Oxy in New Orleans
Solidarity, Not Charity

Why are we here?

The past few days have been filled to the brim with intellectual dialogues, heavy realizations of the devastation that still exists in New Orleans, and coming to terms with the negative impacts our presence may have on this community. With this reality, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and confused. To feel a loss of purpose, to feel lost. While we all continue to grapple with these difficult discussion topics, the kids in the community have been an incredible source of joy and hope. Throughout the day children from the community are constantly running in and out of the Lower 9th Village, gracing us with their humor and respect. They are eager to keep us company, and by doing so renew our spirits either through a game of basketball or an impromptu poetry slam. The saddest thing is that this is only a glimpse of the vibrant community that existed here before it was displaced; the hope is that someday it can be rebuilt…

To be honest, we’re at a loss for how to end this post. There is much confusion and dismay here, and we feel conflicted about how our presence in the community adds to this process. We hope to find clarity through introspection as well as our experiences here in the weeks to come.

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