A Katrina Reader is dedicated to all the Katrina Survivors and Grassroots Racial Justice Organizations of New Orleans, who are fighting for the Right of Return of all 'Internally Displaced Persons,' and the Right to Rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast with justice, dignity and self-determination.


This reader is compiled by a team of white anti-racist solidarity activists. We believe that:

  • The U.S. government left the African American people of New Orleans to die -- before, during and after Katrina;
  • African American and indigenous peoples of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast resisted the government’s deadly practices, and continue to resist, as they have for centuries;
  • All Katrina Survivors have the Right to Return; and the Right to Rebuild their communities with self-determination and racial, economic, gender, environmental, ability and global justice;
  • A committed, organized, strategic and sustained mass movement has the potential power to hold the government accountable for its genocidal practice, past and present; and to force it to respect and protect the human rights of all Katrina Survivors;
  • This movement for the Right of Return and to Rebuild will be led by those most affected by Katrina and by governmental policies: African American, Latin@ and Vietnamese communities, and indigenous nations. It will also require multi-racial, multi-generational, national and international solidarity to win;
  • The Katrina survivors’ struggle for justice and self-determination will last for decades. The solidarity movement must be built to last for decades also;
  • The grassroots racial justice movement in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast may become the catalyst for a Third Reconstruction;
  • The power of the people united will never be defeated! Another world is possible.


  1. To highlight the inspiring tradition of resistance to racism by New Orleans grassroots organizations, before and after Katrina;
  2. To provide basic information about many New Orleans racial justice organizations working in the movement for the right of return of all New Orleanians, in order to facilitate networking with solidarity activists around the country who want to support this movement, in New Orleans and in their home communities;
  3. To facilitate the efforts of students and educators who want to learn more about grassroots racial justice organizing in New Orleans, with the purpose of strengthening their volunteer solidarity activities, in New Orleans and on their university campuses;
  4. To suggest some perspectives and tools for anti-racist solidarity organizers (especially for white activists) wanting to work in solidarity with grassroots racial justice organizations, both in New Orleans and in their home communities.

In Unity and Struggle,
- the Katrina Reader Team