HIP HOP CAUCUS PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 3, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT – Mark Antoniewicz, mark@hiphopcaucus.org, 202-506-5882

New Orleans Community, Hip Hop Artists, and Activists Commemorate 12th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Call for a Just Harvey Recovery for All

New Orleans, LA – Today the Hip Hop Caucus, New Orleans Katrina Commemoration Foundation, Nuthin’ But Fire Records, Q93, People’s Climate Music, and many other community partners hosted the 12th Annual Hurricane Katrina March and Second Line.

The day’s events began with a healing ceremony next to the breached levee in the Lower Ninth Ward, followed by a march through the streets which fed into a second line. The second line ended with a rally at Hunter’s Field hosted by Wild Wayne of Q93 and renowned New Orleans’ poet Sunni Patterson. The rally featured remarks and performances by a variety of prominent community and cultural leaders, including Mia X, Sess 4-5, Roi Anthony, Hustlaz, Lady Red, Yung Pro, Shorty, Wildboy Woody, and DJ7.

This event serves as the largest annual community based commemoration of the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and shows first-hand the consequences of climate disasters on our communities. Each year this event honors the resiliency of the people, remembers the lives lost, and encourages further support for the communities most devastated by Hurricane Katrina. This year organizers also called for a just and equitable recovery from Hurricane Harvey which caused widespread flooding in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana this past week.

“The people of New Orleans will not forget those who were lost 12 years ago and it is incredibly powerful to march in the same streets where your relatives died,” said Rev Yearwood, President & CEO, Hip Hop Caucus. “This anniversary is also a moment of solidarity, as millions are currently being impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. Let us help our brothers and sisters in the Gulf get through this historic event, just as the City of Houston did by taking in over 100,000 people impacted by Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago. In that same spirit, we extend our hands and stand for a just recovery as we begin to heal and rebuild.”

Participants throughout the day also highlighted the ongoing struggle of families to live and thrive in post-Katrina New Orleans. Participants also called on leaders to do more to better prepare our most vulnerable communities to withstand future natural disasters by investing in smarter infrastructure and addressing climate change.

“We will never forget Katrina and what it did to our people,” said Sess 4-5, event organizer, leader of Hip Hop Caucus New Orleans, and recording artist and community activist. “We also want to shine a light on the fact that many people impacted by the storm are still not getting the help they deserve, even 12 years after it hit. We will keep on marching every year to remember those lost, bring our community closer together, and hold our elected leaders accountable so that they can right the wrongs of the past and create a better future for all.”

Organizers asked participants, supporters, and leaders to:

  • Remember: by calling on the state of Louisiana to make August 29 a holiday commemorating the lives lost in Katrina.
  • Right the wrongs: by calling for racial and economic justice so that in the face of disaster, the poor and people of color are not left without the ability to rebuild communities with good schools, good jobs, and good public health and safety.  
  • Say never again: by calling for action on climate change from our world’s leaders, otherwise we will only see more of these extreme weather events like Hurricane Katrina and Harvey around the world.
  • Call for a just and equitable Harvey recovery and rebuild for all: The most vulnerable communities – including low-income and communities of color – are being hardest hit. Help support by visiting anothergulf.com/a-just-harvey-recovery.

For more options on how to support Harvey recovery efforts, please visit hiphopcaucus.org/hurricane-harvey.  

About Hip Hop Caucus: Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders. Learn more at HipHopCaucus.org.  

About New Orleans Katrina Commemoration Foundation: New Orleans Katrina Commemoration Foundation annually organizes the largest community-led remembrance event on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, August 29th.

About the People’s Climate Music: People’s Climate Music is helping to expand the climate movement by organizing diverse and influential artists to create music and culture that inspires action to solve the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced – climate change. More at PeoplesClimateMusic.com.

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