News January 9, 2020

“A Safe Home-Going for Exonerees.” Small Center re-designs “The RAE House” with restorative justice advocates to help support exonerated men and women in Louisiana.

A New Orleans nonprofit that supports those who’ve been wrongfully incarcerated recently worked closely with Tulane architecture students, staff and faculty to develop a vision for the nonprofit’s headquarters.

The Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design at the Tulane School of Architecture conducted a series of meetings with Resurrection After Exoneration (RAE) to determine their spatial needs and develop designs for a newly renovated headquarter and community center. RAE was founded in 2007 by exonerees to promote and sustain a network of support among formerly wrongfully incarcerated individuals in the South.

The process involved three basic steps: design, discuss, develop. This engaged process included design meetings with a variety of RAE’s partners, staff, and supporters, revising designs with that feedback to coordinate what would be the “RAE House” visioning project.

The design process of the RAE House was led by Adjunct Faculty and Small Center Project Manager Nick Jenisch and Rashidah Williams, Assistant Director of the Small Center. The basic needs for the recently exonerated can run the gamut of employment, housing, transportation, education, physical and mental health care, public benefits, and more; without a central place to access these services, many exonerees can find themselves unsupported and vulnerable.  After review and discussion, Architecture graduate student Hannah Bannister created photorealistic renderings. These along with the project narrative form the final visioning booklet which RAE will use to reach their redevelopment fund goals.

On January 7, 2020, the Promise of Justice Initiative held a “Vigil for Life” celebrating 10 Years of No Executions in Louisiana at the Resurrection After Exoneration Headquarters.  At this event, the booklets were first made available to the public. For more information about Resurrection After Exoneration and how to support the future of the “RAE House,” please email Laverne Thompson, Executive Director at