Common Ground

We were fortunate enough to travel to New Orleans to work on a series of videos for Common Ground Relief, one of the toughest and most dependable advocates for residents of the lower ninth ward. My experience was amazing… both inspiring and devastating. I spent a few mornings walking along the famous levee that burst down through the still unpaved roads out into the neighborhood, with house after house that still lie in complete ruin.. In the beginning I think the story of Katrina (told amazingly in many films and videos) was moving to almost everyone in our country.
The sad truth is that in our culture, stories have a shelf life. And it’s getting shorter every day. Today everyone knows what happened during Katrina and no matter how outraged you were at the government’s response, you’ve moved on. Unfortunately the battle continues for those who are trying to rebuild their community. It’s a challenge to retell such an already saturated story.. but it needs to be retold.
In this video we tried to mix outrage with hope… but most importantly we just tried to let the images tell the truth. New Orleans is still very much a broken place. Common Ground is one of the few organizations that I’ve encountered which is truly grassroots. It arose a day after Katrina from the wreckage and has endured and grown through out the rebuilding process. Today it’s a well led, practical and productive organization. If you want to reconnect with this important piece of our national history, I strongly recommend a volunteer trip to common ground. It certainly reawakened our desire to see New Orleans get the attention, compassion and resources it needs to become whole again.

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