I have thought a lot about what being involved in Hastings Hurricane Relief means two years after the storm. Natural disasters, wars and elections inspire my peers and I to act, yet I continue to be dedicated to keeping dialogue related to Katrina at the forefront of my social justice work. Student Hurricane Network, the national student group which HHR partners with in Pro Bono work, as well as in planning trips, sent out an email after the second "anniversary" of the hurricane. The email recognized that the work is not nearly done; perhaps the needs are not as acute as they were, yet they continue. One of the HHR members worked on housing issues in New Orleans this past summer with Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center and came back inspired to continue to help New Orleans rebuild to be a stronger city than it was before the storm. Her dedication reminded me that I want to be a part of that process as well. Truly, I think what inspires me to continue to work in the gulf coast and specifically in NOLA is that as the flood waters rose, I with much of the American public, sat in front of a television in horror. I knew and know that there is racism and poverty in the United States but the reality of that was painfully clear as footage of people on roofs and highway overpasses inundated the television. I think that we have an obligation to work to advance social justice and while it is easier to do at home and I do plan to continue to do it elsewhere also.
To that end, HHR has begun the fundraising process, is working with the Pro Bono Project in New Orleans and planning panels to continue the conscious raising work that we started last year.