Oxy in New Orleans
Solidarity, Not Charity

What about YOUR community?

From the observations and experiences shared in this blog, it is obvious that New Orleans will struggle to rebuild for years to come. However, it is important to keep in mind that the issues we have seen are not new to the city. The racial and socioeconomic injustices ranging from imprisonment to employment to food availability to the neighborhoods that are being subjected to poor health due to nearby factories did not start after the effects of the storm. These issues have existed in New Orleans long before the effects of Hurricane Katrina damaged the city and took the lives of thousands. The aftermath of Katrina has had such a devastating effect on neighborhoods and individuals in the city largely due to these institutionalized injustices and lack of care for these populations by the government.

As we learn about the systems of power that are in place in New Orleans that control and impact the lives of low income minority populations, it is important to see how how these same systems affect populations in Los Angeles and our hometowns. New Orleans is not the only city in desperate need; populations in every city of our nation are struggling with these same issues due to racism and unequal distribution of resources. We must all do what we can to help our own communities, instead of just going to other communities to help. The cost of taking this group to New Orleans for 3 weeks is enormous. Our privilege allows us to come stay in a city where its own residents are not able to come back. If we truly cared about the work we are doing, we would not waste all this money to come to New Orleans when work needs to be done in the cities that we live in. Instead, we should work in solidarity with the communities facing injustices in our own city. I hope that all of the students on this trip will apply all that they have learned in New Orleans to the issues faced by communities in Los Angeles and stay dedicated to activism, as well inspire others to work in solidarity with the communities facing injustices in their hometowns.

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