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4 African American Women & Their Stories of a School That Transformed Civil Rights in New Orleans and the Nation

Collage poster with black and white photographs of four African American women whose stories we hear in this podcast

Limited series podcast about 4 African American women and a small struggling school that changed Civil Rights in New Orleans and the Nation

Exchange Place podcast logo

Exchange Place podcast

EXCHANGE PLACE Season One: Limited Audio Series Coming March 27, 2023 To All Major Podcast Streaming Platforms

I thank Alice Geoffray and the Adult Education Center for giving me the opportunity to better my life. Just as I thank Shell for the 22 years I was there.”
— Mary Alice Billington

NEW ORLEANS, LA, USA, March 23, 2023/ -- EXCHANGE PLACE Podcast, a limited audio storytelling series, will launch Season One on Monday, March 27, 2023 to all major podcast streaming platforms. Set against the backdrop of a newly desegregated Deep South, four African-American graduates of a small adult education school, called “The Adult Education Center,” in New Orleans tell their incredible stories of perseverance and triumph as they became the first to integrate into major US corporations like Texaco, IBM, and Shell Oil.

Presented by New Orleans-based organization The 431 Exchange, EXCHANGE PLACE follows the story of The Adult Education Center (AEC) which trained mostly African-American women the skills they needed to be the first to integrate into major US companies like Texaco and Shell Oil between 1965 and ‘72. Those offices were not just segregated, for the most part they were completely off limits to women of color while many continued to fight to ensure the workplace would stay that way for years or decades to come. Over the course of AEC’s history, it was shut down multiple times and constantly under duress from forces conspiring to defeat it. However attacked, AEC survived to become one of the most successful schools of its kind in the War On Poverty while lauded on the front pages of national newspapers like The Wall Street Journal. It was also the subject of an Emmy Award-winning documentary in 1968 entitled "The School That Would Not Die."

“I thank Alice Geoffray and the Adult Education Center for giving me the opportunity to better my life,” says Mary Alice Billington from the class of 1968. “Just as I thank Shell for the 22 years I was there.”

Spanning 12 episodes in total, Season One of the podcast tells the inspirational biographies of four of the school’s graduates who changed the moral skyline of their city -- how they did it -- and how the school’s teachers and supporters struggled to overcome the massive forces arrayed against them.

EXCHANGE PLACE will be available for streaming for free beginning Monday, March 27 on all major podcast streaming platforms, with a new release every other week. For more information, please visit

To request early access to preview the EXCHANGE PLACE podcast, and to arrange an interview with The 431 Exchange graduates or its Co-Founders, please contact Jian Huang at or call (310) 293-3121. Media kit for more information.

Jian Huang
pH Collective
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