27 August 2008

Ms. Foundation Grantees Commemorate Third Anniversary of Katrina With Calls for Action

On Friday 29 August 2008, Ms. Foundation grantees in New Orleans, Providence and New York City will be commemorating the third anniverary of Hurricane Katrina with solidarity actions in their own cities.

New Orleans
In New Orleans, grantees Safe Streets, Strong Communities and Families & Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC) will be part of the Katrina commemoration second line and rally on Friday at 1 pm. The event, "Sankofa: Remembering Storms of the Past, Building a Brighter Future," will "shine a spotlight on the ongoing disaster of bad public policies that continue to stall communities and prevent thousands of residents from returning after three years since Katrina made landfall."

"Neighbors from across the city will stand together with displaced New Orleanians to demand the right to determine our city’s future – a future that supports children and families, not these profiteering corporations," says Norris Henderson of Safe Streets, Strong Communities. "We want to expose the disastrous policies that have been imposed on us without our input or consent and present a better way to build a safe, strong community."
The New Orleans event [more details] is partially sponsored by the Right to the City Alliance, a national network of community organizations working to address access to housing, services and quality of life in urban areas. It is also sponsoring events in eight other cities, including New York and Providence.

New York
In New York, Ms. Foundation grantees FIERCE and CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities are part of the events that will begin at a 2:00pm gathering at Sara Roosevelt Park in Manhattan, Grand Street between Chrystie and Forsyth Sts, followed by a march through the streets of the lower east side and Chinatown, ending with a vigil in front of 1 Police Plaza. At 7:30pm a fundraiser at Judson Memorial Church put on by the Artist Relief Collective and the Nola Preservation Society will close the day.
[For more information on the New York events contact Rob Robinson at Picture the Homeless 646-314-6423 or Brenda Stokley at the New York Solidarity Coalition with Katrina and Rita Survivors 212-969-0449.]

Starting at 3:30pm at the offices (340 Lockwood St., Providence, RI) of Ms. Foundation grantee Direct Action for Rights & Equality (DARE), the commemoration will feature local musicians, performers, and community leaders. A second-line style march through Providence's hurricane evacuation route will make stops along the way to highlight issues -- criminalization, gentrification, immigrant rights, foreclosures, and education -- that are affecting Providence, New York, and New Orleans and other communities across the country . The events are sponsored by DARE, Olneyville Neighborhood Association, and City Life/Vida Urbana (Boston).
[For more information, contact 401-351-6960 or 401-228-8996.]

The commemoration of the anniversaries of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita show both the scale of the challenges ahead and the strength of the grassroots leaders and local organizations working to seek a just and sustainable recovery.

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