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Thursday, August 26, 2010

President To Visit New Orleans In Wake of Katrina 5-Year Anniversary

Administration Officials Participate In Week Long Events

President Obama to speak at Louisiana's Xavier University. Photo/CD Brown.
The President and First Lady will travel to New Orleans where the President will deliver a speech at Xavier University on the 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The University of Louisiana was hit by the hurricane, covering the entire campus with several feet of water, leaving many to speculate whether the school would rebuild and continue.   Katrina displaced the university's students, staff, and faculty across the nation.

After an intense cleanup and reconstruction, the university was able to reopen within 5 months, enrolling  80% of its students.

President Obama spoke during the university's 2006 commencement, one year after Katrina.

"Remember the pain and neglect that indifference can cause", said president Obama. "How entire neighborhoods in this city were left to drown because no one thought to make sure that every person had the means to escape."

Since his address the Obama administration has worked to improve overall disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, so that the Gulf Coast and all of the country will be more resilient and better able to handle future disasters.  (Click here to learn more about the president's Gulf Coast efforts).

Administration officials also have events scheduled in Gulf Coast this week commemorating the anniversary.

On Wednesday, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate visited St. Bernard Parish schools.

Today, August 26, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited J.S. Clark Elementary School in Monroe, LA, with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin to discuss the importance of nutrition and exercise.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan's will attend a “Welcome Home” event hosted by Rebuilding Together in New Orleans, LA.  Donovan and Administrator Fugatewill also participate in a field hearing in Chalmette, LA on Katrina recovery, hosted by Senator Landrieu.

Other planned appearances this week by the administration are as follows: 

Secretary Donovan and Patrick Corvington, Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service will deliver remarks at the St. Bernard Project’s 50-Hour Build Kick-Off Event, New Orleans, LA.

Administrator Jackson will deliver the keynote at a conference, Fighting for Survival: The Vulnerability of America’s Gulf Coast and the Caribbean Basin, at Tulane University.

Administrator Fugate will tour three FEMA-funded recovery projects in New Orleans – a school, a transportation project and a hospital.

Friday, August 27, Secretary Duncan will visit the Kids College at Jackson State University in Jackson, MS. to discuss teacher recruitment.

Secretary Duncan will also visit George C. Hall Elementary School in Mobile, AL. The focus of this event will be turnaround schools.

Secretary Donovan will deliver remarks at the Silver Lining Breakfast sponsored by the Louisiana Recovery Disaster Foundation.

Administrator Jackson will meet with volunteers at the “Wave of Green” in City Park and will speak at the TEDxNOLA conference in Le Petit Theatre. She will also speak at a summit with students at the Wilson School and will discuss her background and the work of EPA in the gulf.

Administrator Fugate will tour recovery projects in Biloxi, MS including a fire station, Biloxi Light House, and a highway project.

Mr. Corvington will deliver opening remarks at the Louisiana Organization of Non-profit Organizations conference focusing on community service and volunteerism, and participate in a Community Dialogue. The Dialogue will gather together community stakeholders to inform the Corporation’s five year strategy.

Corvington will also participate in an event to celebrate the efforts of Reach Out and Read, an organization that has given out 1 million books to children through doctors who mentor parents and their young children on the importance of reading at a young age.

On Saturday, August 28, Corvington will participate in a ribbon cutting hosted by Rebuilding Together. The event will commemorate and celebrate all of the work that AmeriCorps and other volunteer organizations have done to rebuild communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

On Sunday, August 29, Secretary Napolitano and Deputy FEMA Administrator Rich Serino will travel to Mississippi.

A limited number of public tickets are available for the president's event on August 29 at Xavier University.

Members of the public who wish to request tickets must fill out an online form or call 202-757-9406.  [NOTE: Filling out the form DOES NOT guarantee a ticket to the event, but only qualifies you to be selected for a ticket in the random drawing].

Related:  Katrina Documentaries
God Willing & The Creek Don't Rise
Trouble The Water
Our Interview With HK Survivors

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