by Willa Conway and Cara Romanik
On one of the first hot sticky days of June, a group of RG New Orleans chapter members and local organizers came together for an outdoor meeting to discuss our engagement with the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina as donor-organizers. First we went around the circle sharing what we love about summer –fresh food and swimming and the slowness of time in hot months– then we got to thinking about the last ten years. What we know is that individuals and foundations gave unprecedented amounts of money after the storm: $2.97 billion in aid by January 2006, and a total of $6.5 billion* between 2005 and 2015 designated for recovery efforts. New Orleans is now being held up as a model for disaster relief and recovery funding. But there were still so many questions: Where did all that money go? How was it distributed? Who benefited? What was philanthropy’s role in impacting the direction of recovery? What do our ideal funding relationships look like? And finally, how can philanthropy support more equitable distribution of resources going forward?
A narrative of progress dominates the story of Katrina’s recovery. Much has been made in national … Continue reading »