COMM-ORG important message: Do you know of grass-roots groups in the Gulf Coast?

colist at comm-org.wisc.edu colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sun Sep 11 13:38:20 CDT 2005


Hi COMM-ORG,

Thanks to everyone who responded to the call for information on 
grass-roots groups in the Gulf.  I have created an interactive list at 
http://comm-org.wisc.edu/katrina/.

Please feel welcomed to contribute to this list, but *please* also use 
it wisely.  There are already at least a dozen duplicative lists out 
there for organizations seeking donations to give people food, clothing, 
and shelter.  We don't need another donations list.  What we do need is 
a list of organizations that are *organizing* those impacted by the 
disaster. 

Thanks,

Randy
moderator/editor, COMM-ORG.

colist at comm-org.wisc.edu wrote:

> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
> This is a COMM-ORG "colist" message.
> All replies to this message come to COMM-ORG only.
> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
> Hi COMM-ORG,
>
> Our discussion about the need for better grass-roots organizing to 
> handle disaster relief, along with the able advocacy of some 
> COMM-ORGers, has caught the attention of at least one of the national 
> disaster aid organizations.  They are interested in finding out which 
> grass-roots groups are now operating in the Gulf Coast.  If you know 
> of any list, please let me know.  As far as we can tell so far, there 
> is no such list.  So...
>
> *Please* send to rstoecker at wisc.edu the following information for any 
> gulf-coast grass-roots groups that you know to be organizing relief 
> efforts:
>
> 1. organization name
> 2.  pre-hurricane address, phone, and e-mail
> 3.  current address, phone, and e-mail if displaced
> 4.  relief supply needs
>
> Remember to send the information to rstoecker at wisc.edu.
>
> And remember that we are talking about grass-roots that serve specific 
> geographic areas and build face to face relationships in those areas.  
> Please also, however, include include grass-roots organizations 
> attempting to organize evacuees in Houston and other locations.  One 
> of the tragedies of the Superdome was the lack of self-help 
> organizing, and that tragedy may be recurring in other places if 
> people get treated as helpless clients rather than as participants in 
> survival and recovery. I will post and update the list on a web page.  
> When you submit organization info, please contact that organization so 
> they know they are being listed on a website, and can update their 
> supply needs.
>
> The gulf coast is currently experiencing the worst of both worlds.  On 
> the one hand is a government relief effort that has shown itself to be 
> deadly.  On the other hand are disorganized individual relief efforts 
> that have introduced chaos.  In between are national aid organization 
> efforts that inefficiently target individuals rather than 
> communities.  The government's and national aid organizations' 
> response is that "amatuers" should stay out of the relief process.  
> But we are beginning to hear from some of the local organizations 
> through our discussion so far about the kinds of ground level aid 
> efforts that are well in motion.  Negotiations about how the list will 
> be used are not complete, but we hope to have an official statement as 
> soon as possible.  Even if those negotiations fail, however, the list 
> may still be useful to others.
>
> The challenge is to build a new model of disaster response built on a 
> grass-roots organizing model that can dramatically improve the 
> effectiveness of national-level aid efforts.  Grass-roots groups know 
> their communities.  They know the housing issues, employment issues, 
> health issues, school issues, disaster aid needs, and they have 
> personal contact with community members.  What they do not have are 
> the resources to handle those issues.  National aid organizations, 
> including the government, have resources.  What they do not have is 
> complete knowledge of local situations.  The communication links 
> between these two levels are currently almost non-existent.  We may be 
> able to impact that through our efforts.  Please help by submitting 
> organization information and by passing this message to others.  And 
> the more quickly we act, the more impact we may have.
>
> Randy Stoecker
> moderator/editor, COMM-ORG
> rstoecker at wisc.edu
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