February 2008 marks my second trip to do Hurricane Katrina relief with Emory & Henry College. My first trip in March 2007 was a great learning experience for me, as I was placed first-hand into the destruction still left over from Katrina more than a year after the storm. A group of about 20 students and staff worked to clean up debris and build a house for a woman in Gulfport, MS whose home had been destroyed by Katrina. \r\n\r\nI was very excited to return to the Gulf Coast area this year to work more in the relief effort. Prior to our Spring Break trip for this year, the group of nearly 30 Emory & Henry students and staff participated in a curricular component, which included watching Spike Lee\'s documentary on Hurricane Katrina, titled <i>When the Levees Broke</i>. Participating in reflections following the viewing of the documentary provided the members of the group with more insight into the injustices in New Orleans as well as the Gulf Coast following Katrina. My own experience with the film has been one of growth and a personal struggle to comprehend the failures of our government in the face of such a tragedy.\r\n\r\nAnother aspect to our curricular component this year is our participation in research at the Katrina Research Center at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast. Students participated in research to gather news stories both in print and online, as well as assisting in a Katrina exhibit at the University Library. \r\n\r\nOur efforts this year in working with Habitat for Humanity have given our group members a place to make their voices heard and to aid in the healing process for those still experiencing the negative effects of Hurricane Katrina. As a response to our research and relief work, the students from the College will be presenting a 50 minute multimedia exhibition open to all members of campus and the surrounding community upon our return to Emory, VA in early March.\r\n\r\nI am hopeful to return to the Gulf Coast area again next year as a senior and to be able to make even more of an impact on the lives of those people affected by Hurricane Katrina.

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“[Untitled],” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed July 20, 2024, https://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/33845.

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