"Our goal is to spark a national debate around poverty and racism in America beyond the Katrina anniversary. The site is devoted exclusively to the aftermath of the hurricanes as documented by investigative reporters. Very few news outlets have the resources to do this."—Erlin Ibreck, Director of Grantmaking Strategies, U.S. Programs, Open Society Institute
The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina raised critical questions about poverty, racism, and government neglect in the United States. Katrina: An Unnatural Disaster is designed to spark continuing national discussion of these issues—and to expose the factors that have hindered rebuilding efforts and prevented Gulf Coast residents from returning home.
Featuring never-before-seen work as well as previously published reporting, this website brings together the efforts of more than three dozen print and radio journalists, photographers, filmmakers, and youth media organizations who were awarded Open Society Institute Katrina Media Fellowships. Through stories and images, the fellows aim to deepen public understanding of the government's long-term response to Katrina; failures of public policy; use or misuse of public funds; the role of private contractors; the effectiveness of clean-up and rebuilding efforts; the psychological impact on residents, now more than two years after the storm; and lessons that should inform the handling of future disasters.
Katrina: An Unnatural Disaster uses a multimedia approach to explore these various themes, especially as they relate to historically neglected groups such as the elderly, immigrants, the incarcerated, and low-income, rural, and undocumented communities, as well as communities of color. Together, this rich collection of work underscores the urgent need for continued media coverage of the injustices faced by residents of the Gulf Coast region.
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