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Community Partners

The following organizations have received funds from the UUA/UUSC Gulf Coast Relief Fund and remain partners in recovery efforts through the UUA/UUSC Gulf Coast Volunteer Program.

New Orleans and Louisiana

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is a grassroots membership-organization working for social justice and equality. Since Katrina, ACORN's semi-autonomous New Orleans chapter has been involved in lobbying Washington for federal funding for rebuilding, anti-bulldozing class action lawsuits on behalf of residents in the Lower 9 th Ward, organizing residents to prepare for the neighborhood planning process, and wide scale pro-bono gutting of flooded houses belonging to ACORN members from across the city.
Contact: Steve Bradberry

Advancement Project is working through a coordination of organizations working on legal issues and rights in New Orleans called the Grass Roots Legal Movement. We are supporting their work around worker rights in New Orleans; looking at both the exploitation of undocumented workers and job development and access and for African Americans residents
Contact: Ishmael Muhammad

Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing (BISCO) is a non-profit, faith based organization. BISCO's church-based membership works with ministers in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes. BISCO's mission is to build an interfaith, multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-issue organization that serves as the voice for low- and moderate-income people of South Louisiana. BISCO organizes congregation members, especially the poor and/or isolated, to strategically address the needs of their communities. In the wake of the hurricanes, BISCO works with evacuees from within out outside Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes to find solutions issues evacuees are facing because of these hurricanes.

C3 Hands Off Iberville is an organizing group working on public housing in New Orleans. Their current focus is on supporting public housing residents to return to their homes in New Orleans. Contact: Jay Arena

Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) calls upon our religious values in order to educate, organize, and mobilize the religious community in the U.S. on issues and campaigns that will improve wages, benefits, and working conditions for workers, especially low-wage workers. The mission of IWJ's Rebuilding the Gulf Coast with Equity is to pursue public policies leading to worker justice in New Orleans.

Jefferson Presbyterian Church, New Orleans, LA, is generously supporting the Unitarian Universalist congregations of New Orleans with worship and office space due to damage in their buildings.

Jeremiah Group (Industrial Areas Foundation-IAF Affiliate) is a consortium of local churches organized before the storm. Post-Katrina the Jeremiah Group has worked to help pastors locate evacuated parishioners and identify and meet their needs. The Jeremiah Group is currently exploring homebuilding and homeownership programs for its members.
Contact: Jacquie Jones-Soule

Louisiana Workers Center (LWC) and New Orleans Worker Justice Coalition
In addition to co-releasing the groundbreaking report "And Injustice for All" (PDF), the New Orleans Worker Justice Coalition (NOWJC) has prioritized the establishment of the Louisiana Workers' Center to adequately address the long-term impact of this human and civil rights crisis voiced by the workers. The Center will be an independent, but collaborative, community-based organization advocating for and organizing workers in post-Katrina New Orleans in a multi-racial, multi-industry context.

Moving Forward Gulf Coast, Inc. is a Louisiana based non-profit created in response to Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent devastation throughout the U.S. Gulf Coast. The founding of this organization was a collaborative vision of New Orleans native, Ron Hansell and Slidell native Colette Pichon Battle, who both made promises to their communities and families to help rebuild the Gulf Coast . Moving Forward is dedicated to rebuilding a better Gulf Coast through the vision of its residents. By providing volunteer-based relief, Moving Forward strives for community empowerment and fosters collaborative efforts through community advocacy, training and creative programming.
Contact: Colette Pichon Battle, Esq.

Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, Inc. (NHS) was founded to help move low and moderate income residents from rentals to homeownership. Post-Katrina NHS's focus has expanded to include development of a network of interconnected community centers offering a variety of social services including housing and homeownership counseling.
Contact: Lauren Anderson

New Orleans Network emerged post-Katrina as an information sharing tool for organizers and community members. Housed on the internet, the New Orleans Network's function is to provide a community calendar and database with information on organizations, services, events and fundraising.
Contact: Shana Sassoon

