Katrina Memorial in the Lower Ninth Ward (Source: Unknown)
District E Commemorates Katrina Anniversary This Friday
Ceremony Begins at 9:15 am at North Claiborne and Tennessee Street
Wreath Laying at Claiborne Avenue Katrina Memorial Follows
NEW ORLEANS - In commemoration of the 9th Anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, citizens of the historic lower ninth ward along with elected officials, clergy and community activists will gather at the eastern end of the North Claiborne bridge to pay homage to the past and look toward the future of the historic neighborhood.
The following is the agenda for the commemoration:
8:30 a.m. Meet and Greet with lower nine non-profits with recovery information
9:15 a.m. Invocation, Presentation of Colors, National Anthem
9:25 a.m. MLK Band
9:30 a.m. Opening Remarks, District E Councilman James A. Gray II
9:40 a.m. Honorable Cynthia Willard Lewis (Invited)
Located at the foot of Canal Street, 5056 Canal Street
WHEN: Friday, August 29, 2013 @ 8:30 A.M.
WHY: A host of dignitaries including New Orleans Mayor, the Honorable Mitch Landrieu, elected officials, community, and civic leaders are expected to lay a wreath at the memorial site where almost 100 unclaimed or unidentified victims of Hurricane Katrina are interred. This year's guest speaker will be the recently elected New Orleans Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Rouse.
WHO: The event is being hosted by the Crescent City Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association, The Orleans Embalmers and Associates, the Louisiana Morticians and Funeral Directors Association, Katrina Memorial Foundation, and Embalmers and Funeral Directors from across Louisiana.
DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY HEALTH CENTERS CELEBRATES RIBBON CUTTING FOR NEWEST HEALTH CENTER IN GENTILLY
Area has had limited access to primary and preventive health care services since it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina nine years ago this week
NEW ORLEANS - Daughters of Charity Health Centers will host a special ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony at 9:30 am on Wednesday, August 27 at Daughters of Charity Health Center - Gentilly, located at 100 Warrington Drive (on the campus of Dillard University). Archbishop Gregory Aymond will provide the blessing for the new health care facility. New Orleans City Councilman Jared Brossett, District D, and New Orleans Health Department Director Charlotte Parent, along with other community and faith leaders will be on-hand for the celebration. The public is invited to attend.
"For 180 years, the Daughters of Charity have provided access to high-quality health care for all members of our community," said Michael G. Griffin, president and CEO of Daughters of Charity Health Centers. "With the opening of the Daughters of Charity Health Center in Gentilly we will continue this great health care legacy, offering a full-service primary and preventive care practice, including women's health (OB/GYN and prenatal services), primary care for children, adults and seniors, behavioral health services and more health resources under one roof."
Daughters of Charity Health Center in Gentilly is open to all members of the community Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The health care facility accepts most private insurances, Medicaid, Medicare and the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection (GNOCHC). A sliding fee scale also is available, as well as low-cost medications through a pharmacy assistance program for those who qualify.
About Daughters of Charity Health Centers
Daughters of Charity Health Centers is a non-profit health care organization offering primary and preventive health services to all members of the community, regardless of their ability to pay. The Daughters of Charity have provided access to high-quality, compassionate health care to the greater New Orleans community since 1834. The organization's five health centers are located in Bywater, Carrollton, Metairie, eastern New Orleans and Gentilly.
WHERE: 601 South Jefferson Davis Parkway, New Orleans
WHY: On the 9th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the YWCA is coming back to 601 South Jefferson Davis Parkway. Services are really needed as well as support from the Greater New Orleans community.
Pre-Katrina, the YWCA of Greater New Orleans provided these services:
* Daycare * Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women Prevention * Women's Health Program * Counseling * Job Training * Financial Literacy * Scholarships for Young Women * Health and Safety * Economic Empowerment * Youth Programs
Upon completion of construction, these services, which have been sorely missed and most definitely needed, will again be a part of our great city.
