall thoughts on what we’ve read, only broadens the horizons of all participants regardless of our circumstances. In addition, if the author is still among the living, write her/him a letter with our collective thoughts and if they have transitioned, write the letter, still, in the memorandum.

*All books are pre-approved through the department of corrections.

With Intent to Prevent” Keeping Youth Youth Measure 

There are so much conversation and energy that goes into an intervention that society doesn’t focus on how much of it can actually be prevented. And although there are times when intervention is absolutely necessary, and there is no other alternative but to intervene, so much of what young people get themselves into can be just as easily prevented. As parents, educators, activists, community members, we recognize, remember, and understand the importance of the tribe, We know that without us there is no them. A simple hello goes a long way with a child so imagine how far a conversation can go or showing interest in what they’re interested in, even if you disagree. A healthy debate makes for an inquisitive mind and someone who is self-determined to learn more and teach even more. Servant Leaders. We have been able to do this in spaces as small as one on one and as large as 25 to 1. There is no such thing as too little or too many when referring to young people in general and Black children specifically because they are the ones whose lives are at stake. 

The state of Louisiana locks up children as young as ten years old. In New Orleans, most of those children are Black males and most of those arrested are school-based. As a liaison, we assist schools, parents, and more importantly, the child, who is the one that is supposed to be met with compassion first and counseling as an alternative, not prison. 

What we do matters because children matter most to us. Those same little people will be responsible for our way of life sooner than we think. Right now we have the opportunity to be on the side of humanity and guide them because we love them.





Send Us a Petition/Featured Petitions 



Our Tribe

Tuere Burns; MEd; 


Executive Director

Mama, servant leader, Freedom Fighter, educator, writer, author, and artist. Flowing with the positive energy, passion, and fervency of a true New Orleanian, Tuere is recognized internationally as a powerful voice for justice, equity and equality for people of Afrikan descent. Infusing activism, education, and art, she has had the honor of being asked to lend her voice, knowledge, experience and most of all passion to the NAACP’s Annual Conference, Malcolm X Day in Houston, Chicago, and Atlanta, Marcus Garvey Day in New Orleans & Detroit, Hands Off Assata! Campaign, the closing down of Tallulah Juvenile Facility, the Reparations Movement in Louisiana and Houston, Annual International Reggae Festival, just to name a few. She has served as chair for Black August International South, original member of the Angola 3 Coalition, Blackout Arts Collective, the Black Afrikan Arts Council, Step Up Louisiana, New Orleans for New Orleans Coalition, Critical Resistance, Claiborne Corridor Cultural Innovation District and various other organizations particularly those regarding Black youth, the prison industrial complex, and political prisoners and numerous injustices that impair Black youth, leaders, and community. Tuere was contracted by Hands On Atlanta to produce the 16th annual Martin L. King, Jr. Service Summit in conjunction with The Martin L, King, Jr., Center for Non- Violent Social Change where she introduced the documentary, to “Trouble the Water” its directors, producers, and New Orleans activists to very broad Atlanta audiences; with BE-NOLA (Black Educators New Orleans) and Black Teachers Collaborative lending her expertise as an  Education Consultant on the need to empower other Black educators so they will provide the same to our youth; Produced the “We Are One” Summit of Youth in Service which is held semi-annually in New Orleans with youth-led workshops; and served as Director of the best seller, “I Am An Emotional Creature” by Eve Ensler (author and producer of The Vagina Monologues), where seven of New Orleans most talented 12-18 year old girls brought to life monologues and stories which are based on topics garnered from girls around the world.

In addition to BAR NONE, Tuere serves as the Creative Programs Director for Ashe’ Cultural Arts Center, Coordinator with the Louisiana Chapter of the Original Black Panther Party. Tuere is raising her 2 brilliant, artistic teens, Aisha and Zion, as a co-parent between 2 different states. Tuere holds a Masters degree in Educational Leadership and another in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Ethics, Equity, and Justice.

Nicole Marshall; 


Operations Director

Nicole W. Marshall, a survivor of relational violence and abuse; an invisible, quiet, yet often recurring theme in our society, who embraced the positive forward energy, creating, PAVE IT FORWARD, LLC., which represents her unyielding commitment to working towards significantly reducing the amount of violence that people experience by the hands and mouth of someone close to them and to helping those caught in the vicious web of an abusive relationship. “Giving back is important to me, so I began a people’s movement to End Relational Violence in my Children’s Lifetime, for I understand that it will take the input of every woman (person) and institution to see long term, substantial changes, but the fight is worth it if we truly desire to heal our nation of the disease and curse.”

In addition to PAVE IT FORWARD, Nicole serves as the Operations Director for BAR NONE and National Coordinator for the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. 

Nicole is a New Orleans native and mother of seven remarkable sons, one who is a Minister. She is happily married to her husband Ronald, who is her lighthouse and castle on a high mountain. 

Arlene Culpepper; 


Public Relations and Communications Director 

Vice-President & Asst. Editor-in-Chief of The Heat Magazine, Arlene is a Louisiana native, Certified Paralegal, Publicist, Owner of MIKODreamz PR, co-owner of 504Diffusion & Genie Marketing Services, writer, producer, certified event manager, all while serving as Public Relations and Communications Director for BAR NONE. 

Heavily involved in her community, she serves as the Media Advisor for New Orleans Union for Entertainment (NOUE), Member of the NOLA Music Awards from 2012-present & Member of the Press Club of New Orleans. Her efforts are nationally published and her PR work has been highly recognized & awarded. 

Arlene is currently working on her first novel & aspires to turn it into a film; while also writing the authorized biography of the legendary Pimp C of UGK. 

She served as publicist for the late great BTY YoungN, 0017th.

Arlene holds a Masters degree in Marketing.

Sunni Patterson; 


Visionary Ambassador

New Orleans native and visionary, Sunni Patterson, is a highly sought after and internationally acclaimed Poet, Performer, Lecturer, Workshop Facilitator, and Certified Life Coach. As a diligent student in the Healing and Spiritual Arts, she deliberately uses Art and Culture as tools to recognize, address, and eliminate all forms of oppression. Her Artistry has allowed her to grace a plethora of stages and platforms. From TEDWomen (2015 & 2018) to “Under the bridge”, you can rest assured, Sunni’s words bring us all to a place of recollection, remembrance, and hope. 
Sunni is a 2020 John O’Neal Cultural Arts Fellow, and she currently serves as a Resident Artist for both the City of New Orleans’ Claiborne Corridor Cultural Initiative and Junebug Productions. She is also co-founder, along with Scientist and Atmospheric Chemist, Cherelle Blazer, of Environmental Arts and Public Health Organization, Breath is Lyfe.  Sunni received her B.A. in English from Tuskegee University. She is a mama of 2 boys and 1 daughter who she lovingly raises with her husband, Trent.


board members 

Board of Directors:

   Dr. Kimberley Richards
   Michael Pellet
   Dr. Curtis Davis
   Dr. Elizabeth Jeffers
   vacant seat

Advisory Board Members:

   Danielle Metz
   Kenyatta Williams
   Robert King
   Dr. Imanni Sheppard
   Asali DeVsn Ecclesiastes  

June 2020


Daddies, Donuts, & Dialogue 

” Trap Paintin” 











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Tell John Bel Edwards FREE MAMA GLO, Sign the clemency petition already!