Hurricane Katrina Survivors, Activist Convene For One Year Anniversary

Survivors of Hurricane Katrina, community activists and elected officials still reflect, organize and plan action in the aftermath of

the tragedy.

In recognition of the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the catastrophe that devastated New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf

region, writer/community activist Kevin Powell and other community forces will convene for an insightful meeting of the minds called Hurricane Katrina: One Year Later.

"We are doing Katrina: One Year Later as a way to remember the tragedy of late August 2005, and to stress to folks that all is not well, still, with Hurricane Katrina survivors," Powell told "Families are scattered all over the country, hotels [and] places like New York City have moved to sue survivors for back rent, and New Orleans remains a city still devastated by debris and death."

Katrina survivors, community leaders, elected officials, and other organizations intend to pack Brooklyn's Hanson Place Central United

Methodist Church to face the policies, politics and glaring disparities in the aftermath of Katrina.

"People can do something by helping survivors find jobs, housing, or by helping, in some way, to defeat the Bush administration's agenda and the Republican control on Congress," Powell continued.

Additionally, Powell charged that while the Hip-Hop community has done much in the past for Katrina victims, help work was needed for those

afflicted by the catastrophe.

"As far as us Hip-Hop heads go, we need to step up again. A number of the displaced Katrina survivors are teenagers, 20-somethings, and 30-somethings," he said. "and we need to understand that a young

person like [displaced student] Brandi Kilbourne needs help. To me, Hip-Hop in its pure form is about looking out for each other. Will the real Hip-Hop heads stand up, then?"

But, the challenges are not limited to Hip-Hop as society on a whole must come to terms of what Katrina truly means.

"I say the challenge for us on this one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is to understand the difference between charity and justice.

Charity just means we feel something for a moment, give money or time, then change the channel in our minds. Justice means we are committed in our bones not just to money, material things, status, and all of that, but to helping people who are less fortunate," he concluded.

The Hurricane Katrina: One Year Later memorial service takes place today (Aug. 28) at 7 p.m at the Hanson Place Central United Methodist in downtown Brooklyn.