December 2, 2008

Brad Pitt Helps to "Make It Right" in New Orleans...

I can respect Brad Pitt for how he's helped out in my home state, and in the New Orleans 9th Ward in particular after Hurricane Katrina.  

A year after the New Orleans storm, Pitt was horrified at the lack of progress in repairing the damage it wreaked, especially in the devastated African-American populated Lower Ninth Ward. "I couldn't believe nothing was going on. I recalled the pictures of people on roofs, begging for help and I couldn't believe that this was our America."

Determined to put his dual passions for architecture and environmentally-sound development to work, he and several partners started the Make It Right Foundation, whose aim is to build 150 homes for residents of the lower Ninth Ward - one of the hardest hit during the '05 hurricane. He invited architects from around the globe to New Orleans to submit sustainable - and affordable housing solutions. Pitt convened a meeting with the architects, residents and community leaders to establish guidelines for rebuilding the neighborhood. "I never had any idea that so many people would show up for this. The model works and it's replicable."

Although many thought the Lower Ninth Ward should be abandoned because its land was below sea level, Pitt argued that other wards - some populated by white and middle class were on lower ground and nobody suggested abandonment there. "It seems to me that this is about fairness. We may have been designed equal, but we certainly weren't born equal. I feel great happiness whenever we level the playing field."
Read the entire article here.

Also see CNN's "Hero of the Year" Liz McCartney who left her Washington D.C. job to help get people back into their homes after Hurricane Katrina.

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