MEDIA CONTACT: Loyce P. Wright PHONE: (504) 430-5410
A Gentilly Church Prepares to Re-Open its Doors on the 9th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
What: Church Returns to Gentilly Neighborhood 9 Years after Hurricane Katrina with a Grand Re-opening Celebration Weekend
Who: Bishop Darryl S. Brister and the Beacon Light International Baptist Cathedral
Where: 1937 Mirabeau Ave., NOLA
When: Friday, August 29th - Sunday, August 31st, 2014
New Orleans, LA., August 22, 2014---Beacon Light International Baptist Cathedral, one of the hundreds of churches severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina will celebrate its grand re-opening Friday, August 29 through Sunday, August 31, 2014 - the same weekend of the 9th year anniversary of the devastating storm. The church plans a ribbon cutting, a community outreach event and worship services as a part of the celebration.
Bishop Darryl S. Brister, Senior Pastor of Beacon Light International Cathedral said, "It's been a long time coming and it wasn't easy. Our members were personally affected by Katrina and had other priorities. Like so many others, they lost homes, loved ones, had to relocate etc. Beacon Light has always been a church that put ministry (meeting the needs of people) first, and we plan to continue doing just that when we return home...we are here for life!"
The grand re-opening weekend will kick off Friday, August 29th at 6:00 PM with a ribbon cutting featuring elected officials and prominent community leaders, followed by a worship service in the newly renovated sanctuary. Saturday, August 30th the church will host a 1937 Here for Life community outreach event from 12:00pm - 4pm on the church grounds. The outreach will feature food, games, music, a school supply give-a-way and health screenings sponsored by Peoples Health. This event is free and open to the public.
Bishop Brister continued, "Our congregation, although significantly smaller in number, is most resilient and tenacious. A trait that's indicative of the people of New Orleans. The losses due to Katrina were great, but we are dedicated and we are seeing our dedication payoff as we celebrate this significant milestone. Our commitment runs deep in this church, this community and in this city. We are a beacon of light."
The grand re-opening celebration will culminate with the official dedication service Sunday, August 31st at 6:30 PM, featuring special guest speaker, Bishop Paul S. Morton of Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church.
Pre-Katrina Beacon Light's membership exceeded 9,000 active members. Church properties were destroyed as a result of the storm's devastation and members were displaced everywhere. In January of 2005, the church began holding weekly Thursday night Bible Study sessions at Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church's Westbank location and in January of 2006 they added Sunday morning services to the schedule. Beacon Light needed a more permanent temporary home to accommodate the growing number of attendees, so in October 2009, the church began holding weekly services at Crystal Palace Reception Center. The growing congregation now exceeds 3,000 active members on roll.
NOTE: Normal weekly Sunday morning services will resume Sunday, August 31st at 8:00AM and 10:30AM at 1937 Mirabeau Ave.
BRING BACK "JOHN MAC" HURRICANE KATRINA 9TH ANNIVERSARY RALLY
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, right meets John McDonald High School JROTC students in 2009. (Matthew Hinton, The Times-Picayune)
NEW ORLEANS - On Friday, August 29, 2014, the 9th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina will be remembered in New Orleans with a "Bring Back John Mac" Rally and Candle Light Vigil. Nine years ago, the State of Louisiana seized control over John McDonogh Sr. High School and 107 New Orleans Public Schools while residents were displaced after Hurricane Katrina (Nov. 30, 2005).
Today, out-of-state charter management groups control most schools seized by the RSD. "John Mac" closed May 2014, after 9 years of mismanagement and neglect by state education officials in the so-called "Recovery School District" (RSD).
A promise made on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to start a Culinary Arts Program was broken. Students were humiliated in Oprah Winfrey's year-long series called "Blackboard Wars" and the school's " Performance Score" sank to an all-time low in 2012 (9.3 out of 150). Yet, despite its ranking as one of the lowest performing school districts in Louisiana (see attachment), RSD officials have rejected the 6-0 vote of the local school board to resume control over the school. As expected, a recent Times-Picayune poll showed only 7% of its readers think the Louisiana Recovery School District should continue to control John McDonogh Sr. High School.
At 5 PM, Friday, August 29th, supporters of "John Mac" will gather on the steps of the school, 2426 Esplanade Avenue (New Orleans, LA) to tell Louisiana's education officials "The 9-Year Experiment With Children Must Stop!" Candle light prayers will be said for John McDonogh High School students who have fought for educational justice for nine years, as well as Travon Martin, Wendell Allen, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and other human beings who are no longer here to fight for justice.
