The RAE House

The Small Center worked with Resurrection After Exoneration to redesign the RAE House. Located in the heart of the community in which it serves, relaunching the RAE House will reconstitute this central point of service and support offered to and by exonerated men and women, as well as families of wrongfully convicted people trying to access help for their loved ones within the prison system.

Project Dates

September 2019–December 2019


Building upon the legacy of founder John Thompson, RAE now seeks a renewal of its building and programming in order to continue important work in providing both services and education to exonerees. The project team created design and renovation ideas that will allow for continued success, expanded programming, and sustainable operations into the future.

In New Orleans, prosecutorial misconduct is systemic. The voices of the exonerated men and women who have been mistreated by the system is crucial in building education about the reform needed within the system. Resurrection After Exoneration (RAE) serves exonerees, helping with reentry after the traumatic experience of wrongful incarceration, with services including medical, financial, legal, and educational help to break the cycle of dependence and poverty. RAE also provides education and outreach about how people become wrongfully convicted.

Small Center Engagement

Through a series of meetings over 10 weeks, Small Center and RAE convened a wide range of stakeholders including people and organizations who have held events in the building, allied organizations, existing tenants, RAE leadership, and formerly incarcerated and impacted people. The project team worked collaboratively to envision RAE’s reopening, clarify its purpose and possible programming, cultivate a support network of allies and possible funders, and consider design possibilities that would both build upon the legacy of RAE and expand the range of services provided in the building.

Partner Organization

Resurrection after Exoneration’s mission is to promote and sustain a network of support among exonerated prisoners, to reconnect them to the community, and help provide access to educational and financial opportunities, counseling and health services. Resurrection after Exoneration also serves all formerly incarcerated individuals through a holistic approach to reentry, while creating a collective voice to demand reform in the criminal justice system.


RAE has worked with a number of partners to thoughtfully redesign the building with a
focus on flexibility and accessibility. The renewed RAE house will include more useful programming
and community gathering space that can be used for meetings, providing services, and many
types of events held by RAE and its partners. Office space is also provided to accommodate GED
services, educational programming, counselors, attorneys, case workers, and other small nonprofits
that work on criminal justice reform.

The results of the collaborative effort are available in a document that can be downloaded here.


Resurrection After Exoneration & friends of RAE

  • Laverne Thompson
  • Andrea Armstrong
  • Jerome Morgan
  • Jackie Summell
  • Jane Murdock
  • Denise Strong
  • Emily Maw

Promise of Justice Initiative

  • Mercedes Montagnes
  • Calvin Duncan
  • Nishi Kumar

Reentry Mediation Institute of Louisiana

  • Sister Allison McCrary

Voice of the Experienced (VOTE)

  • Norris Henderson
  • Anna Sacks

The First 72+

  • Kelly Orians

Team Members

Project Leads

  • Nick Jenisch
  • Rashidah Williams


  • Hannah Bannister


  • Ann Yoachim
  • Emilie Taylor-Welty
  • Jose Cotto


  • Johnson Controls, Inc.

Special Thanks

  • Palmisano Construction
  • Pierre Stouse