Malik Rahim, the nationally acclaimed grass roots activist who has led the effort of Katrina survivors to rebuild New Orleans, is helping Nova High School students pay for their own rebuilding trip to the still-plagued city.
Rahim, who is hosting events in Seattle through Dec. 14, is the co-founder of Common Ground Relief, a grass roots group that has provided services to over 80,000 people in Louisiana who are suffering from the aftermath of the Katrina disaster.
Rahim was invited to the area by Nova High School, a small, democratically run public high school located in Seattle's Central District that is working together with Common Ground Seattle, a grass roots group led by Katrina survivors living in Seattle.
Sadly, Nova High School itself has been hit by disaster – it has landed on the school closure list recently released by the Seattle School District. Public hearings are being held through December for community members who'd care to have a say in the move (see page 1).
While in Seattle, Rahim is helping to promote Nova's social justice trip to New Orleans which will take place from March 25-April 8, as well as to raise awareness and funds concerning the continued need to provide relief to the devastated city of New Orleans.
During Nova's social justice trip, students and staff will travel to New Orleans with Katrina survivors living in Seattle in order to help Common Ground New Orleans to build housing, and provide humanitarian aid as well as to learn as much as possible about current conditions and what communities can do to help.
Nova's New Orleans Social Justice Club has promoted a number of events with Rahim during his visit, including a Dec. 9 fundraising reception and photo display at the Benham Gallery, and a Dec. 10, lecture by Rahim at Nova High School.
On Thursday, Dec. 11, Rahim speaks at the New Hope Baptist Church, 116 21st Ave. in Seattle's Central District. He will be welcomed and introduced by the church's pastor Rev. Robert Jeffrey, a longtime advocate of social justice.
Saturday, Dec. 13 Rahim appears on KBCS Radio in Seattle 91.3 FM, on the program "Mind Over Matters" with host Mike McCormick.
The money raised during Rahim's visit will help to send low income Nova students and Katrina survivors living in Seattle to New Orleans to help participate in the rebuilding efforts this spring.
All additional funds obtained will be used to help Common Ground New Orleans with essential humanitarian aid including things such as electrical generators, medial care and construction materials.
Nova's New Orleans Social Justice is selling fair trade chocolate as well as stainless steel water bottles and reusable shopping bags called "Envirosax" to benefit their New Orleans work.
For more information go to www.nova.nwgreenschools.com. To make a general donation to help Nova's New Orleans efforts tax deductible checks can be made to Nova/PTSA and sent to Nova High School Seattle. WA 98122.