Marc Morial - Stop the War on Young Black Men in America
To Be Equal #33
August 20, 2014
Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League
"Never did we think we would be planning a funeral, we were waiting on his first day of school. They robbed us of that." Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown
"In too many communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement. In too many communities, too many young men of color are left behind and seen only as objects of fear." President Barack Obama
NEW YORK, NY - I had originally planned to use this column to denounce the July 17th death of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old, unarmed Black man following the unlawful use of a chokehold by New York City police officers who suspected Garner of selling untaxed cigarettes on a Staten Island street corner. Garner, an asthmatic who repeatedly yelled, "I can't breathe!" while being wrestled to the ground by at least five officers, died at the scene, leading to calls of police brutality from his family and members of the community. I had planned to point to the death of Eric Garner as the latest in what has become an all-too-frequent occurrence in communities of color across America - the excessive and often fatal use of force by police against young, unarmed Black men. Then came the August 9 fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown, who was unarmed and was preparing for his first year in college, was stopped and then shot by Officer Darren Wilson for the alleged crime of jaywalking, or specifically according to Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson, of "walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic."
I have never witnessed a situation more poorly handled than this one. For almost two weeks following Brown's death, his family, community and outraged citizens across the nation have sought answers and justice from the local authorities, who have been slow to respond and quick to blame the victim, leading to intense demonstrations. Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael Brown's family. Now that the Justice Department and FBI have entered the investigation, we have confidence that justice will ultimately prevail. Attorney General Eric Holder is doing the right thing by conducting a comprehensive parallel investigation and not waiting for local authorities - a refreshing departure from the traditional approach. But this is not enough.
The tragedies in Ferguson and Staten Island are not isolated incidents. Just four days before Brown's death, on August 5, police shot and killed 22-year-old John Crawford in a Beavercreek, Ohio Walmart, after responding to a call that a man was wielding a gun in the store. It turns out that Crawford was holding a BB rifle which he had picked up while shopping in the store. Clearly, racial suspicion and harassment of Black men, especially by law enforcement, has become an often deadly epidemic in many parts of the country. That is why we are urgently calling upon the White House, the Department of Justice and congressional leaders to review and address the ongoing pattern and practice of racial violence and systemic discriminatory treatment by law enforcement in so many of our communities.
Too often, tactics like the "broken windows" strategy result in the targeting of communities of color for enforcement of minor offenses. Too often, there is a rush by police and the media to portray Black male victims who have been killed by whites as "thugs" as we saw with Trayvon Martin, Ramarley Graham, Jordan Davis, and now with Michael Brown - particularly regarding the Ferguson Police Department's attempt at character assassination by releasing the store video of Michael Brown and attempting to deceptively link it to his killing. Add to that the militarization of police departments and the overuse of tear gas, stun grenades and other tools of war in response to largely peaceful demonstrations, as we have seen in Ferguson, and a toxic relationship between police and the communities they are sworn to protect and serve is all but certain.
Let's be clear. There is no justification for looting, property destruction and otherwise breaking the law in the name of the First Amendment, and the irresponsible actions of an ill-intentioned few do not represent the legitimate grievances of an entire community. The civil rights movement has always been and continues to be one of peaceful - yet effective and strategic - protests and actions that have initiated massive change.
As we look to solutions to ensure that a higher value - a human value - is placed on the lives of our Black men, legal remedies are absolutely needed, but this is essentially a problem of the heart. Until white Americans and police departments begin to see and treat young African American and Latino males with the dignity and deference afforded to their white counterparts, nothing will change. The death of Michael Brown has once again exposed the widespread and dangerous mistrust that exists between law enforcement and too many communities of color in America. For the sake of our nation, our communities and equal justice, we must bridge that divide.
NEW ORLEANS AGENDA - On August 29, 2005, who knew an evacuation order would be the last time I would see New Orleans as I knew it. A "hurricane trip" as I referred to it happened frequently, so why would this time be anything different? My "hurricane trips" would usually turn out to be short vacations and time off from work. So, to be honest, I actually looked forward to it! But this time would be different. Hurricane Katrina destroyed my home, my personal belongings and left me homeless. More importantly, I was now faced with many financial uncertainties.
With the start of hurricane season, how can you protect yourself financially?
Make a "To Go" System
Using a simple accordion folder, create tabs using a checklist for important financial documents that may be necessary in case of an evacuation order. Your folder should include the following items:
* Insurance documents
* Titles and deeds
* Birth certificates and social security cards
* Photographs of personal property
* Tax returns
* Irreplaceable items (pictures, rare coins or currency, etc.)
