Sunday, August 30, 2015

10 Years After Hurricane Katrina and a village called Versailles

This month marks 10 years since Hurrican Katrina, and one of the interesting stories that emerged out of this for me was the story of the Vietnamese residents of the New Orleans neighborhood called Versailles. I had a chance to visit them a few years back while studying contemporary social justice, and it was a moving story,

They were among the first to return to rebuild when almost no one else would, and many had been refugees for so many decades: First driven out of North Vietnam for their Christianity, then out of South Vietnam, and then resettled in New Orleans during the height of judicial and political corruption in the region, in one of the very worst school districts surrounded by deep poverty and racism. They put up with all of that, and wanted to get back to just living their lives, then New Orleans literally began dumping garbage on them, using their neighborhood as a toxic waste landfill. And they had enough.

The documentary "A Village Called Versailles" is a great story of civic engagement and what happens when you finally push a commuity "too far." They start to speak up for themselves.

Check it out!

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