Jo Banner’s deep connection to her heritage and love for her home state of Louisiana has driven her to create significant positive change in her community and beyond. Through her organization, The Descendants Project, she is preserving and celebrating her Afro-Creole heritage and actively working to challenge exploitative systems and protect Louisiana’s people’s environment and well-being.

Her focus on gaining recognition for the burial grounds of the enslaved as sacred sites highlights her commitment to acknowledging the historical injustices that have taken place and honoring the lives of those who suffered. This work is crucial for fostering healing and understanding in the community.

Jo’s advocacy for environmental justice is particularly significant as she lives in an area disproportionately affected by heavy industry and petrochemicals, now infamously known as Cancer Alley. By championing this cause and developing strategies to transform land into green spaces, she addresses immediate environmental concerns and strives to create a healthier and more vibrant future for her community.