Oftentimes after a disaster, many government agencies and organizations require these documents. Therefore, it is a great idea to have them on hand.
Review your insurance
Depending where you reside, it is important to make certain you insure against all risks that can affect your area. During Hurricane Katrina, many residents did not have adequate insurance because they only carried homeowners insurance but neglected to carry additional flood insurance policies. Take time to visit with an insurance agent to determine whether you should carry additional insurance beyond your basic homeowner's policy.
Keep Cash on Hand
Quite often you may hear, save some cash in case of a disaster. But, I am here to tell you not only save cash, but keep cash on hand. I can recall during Hurricane Katrina how difficult it was to access funds from ATMs.
Since I banked locally, not only was I out of pocket, but my financial institution was as well! So make certain you take some cash when you evacuate. It can go a mighty long way.
Melissa Harris-Perry: The deaths of black men in America
HUFFINGTON POST - In a short but powerful segment on Saturday, Melissa Harris-Perry connected the recent police killing of Michael Brown to the deaths of other black men at the hands of police - and to America's history of injustice towards black people.
Harris-Perry read the names of some of the hundreds of men who were killed by police across the country "in the past decade alone," from Sean Bell to Oscar Grant to Eric Garner to Brown. All of the men she mentioned were unarmed at the time of their death.
In the past decade alone, these men and hundreds of others have lost their lives to police.
"From 2006 to 2012 a white police officer killed a black person at least twice a week in this country," she said.
She then noted that Ferguson, where Brown was shot dead, is close to the place from which the slave Dred Scott waged a legal battle for his freedom. She quoted from the notorious Supreme Court case which rejected Scott's claim because, in the infamous words of Chief Justice Roger Taney, he had "no rights which the white man was bound to respect."
Harris-Perry repeated that last phrase over and over again, as images of police in Ferguson flashed behind her.
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Mob Stopping Street Car, East St. Louis Riot, July 2, 1917 Image Ownership: Public Domain
BlackPast.org - The city of East St. Louis was the scene of one of the bloodiest race riots in the 20th century. Racial tensions began to increase in February, 1917 when 470 African American workers were hired to replace white workers who had gone on strike against the Aluminum Ore Company.
The violence started on May 28th, 1917, shortly after a city council meeting was called. Angry white workers lodged formal complaints against black migrations to the Mayor of East St. Louis. After the meeting had ended, news of an attempted robbery of a white man by an armed black man began to circulate through the city. As a result of this news, white mobs formed and rampaged through downtown, beating all African Americans who were found. The mobs also stopped trolleys and streetcars, pulling black passengers out and beating them on the streets and sidewalks. Illinois Governor Frank O. Lowden eventually called in the National Guard to quell the violence, and the mobs slowly dispersed. The May 28th disturbances were only a prelude to the violence that erupted on July 2, 1917.
After the May 28th riots, little was done to prevent any further problems. No precautions were taken to ensure white job security or to grant union recognition. This further increased the already-high level of hostilities towards African Americans. No reforms were made in police force which did little to quell the violence in May. Governor Lowden ordered the National Guard out of the city on June 10th, leaving residents of East St. Louis in an uneasy state of high racial tension.
On July 2, 1917, the violence resumed. Men, women, and children were beaten and shot to death. Around six o' clock that evening, white mobs began to set fire to the homes of black residents. Residents had to choose between burning alive in their homes, or run out of the burning houses, only to be met by gunfire. In other parts of the city, white mobs began to lynch African Americans against the backdrop of burning buildings. As darkness came and the National Guard returned, the violence began to wane, but did not come to a complete stop.
In response to the rioting, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sent W.E.B. DuBois and Martha Gruening to investigate the incident. They compiled a report entitled "Massacre at East St. Louis," which was published in the NAACP's magazine, The Crisis. The NAACP also staged a silent protest march in New York City in response to the violence. Thousands of well-dressed African Americans marched down Fifth Avenue, showing their concern about the events in East St. Louis.
The Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) also responded to the violence. On July 8th, 1917, the UNIA's President, Marcus Garvey said "This is a crime against the laws of humanity; it is a crime against the laws of the nation, it is a crime against Nature, and a crime against the God of all mankind." He also believed that the entire riot was part of a larger conspiracy against African Americans who migrated North in search of a better life: "The whole thing, my friends, is a bloody farce, and that the police and soldiers did nothing to stem the murder thirst of the mob is a conspiracy on the part of the civil authorities to condone the acts of the white mob against Negroes."
