“Our results add to the growing body of evidence that disaster survivors continue to suffer from poor mental and physical health for prolonged periods of time after the initial impact” says lead researcher Professor Son Chae Kim.

“The health problem rates we recorded were considerably higher than those reported by Louisiana residents to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in 2003. The BRFSS is the world’s largest, on-going telephone health survey system and has been tracking health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States every year since 1984.”

Key findings of the survey include:

  • 52 per cent of the respondents reported a day or more of poor mental health in the past month, with 18 per cent reporting daily mental health problems. These figures were two to three times higher than the pre-Katrina levels recorded in 2003 among Louisiana residents. Then, 26 per cent reported a day or more of mental health, with six per cent reporting daily mental health problems.
  • The mental health problems appear to be worse than those reported five to 15 months after the September 11 terrorist attacks, in which 33 per cent of survivors reported having a day or more of poor mental health.
  • People were more likely to suffer from poor mental health if they were female or had experienced poor physical health in the past month. Respondents diagnosed with depression before the incident were 19 times more likely to experience poor mental health and people who felt unsafe from crime were four times more likely.
  • Just under half of the residents (48 per cent) reported a day or more of poor physical health, with 11 per cent reporting daily physical health problems. These are approximately one and half times the pre-Katrina levels recorded in 2003 among Louisiana residents. Then, 33 per cent reported a day or more of poor physical health, with seven per cent reporting daily physical health problems.
  • Poor mental health during the past month, lack of money for food and pre-Katrina arthritis were significant predictors of poor physical health during the past month.
Click here to continue reading at the Science Daily

Join MXGM as we commemorate 30 years of Black August resistance with several community educational events, solidarity with the 3rd annual commemorative activities for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and our 11th annual Hip Hop Benefit Concerts. All proceeds from the concerts go towards Political Prisoners and the Legal Defense Fund of the SF 8 (for more information visit www.thejerichomovement.com or www.freethesf8.org)

Our Action Theme for 2008 is “Resisting imperialist intimidation, terror, and displacement from the Gulf Coast to the Continent.” 

Community Educational Events

Thursday, August 14th (New Orleans)

Panel Discussion “Political Prisoners and the Wrongly Incarcerated
Critical Resistance Southern Regional Office  - 930 N. Broad St.
6:30 pm
Panelists will include Robert King Wilkerson, Mwalimu Johnson and others. Moderator: Truth Universal. Co-Sponsored by Critical Resistance.

Thursday, August 21st (New Orleans)

In Honor of George Jackson
Film Showing “Deacons For Defense”
George & Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art   - 2003 Carondelet Street.
6:30 pm
A film showing and discussion. The story tells a true story of Louisiana resistance in the 1960s. The Deacons for Defense and Justice was a black organization established to protect civil rights workers against the Ku Klux Klan.

Friday, August 29th (New Orleans)

Third Annual Katrina March and Commemoration (New Orleans)
9 a.m. Healing Ceremony at the 9th Ward Levee Breach at Jourdan & N. Galvez
March goes to Hunter’s Field
12:30 p.m. Commemoration Program at Hunter’s Field
For more information visit katrinacommemoration.ning.com 

Friday, August 29th (Oakland)

Katrina Commemoration and Community Forum (Oakland)
6 - 9 pm
Eastside Cultural Center  - 2277 International Blvd.
In Solidarity with the peoples’ of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and their demands for the Right of Return, a Just Reconstruction, and Self-Determination. In collaboration with Eastside Arts Alliance, Final Fridays Films, Huaxtec, Katrina Solidarity Network (Bay Area), and Right to the City.

Hip Hop Concerts in Commemoration of Black August

Sunday, August 17th (Oakland, CA)

In Honor of Marcus Mosiah Garvey
Eastside Cultural Center  - 2277 International Blvd.
Featuring Bicasso of the Living Legends, Truth Universal from New Orleans, Jahi, Kiwi, Virtuous, Kween, Khalil Anthony, Jelani Lateef and Sizwe the Spear of the Nation.
Doors open at 6 pm, Show starts at 7 pm
Tickets $15
For more information contact mxgmoakland@gmail.com

Thursday, August 28th (New Orleans)

Tipitina’s  - 501 Napolean Ave.
Featuring Mos Def and Venezuelan Afro-folklorico group Eleggua, Truth Universal, Sunni Patterson, Gabrilla Ballard, and Sess 4 5.
Doors open at 9 pm, show starts at 10 pm
Tickets $20 presale; $25 at the door
For more information contact 504.586.7432

Saturday, August 30th (New York, NY)

Nokia Theatre in Times Square  - 1515 Broadway
Featuring EPMD, Bilal, Immortal Technique, Smif N Wessun, Black Moon, Marley Marl, Shadia Mansour, DJ Scratch, DJ Evil Dee, DJ OP and DJ K-Salaam, Special Guest KRS-ONE and other surprise guests.
Doors open at 8 pm
Tickets $30 presale; $35 at the door
For more information visit www.blackaugust.org>
For more information visit www.mxgm.org or www.blackaugust.com.

