University of Hip-Hop
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New Orleans "Still We Rise"

By Sun Run 1






 

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  1. Sun Run 1 October 1, 2008 at 6:40 PM
    “Still We Rise”
    Setting: New Orleans Pierre Capdau High School
    Spring 2007


    Lavie Raven worked with youth from Pierre Capdau high school based at the University of New Orleans on their experiences during and following Hurricane Katrina. Students wrote journals about `what was lost’ during the flood, and what remained after the flood. Students then voted on the primary concepts they wanted to communicate to other youth in the United States about their personal circumstances; what was lost was family, friends, and home, what remained was hope, faith, and community. After having discussions about these concerns, students painted a mural representing these ideas and chose as their central message “Still We Rise”.

    Lavie Raven also conducted a Hurricane Katrina empathy exercise with principals from the Middle College National Consortium. Raven first did this lesson with his freshman students at Brooklyn Community Arts and Media HS. Terry Born of MCNC saw the lesson and asked Raven to do the lesson in New Orleans the following February. After doing this exercise with principals in the consortium, they were asked to create direct action plans that they would actualize with their students and teachers back home. After having conversations with Shannon Verrett, the principal of Capdau, and with New Orleans community representatives, the primary concern was about getting FEMA and the United States federal government to release funds for the redevelopment of the community, without the removal of poor residents and those who have begun rebuilding their communities without government assistance.

    Students at BCAM wrote poetry, raps, and essays reflecting on what they had learned about the circumstances surrounding the lack of redevelopment in New Orleans. They also wrote letters to FEMA asking for a speedier investment in rebuilding the communities affected by the flood.

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