Northshore Disaster Recovery, Inc. (NDRI) seeks to respond to those who were uninsured or under-insured and whose unmet needs will not be covered by relief systems such as FEMA, the Small Business Administration or the Red Cross. Northshore Disaster Recovery, Inc. (NDRI) will provide spiritual, emotional, and physical resources to those affected by Hurricane Katrina, regardless of race, creed, color, sex, handicap, or religious preference.
Contact: Dale Kimball

The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond is a 25-year-old national, multiracial, anti-racist collective of organizers and educators, is dedicated to building a movement for social transformation. Our aim is to end racism and other forms of oppression . The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond envisions a world where traditionally poor communities of color are healthy, vibrant, whole, peaceful and self-sufficient; where the internal strength by which they have survived is free from oppressive forces such as racism. The People's Institute envisions these communities, girded with a clear sense of their own power, sustaining a quality of life that is far beyond survival. The People's Institute envisions them nurturing their cultures, preserving their history, and cultivating their economies. The People's Institute envisions these communities being in harmony with one another and with other segments of the global community.

The People's Hurricane Relief Fund and Oversight Committee (PHRF/OC) is a broad-based coalition whose activities are spread across fourteen working groups and whose stated focus is on the needs and perspectives of marginalized, poor, African-American survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Currently PHRF is engaged in developing affordable housing, opening a center for reconstruction workers, and developing a 'Peoples' Plan' as a response to the city's official neighborhood planning process.
Contact: Khalil Shahyd or Kali Akuno-Williams

PICO All Congregations Together (ACT) of New Orleans is the New Orleans chapter of the national community organizing group PICO. In New Orleans they work with ministers, schools and community leaders to mobilize evacuees and returnees around the right to return, the right to vote, the right to services etc. They carry out an active advocacy agenda on behalf of those affected by the hurricane.
Contact: Mary Fontenot

The Porch is a cultural organization committed to the Seventh Ward Area of New Orleans. The Porch seeks to promote and sustain the cultures of the neighborhood, city, and region and to foster exchange between cultural groups. The Porch is a place where all can come to do and share their culture, and to take care of each other and each others' communities.
Contact: Dan Etheridge
Community Arts Network Article, April 2006

Kids Rethinking New Orleans Schools (Rethink) is part of the New Orleans Network. Rethink is a project organized by education advocates aimed at bringing youth voices into evaluating and shaping the future of New Orleans' schools.
Wiretap Magazine Article on Rethink, August 2006

The Tamb-o-rine and Fan Club of Treme, New Orleans works with youth evacuated to other cities to bring them back to New Orleans (seven trips of youth from different cities) to visit and articulate their rights and desires around return.

The Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training is based out of the larger Vietnamese community concentrated in New Orleans East. Prior to the storm, VIET was involved in a variety of advocacy and job training programs as well as offering an annual summer day camp for kids. IN the wake of Katrina, VIET has broadened its focus to include advocacy and support in navigating the bureaucracies of insurance, taxes, FEMA aid packages and absentee voting. VIET has been extremely successful at mobilizing residents in this hard hit neighborhood; now the organization is trying to expand its tax and legal support programs, reopen its summer day camp and establish a recreation center for neighborhood youth.
Contact: Cyndi Ngyn

Welfare Rights Organization seeks to link locally disrupted and internally displaced persons who are survivors of Katrina and Rita with needed services and resources to help them return home and/or improve their situations. WRO's membership seeks to monitor policy and advocate policy changes around issues that directly affect members' lives especially related to welfare policy.
Contact: Viola Washington

The UUA-UUSC Relief Fund has provided funds for transportation and registration for community partners to addend the 2007 U.S. Social Forum. The USSF is a space for organizers, citizens, and people affected by Katrina to share experiences and strategize with others from around the country who are also organizing around same issues. The USSF offers an opportunity to meet and foster dialogue with communities affected by racism; immigration laws; global warming; the war; militarism; the prison-industrial complex; workers rights and environmental racism. A key outcome of partners' participation in the UUSF will be practical proposals for activism.