Black August benefit

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MXGM Presents:

Black August Benefit

Mos Def
Sunni Patterson
Truth Universal
Sess 4-5
Gabrilla Ballard
Venezuelan Hip-Hop Group: Elegguae

Thursday, Aug 28, 2008 10:00 PM CDT (Doors open at 9pm)
Click here for tickets to Tipitina’s (Uptown)

The Black August Hip Hop Project strives to promote human rights though supporting and influencing the global development of Hip Hop culture.  By facilitating exchanges between international communities where Hip Hop is a vital part of youth culture, we promote awareness about the social and political issues that affect our global communities.

Our vision is to bring culture and politics together and to allow them to naturally evolve into a unique Hip Hop consciousness that informs our collective struggle for a more just, equitable and human world.

Since August of 1998, Black August has held annual New York City events at Tramps, Bowery Ballroom, Synod Hall, BBKings, New Age Caberet, and the Brooklyn Café —-selling out eight shows! The project has featured artists such as Erykah Badu, David Banner, Common, dead prez, Fat Joe, the Roots, Jean Grae, Les Nubians, Chuck D, Gil Scott-Heron, Dave Chapelle, Tony Touch, Black Thought, The Roots, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, La Bruha, Imani Uzuri, Jeru and the Coup.

Internationally, Black August has facilitated 8 international delegations of artists and activists to Cuba (1998, 1999, 2000, and 2003), South Africa (2001), Tanzania (2005), Brazil (2004, 20060 and this year to Venezuela (2007).

In addition to the shows, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement has held political education workshops with the participating artists and anyone interested in learning about the cultural and political issues at the core of Black August. The annual cultural events coupled with the political education workshops and international exchanges have helped reinvigorate the Black August tradition.

Our Demands: REINVEST in Strong Communities & Community Control (Real Democracy)

End/ Divest from

  • Criminalization, Arrests & Incarceration of public housing residents, homeless residents, day laborers, youth of color, etc.
  • School to prison pipeline

Build Up/Invest In

  • Divert money from policing and incarceration to Housing, Mental Health, other health services, community-controlled programs and spaces, etc.
  • Education! Retrain school cops to be counselors/Hire more teachers/Buy more books
  • BRING OUR PEOPLE HOME!!! Infrastructure and resources for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina to guarantee the Right to Return to their homes in the Gulf Coast.

How can you be part of this National Day of Action?

Organize a Local Action in Your City or Town on August 29, 2008 - making connections between these demands and your local struggles!

If you live in New Orleans, Miami, Boston/Providence, New York, DC Metro/ Alexandria, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Oakland, link up with your Right to the City Region to plan your local action.

If you live in another area, organize your own action! Please contact the Right to the City Alliance (info below) to let us know what you are planning. In conjunction with this day of action, Right to the City is working to bring organizers/community members from New Orleans to different cities throughout the Alliance during the 3rd Anniversary, to further build bonds of solidarity.

For more information or to connect with other Right to the City orgs in your area, contact:

Valerie Taing, National Organizer, Right to the City Alliance: vtaing@righttothecity.org or call 212.473.3032, or visit www.rightothecity.org.

rv6+058.JPGAs of Tuesday June 17, 2008, Renaissance Village, once FEMA’s largest trailer park, officially closed, leaving its residents to find other means of shelter and resources.

continue reading at Louisiana Justice Institute

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Helping the Katrina Homeless New Orleans is struggling with a growing number of sick and disabled people who have become homeless since the hurricane. This crisis will only get worse until local, state and federal officials come together behind a plan that finds short-term housing for them immediately, and permanent affordable housing for them quickly.

Congress can start by approving a modest, $73 million in funding to house many of the region’s ill and disabled residents, who would also be provided with psychiatric and social services. Such a measure passed the Senate, but it is facing resistance in the House.

Congress also needs to take at least two additional steps to prevent even more people from becoming homeless in New Orleans, where rents have soared since the storm. It should extend the disaster housing assistance program, which is set to expire in March 2009, so more people are not forced into the streets. It should also rewrite federal disaster law to permit the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide the long-term assistance that thousands of hurricane survivors are clearly going to need.

In New Orleans, homeless services agencies estimate that the homeless population has doubled since the storm. The homeless are said to be sicker and more severely disabled than in the past. Outreach workers have come across people suffering from severe mental disorders, as well as from cancer, AIDS and end-stage kidney disease.

