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Two Years After Katrina: Still Weathering the Storm


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An hour-long version of this program is available here.

Bobby Rideau of New Orleans hangs his head after cars, including a state police vehicle, ignored his requests for water. Source:Andre F. Chung, Baltimore Sun

Bobby Rideau of New Orleans hangs his head after cars, including a state police vehicle, ignored his requests for water. Source:Andre F. Chung, Baltimore Sun

It’s been two years since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast. Two years since the levees broke and changed the face of an entire city, state and region. Despite hopeful signs of renewal, New Orleans and many parts of the Gulf Coast are still in disrepair. So how much has really changed? How much has stayed the same?

On this edition, we’ll meet day laborers, grassroots organizers, mental healthcare workers and we’ll hear from musicians who are keeping the music and culture alive.


“Remembering New Orleans News Flash” ­ various news voices reporting on
Hurricane Katrina.

“Gulf Coast Mental Health Care” ­ Judy Jones, registered nurse and Disaster Ministry medical coordinator at Bethel Lutheran Church, Biloxi, Mississippi; Judy Bultman, Katrina Ministry director; Peter Salame, volunteer; Dr. Carol Jones, William Carey University’s Gulfport Campus psychology director and Project Relief director; Jennifer Knight, Mississippi Gulf Coast Children’s Health Project coordinator; Marjorie Gearheart, Mississippi Gulf Coast Children’s Health Project social workers.

“Youth Radio’s Angelica Robinson” ­ Angelica Robinson, narrator and lower ninth ward resident; Robert, Christopher and Raymond Robertson, her brothers; Robert Sr. and Angelique, her dad and mom.

“Immigrant and Migrant Laborers” ­ Israel Lopez, Senor Jose Castillo, Manuel, Lorenzo Alvarado Duran, immigrant labor workers; Marco Amador, National Day Laborer Organizing Network member and New Orleans Worker Center for Racial Justice field worker.

“New Orleans Musicians” ­ Joe Cabral and Roy Hodges, Iguanas co-founder; Keith Frasier, Rebirth Brass Band drummer; Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu; Terence Blanchard, Trumpeter and New Orleans native.

Senior Producer/Host: Tena Rubio, Open Society Institute Fellow
Associate Producer: Puck Lo
Contributing Freelancers: Sarah Olson, Youth Radio’s Angelica Robinson, Reese Erlich
Sound Editor: Matt Fidler
Interns: Samson Reiny, Joaquin Palomino

This series was made possible in part by the PRX (Public Radio Exchange) Reversioning Project, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Open Society Institute.

For more information:

Mississippi Gulf Coast Children’s Health Project, (The Children’s Health Fund) – New York, NY

Project Relief in Gulfport Mississippi

Bethel Lutheran Church – Biloxi, MS

The People’s Hurricane Relief Fund (PHRF) – New Orleans, LA

New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice

Work Place Justice Project- 504-861-5550;

New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund

New Orleans Music Clinic-Keepin’ the Music Alive

Youth Radio,
Oakland, CA

Reviews of this program on PRX (Public Radio Exchange):

Posted: 8-23-2007
Reviewer: David Swatling , Radio Netherlands

Every radio station in the US should make use of this Katrina special – tailered to your needs with one-hour & half-hour versions, or individual segments. I listened to the full hour which flew by even though I’d heard some of the material in a program last year. But it’s all been refreshed and updated.

It begins with a rich montage of voices and music, followed by a recap of original news coverage which ends with a voice filled with so much emotion I found tears filling my eyes – and this at only 8 minutes into the program. A powerful introduction!

The stories which follow are all excellently produced testaments to individual grit and determination in the face adversity and frustration: the passionate organizer of Common Ground, abused immigrant construction workers, a 15 year old girl who weathered the storm with her family.

What’s extraordinary is how often the word “hope” is still spoken – despite the appalling failings of the Bush administration. It’s unfathomable that one of America’s great treasures has been left to fend for itself while billions are spent waging war in Iraq. I’m not a particularly religeous person but I say, God bless New Orleans and God bless the National Radio Project for this inspiring reminder of the city’s indomitable spirit and will to rise again.

Rating: 5/5
Adjectives: Provocative, Real, Sound Rich


Posted: 8-21-2007
Reviewer: Mik Davis, WUSM

“2 Years After Katrina” is a stunning piece of audio journalism. It uses the voices of those affected by the storm and its aftermath to illustrate the damage and the struggle to recover that goes on today. By avoiding a central broadcaster and focusing on those unheard voices, it is blistering and real. Since it is so realistic, my recommendation is only for those stations in locations that were not in Katrina’s wake.

Rating: 4/5
Adjectives: Contemplative, Emotional, Sound Rich

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