Musician & WWOZ radio host Cole Williams is in the vanguard of a powerful movement of direct action in the city of New Orleans, defending the rights of unhoused people. In recent years New Orleans housing activists created a political space for people to come together. Following frequent street demonstrations at City Hall, activists succeeded in getting the City to provide emergency housing in empty hotels. Now grassroots activists are renovating City-owned blighted houses with unhoused people by their side. Organized by The Greater New Orleans Citizens Relief Team (GNOCRT), they are asking the city government and those individuals with construction skills to assist in this dramatic and impactful Project. Cole Williams is leading this struggle with deep community participation and her powerful songs of love and struggle. Her new album with the Cole Williams Band, “Give Power to the People” puts them in the tradition of Gil Scott-Heron, creating songs that reflect the everyday experiences and hopes of Black people all around the world. These songs are anthems of the Movement for Black Lives and certainly for peoplestruggling to make sense out of this dangerous and hopeful moment. Listeners are invited to observe on web2 platforms Youtube and Twitter, or to participate in VR at The Ropeadope Lounge. VR participants will be granted microphone access to speak directly with the panel, and the discussion will continue in VR as we play selections from Cole’s album.