In what could be a harbinger of things to come, 30 percent of the people surveyed in one homeless encampment reported that they had moved onto the streets after being cut off from Federal Emergency Management Agency housing assistance or while living in a household that had lost the benefit.

The state of Louisiana has committed itself to creating 3,000 units of supportive housing targeted to extremely low-income families, which includes many people with disabilities and special needs. But for the units to be affordable, Congress must pass the $73 million in funding to pay for rent subsidies.

This would be a terrible place to economize. The dollar amount is small, and the lives of some of this country’s most vulnerable citizens — who were already abandoned once by their government — are at stake.

screenshot_new-orleans-police-shots-man-mental-illness-FEMA-wbko.jpgNew Orleans police shot and killed a man after a standoff that lasted nearly 12 hours.

The standoff started on June 3 after authorities say the man ran off Federal Emergency Management Agency workers who were talking with him about reclaiming his trailer.

Police say he placed his hand on his gun near his waistband, and ordered the workers to leave.

The man then locked himself into a neighboring home.

SWAT team members say the 49-year-old man fired at officers when they entered the home.

He was shot early this morning when he allegedly pointed his pistol at the officers.

The man’s brother told police that he had been mentally ill for years.

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California State Association of Letter Carriers Resolution – Adopted April 12, 2008

Gulf Coast Reconstruction Program 

WHEREAS: During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the world watched the United States government stand by and let thousands of African Americans and poor people in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast suffer and hundreds die a most tragic and unnecessary death; and 

WHEREAS: Robert “Tiger” Hammond, president of the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO recently said, “Parts of this town look like a nuclear bomb hit two days ago, not like it was two years ago.”; and  

WHEREAS: The AFL-CIO Housing Trust (HIT) is participating in the $1 billion Gulf Coast Revitalization Program for New Orleans and other communities ravaged by Hurricane Katrina; and  

WHEREAS: The AFL-CIO will be investing in the building of modular housing and will coordinate union sponsored worker training programs; and  

WHEREAS: The AFL-CIO community fund and affiliated unions have raised millions of dollars to assist Katrina Survivors; and 

WHEREAS: ILWU Locals 10, 19, 52 and the International in conjunction with the African American Longshore Coalition sent several 40 foot containers of humanitarian and construction supplies and vehicles along with financial support to the Gulf; and 

WHEREAS: Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters volunteered to drive trucks filled with supplies to the Gulf for survivors; and 

WHEREAS: The American Federation of teachers has dispatched tutors and specialists to assist local workers in preparing for apprenticeship opportunities, investing its resources in the people of New Orleans despite the city’s attacks on public education and wholesale privatization of education; and  

WHEREAS: Almost immediately after Katrina, President George W. Bush issued an executive order suspending prevailing wage requirements on federally funded projects. Bush and the Republican controlled Congress suspended affirmative action requirements, relaxed environmental regulations, and started handing out privatized no-bid contracts like they were bottled water; and 

WHEREAS: In the weeks after Katrina and Rita, New Orleans witnessed an influx of more than 150,000 workers from outside the region, many recruited from Mexico and Central America by temporary agencies; and 

WHEREAS: Fifty percent of migrant day laborers were never paid for their work and the New Orleans Workers Center has countless stories of transient workers who showed up at a certain location to get paid, and instead were met by ICE agents and deported; and  

WHEREAS: Katrina brought about the largest displacement of African Americans in the U. S. South since the post-Reconstruction period at the end off the 19th century; and  

WHEREAS: Both Katrina survivors (witnesses) and prosecutors at the International Tribunal on Hurricane Katrina and Rita called for a reconstruction program to rebuild the Gulf; therefore be it  

RESOLVED: That the California State Association of Letter Carriers support the call for the implementation of a federally funded Gulf Coast Reconstruction Program which shall include prevailing wages for workers, and the right to organize; and therefore be it further  

RESOLVED: The Gulf Coast Reconstruction Program include the right to return to the Gulf, a Gulf Coast Public Works Program (similar to the WPA of the 1930s) and building solidarity committees nationally to continue the struggle for a just reconstruction; and therefore be it finally 

RESOLVED: That this Resolution be sent to our affiliates and forwarded to the Democratic leadership of the House, the Senate, and the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Resolution adopted by the California State Association of Letter Carriers, meeting in Los Angeles, California, April 11-12, 2008. The CSALC represents 43,000 Postal Service letter carriers in the state of California.

2404755304_cecd258a9d_m.jpgArchives of General Psychiatry

Mental illness conclusions:

The high prevalence of DSM-IV anxiety-mood disorders, the strong associations of hurricane-related stressors with these outcomes, and the independence of socio-demographics from stressors argue that the practical problems associated with ongoing stressors are widespread and must be addressed to reduce the prevalence of mental disorders in this population.

Click here to continue reading… 

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