A year after the riot, a Special Committee formed by the United States House of Representatives launched an investigation into police actions during the East St. Louis Riot. Investigators found that the National Guard and also the East St. Louis police force had not acted adequately during the riots, revealing that the police often fled from the scenes of murder and arson. Some even fled from stationhouses and refused to answer calls for help. The investigation resulted in the indictment of several members of the East St. Louis police force.
Sources: Allen D. Grimshaw, "Actions of Police and the Military in American Race Riots," Phylon 24:3 (3rd Qtr, 1963); Robert A. Hill, ed., The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, Vol. I, (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1983); Elliot M. Rudwick, Race Riot at East St. Louis: July 2, 1917 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1964).
"CeLillianne Green's That Word is an informative and inspirational masterpiece and a must read for anybody grappling with the true nature and ugliness of the N-word. This outstanding book has inspired the FPA to stand strong as to why That Word should be eliminated from the NFL playing fields." - John Wooten, Chairman
"That Word" is an inspired work of poetry.
WASHINGTON, DC -I commend the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation ('FPAF") for its call to past, present, and future National Football League ("NFL") players to "respect the dignity of your teammates, fellow players, officials, coaches, fans, and yourselves," by not using the 'n-word'. I hope the NFL appreciates the wisdom of the FPAF and joins in their call for action. To do so, recognizes human dignity and is a reminder of good sportsmanship. Moreover, it would be a sound business practice to minimize hostile work environment claims, particularly since hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment. This is a moment for education and for the maturation of our nation. Indeed, the NFL is in a position to serve as an example for the nation and the world by educating its players and making known that hate speech, in all its forms, has no place in athletics.
The n-word is a word of absolute hate. Those who claim otherwise are misinformed about a word steeped in a history of pain and degradation inflicted upon Africans, who were forcibly transported to America to be enslaved due to the color of their skin. Institutionalized enslavement of Africans and their descendants in America spanned nearly two and half centuries, plus a century more of de facto enslavement in the form of legalized discrimination and racism. These facts must be understood as the reality for millions of people who were forced to live and die with indignity of the n-word hurled at them. In some instances, these people used their oppressors' words to denigrate themselves. An elementary understanding of the Stockholm syndrome helps to explain why traumatized and oppressed people accept the words of their oppressor to identify themselves.
The generations of trauma from institutionalized slavery has yet to be fully addressed, let alone healed in the psyche of our nation. Of course, I applaud how the film, "12 Years a Slave" shed light on slavery in America. Yet, this Oscar-winning film only focused on the life of one man, Solomon Northup. He was born a free man, educated, and was able to write about his capture and enslavement. Northup's enslavement and that of millions of others, who were legally banned from learning to read or write, was a nightmare. Their nightmare cannot be converted into a dream by a contemporary notion of changing definitions. To claim otherwise, is to disrespect them and the collective history of America.
While everyone may not share a deep connection to the history and legacy of enslaved people and their enslavers in America, the fact and impact of slavery must not be minimized. Education allowed Northup to write his 1853 memoir about the horrors of slavery. In 2014, more education is needed about the pain inflicted from the n-word. I have had the opportunity to contribute to that education in That Word, an inspired work of epic poetry, in which the "Council of Elders" in the "Circle of Truth" reminds some and teaches others why the n-word is profane. From the spirit realm, the Elders in That Word lament to their descendants:
"We knew who created that word and why
That word was to perpetuate the lie
The lie of our inferiority
To promote our oppressors' lie of superiority
Now we're compelled to leave our graves
As we hear you saying it like you're slaves
That word was created to denigrate us and our descendants too
Under no circumstances, should we hear it from you"
Like the Elders in the Circle of Truth, I implore those who do not know history, to learn, to heal, and to respect the pain and legacy of those who were enslaved and their descendants. Continued use of the n-word and variations of it represent the back door referred to in The Miseducation of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson. Mis-educated people build back doors to use even after signs directing them to do so have been removed. It is time to remove those signs from our minds. It is time to stop building back doors.
CeLillianne Green is a poet, an attorney and a freelance writer. She is the author of That Word, the e-book Marching Orders & She Rose, and other poetry.
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