UUA-UUSC Gulf Coast Volunteer Program
The Mission of the Gulf Coast Volunteer program is to live our faith by standing in solidarity with the people of the Gulf Cost for a just and equitable recovery through active engagement by UU congregations in partnership with others.
Contact: Peggy Powell uukatrina @ uusc.org

The Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, Hurricane Relief and Social Justice Project
The UUCBR is the recipient of the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly 2007 Bennett Award for Social Justice. More than 1000 Unitarian Universalist volunteers have visited the Gulf Coast since the inception of the Hurricane Relief/Recovery & Social Justice Project of the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge. The program has since been adopted by UUA and UUSC, but the UCBR continues their commitment to Hurricane Relief and Recovery.

Zion Travelers Cooperative Center is a community initiative in Phoenix, Plaquemines parish, an area almost completely neglected since the hurricane. They have organized a community relief distribution center for Phonenix and surrounding communities, and are organizing a community tool and equipment loan center. Their cooperative brings the community together to solve problems and provide information and access to services.
Contact: Rev Tyrone Edwards

Mississippi

AMOS Mississippi is a Mississippi Statewide Association. The organization began in Jackson, MS, in 1994. It is made up of chapters in Oxford, MS, Jackson and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Its purpose is to build citizen power in poor, working- and middle-class neighborhoods in urban and rural areas of the state to address issues facing these communities and to enhance citizen education in democratic skills. The primary focus of the Amos Network on the Gulf Coast is to organize disenfranchised communities in Harrison, Jackson and Hancock counties, reaching approximately 25,000 people. However, if successful, the entire costal population will be impacted by the Amos Networks' post-Katrina organizing.

The mission of Coastal Women for Change is to make a difference in communities through securing and revitalizing neighborhoods. CWC does this by ensuring that communities have adequate information in a timely manner both to influence and make informed decisions about the recovery process and community development, now and in the future. This will allow for moderate- and low-income individuals and families to more effectively address issues that directly affect them.
Contact: Sharon Hanshaw

East Biloxi Center for Coordination and Relief supports the individuals, families, small businesses and neighborhoods of East Biloxi as they rebuild their community in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Contact: Bill Stallworth

Gulf Coast Missionary Baptist District Association is organizing work teams to come down to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to work on homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina for families who are not covered by insurance, whose insurance will not pay for flood damage or whose FEMA grant will not cover repairs.
Contact: Rev. Larry G Hawkins, Sr.

The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. The vision of the NAACP is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination. The MS State Conference consists of 112 units, which includes local branches, college chapters, and youth councils. MS-NAACP has a revolving membership of over 11,000 across the state, with at least one member in 74 of the 82 counties in MS. Members/constituents consist of multigenerational male and female, racially diverse populations (mostly people of color), and inter-faith religious affiliations.

The Mississippi ACLU is committed to providing organizational strengthening for the three to five grassroots groups (current UUA-UUSC community partners) on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that are working on rights issues post-Katrina. Nsombe Lambright, Executive Director of the MS ACLU, will also act as a representative of the UUA-UUSC Community Working Group to work with a consultant to do strategic planning on the ground with partners.

Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance (MIRA) works with both documented and undocumented immigrants in Mississippi helping them claim and defend their rights. In the aftermath of the storm.
Contact: Bill Chandler or Vicky Sentra

Mississippi Low Income Child Care Initiative (MLICCI) is a state-wide organization of child care providers, parents, and communities who are working together to:

  • Build a strong, grassroots constituency for poor children and families in MS;
  • Advocate improved child-care policies and greater public investment in child-care subsidy programs for poor families; and,
  • Enhance the quality of child development experiences for all poor children living in MS.

STEPS Mississippi: A Gulf Coast Recovery Coalition
Contact: Melinda Harthcock

Turkey Creek Community Initiatives (TCCI) is an innovative non-profit community development corporation engaged in the comprehensive revitalization of coastal Mississippi impoverished, historic and ecologically important Turkey Creek community and watershed.
Contact: Derrick Evans

UUA-UUSC Gulf Coast Volunteer Program
The Mission of the Gulf Coast Volunteer program is to live our faith by standing in solidarity with the people of the Gulf Cost for a just and equitable recovery through active engagement by UU congregations in partnership with others.
Contact: Peggy Powell uukatrina @ uusc.org

For more information contact gulfcoastrelief @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Thursday, August 2, 2012.

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