Community organizing is a critical intervention in which social workers engage and is recognized as such many international federations of social work. The goals of community organizing particularly neighborhood-based organizing, vary, but generally include forming groups; bringing about social justice obtaining, maintaining or restructuring power; developing alternative institutions; and maintaining or revitalizing neighborhoods (Kuyek, 2011). In the wake of the devastating ﬂooding that followed Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, community organization prospers. Some of this organizing involves addressing and transforming racial and class inequities.
As mentioned before local groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) undertook these social development processes and emerged as a new grassroots effort. Usually trained community organizers and policy advocates are the group most capable of promoting the needs of marginalized citizens who are displaced (Pyles, 2007). They must understand how policies are made and implemented, how to inﬂuence the process, how to craft their issues and how to recognize the limits of institutions, in addition to local cultural and historical factors that may inﬂuence such processes. Most importantly the people most affected were displaced, thus affecting their normal social networks. During the hurricane, communications were affected; cell phones were not working properly and land phone lines were non-functioning. On the bright side, the people who have hit the depths and survived are the ones who are the most important people to consider when organizing after a disaster (Kuyek, 2011). Many of the people who were called to organize had never engaged in community organizing,...
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...such thing as a natural disaster: Race, class and Hurricane Katrina. New York: Routledge.
Kuyek, J. (2011). Community Organizing: A Holistic Approach. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing.
Miller, L. (2012). Controlling Disasters: recognising latent goals after Hurricane Katrina. Texas: Sam Houston State University.
Piano, D. (2010). Review: Jordan Falherty. Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six. New Orleans: Haymarket Books.
Pyles, L. (2007). Community organizing for post-disaster social development. International Social Work, 50(3), 321-333.
Trivedi, J. (2011). Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief. In Hurricane Katrina (pp. 1-9). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Whyche, K. F. (2011). Exploring community resilience in Workforce Communities of First Responders Serving Katrina Survivors. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 81(1), 18-30.
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