Last month, a caravan of Hurricane Katrina survivors and relief volunteers returned safely to Seattle after a two-week road trip to the Gulf Coast for the one-year anniversary of the hurricane.
Organized by the Social Change Caravan to New Orleans, the caravan provided displaced Katrina survivors, at no cost, an opportunity to reunite with family and friends or to move home. For most of the survivors on the caravan, it was an emotionally difficult journey, and the start of a healing process.
From 3 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, caravan participants will share their experiences and stories of the road trip and their impressions of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast one year after Hurricane Katrina. The event will be held at 2111 E. Union St. Snacks will be provided.
The presentation will include video clips and photos from the trip, including photos taken by the children on the caravan. Guest speaker Truc Thanh Nguyen, organizer of the Language Access Project for Biloxi (Miss.), will speak about how the Vietnamese community in Biloxi was impacted by Hurricane Katrina and about the common struggle that reverberates through low-income and other communities of color. Nguyen recently returned from Biloxi.
For the first time since the tragic aftermath of Katrina, Sandra Burton and her children returned to their home in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward to witness firsthand the devastation left behind by the flood. Setting foot into her former home, Burton retold her experience of seeing her youngest son on a mattress being carried up by the rising floodwater, and of her family fleeing to the attic and eventually to the rooftop to escape the toxic water. The visit home for Burton was difficult, and she was able to find support and solidarity in the community formed by the caravan.
For more information about Social Change Caravan or to make a donation, visit www.SocialChangeCaravan.org. Donations are tax-deductible. For more information about the Language Access Project for Biloxi, visit http://justice2biloxi.wordpress.com.