Underserved Communities

Gulf Coast Fund Responds as Region Braces for Yet Another Disaster

As Mississippi River Flooding Heads South, Gulf Coast Fund Launches Text-to-Donate Campaign to Raise Desperately Needed Resources

New Orleans, LA – The Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health, (www.gulfcoastfund.org), a community-led philanthropy in the Gulf Coast, is mobilizing in anticipation of yet another disaster. As rising flood waters from the Mississippi River approach the region, the Fund is working with grassroots leaders to distribute emergency grants to underserved communities that will likely be severely affected, such as those along the Atchafalaya River in the Louisiana Bayou. Flood waters are expected to cover ten percent of Louisiana, impacting 2,500 people living in its immediate path and an additional 22,500 who are predicted to be affected by backwater flooding.

“We hope for the best but prepare for the worst,” states Marylee Orr, Executive Director, Louisiana Environmental Action Network (www.leanweb.org). “The challenge is waiting to see what the river will do. For now, we’re doing what we can–patrolling the River, distributing daily updates on flood conditions, keeping communities informed, and supplying clean-up kits for use after the water recedes, which is expected at the end of May at the very earliest,” Orr continues.

“Most evacuees have stored their belongings and are staying with friends or family, and more mandatory evacuations will likely be issued in the coming days,” explains LaTosha Brown, Director, Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health. “Just as with the residents displaced by the recent tornadoes, permanent and lasting housing solutions need to be developed. Staying with friends and family can not be considered a long-term solution,” Brown states.

This latest emergency response by the Gulf Coast Fund is in addition to ongoing support for hard-hit, low-income and often isolated rural communities in Alabama and Mississippi, who are still reeling from the tornadoes that struck last month, as well as continued funding and aid to support residents impacted by health issues and loss of livelihood due to the BP drilling disaster.

“By establishing an extensive network of grassroots organizations, the Gulf Coast Fund has been able to move resources quickly to areas with urgent needs,” Brown declares. “But in the face of so many recent disasters occurring one after the other, the need for funds has increased. Our hope is that by launching a text-to-donate campaign, we can reach out to a broad audience, and fortify our ability to provide emergency grants to disenfranchised communities with crucial needs,” Brown states.

You can now donate to the Gulf Coast Fund with your cell phone:

TEXT “RESTORE” to ‘85944’ to donate $10 instantly

Make sure you Reply Yes to confirm your gift

Standard Messaging Rates Apply

The Gulf Coast Fund will also be launching the “One Gulf. One People. One Future. Restore America’s Gulf Coast” social media campaign on their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages as part of the RESTORE text-to-donate effort to increase funds supporting Gulf Coast organizations.



@GulfCoastFund on Twitter

* Interviews with Marylee Orr and LaTosha Brown available upon request*

red, black and GREEN: a blues by Marc Bamuthi Joseph

red, black and GREEN: a blues (rbGb), is a full-length, multimedia theater work that lands at the intersection of green economics and black psychology, written by USA Rockefeller Fellow Marc Bamuthi Joseph. Through a collaboration with installation artist Theaster Gates (Whitney Biennial 2010), Joseph uses music, movement, poetry, and gallery performance to jumpstart a conversation about collective responsibility in a climactic era of climate change.

They are currently seeking resources to support a rehearsal residency at Theater Artaud in San Francisco that will produce the first 20 minutes of the piece. The full debut of rbGb is tentatively scheduled for June 2011 at REDCAT in Los Angeles with additional performances confirmed in Houston, San Francisco, Massachusetts, Chapel Hill, and New York through 2012.

red, black and GREEN: a blues uses performance to document the process of creating single day, eco-themed hip hop festivals in Black neighborhoods across the country. The festivals, called LIFE IS LIVING, are co-organized by Joseph’s Living Word Project and local partners with the specific intention of re-framing environmentalism in underused parks in underserved communities.


Support the project here:

red, black and GREEN: a blues by Marc Bamuthi Joseph – Project Site – Where Great Art Starts – from United States Artists.