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Audrey T. McCluskey
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Critical Issues Lecture Series at IU focuses on race and recovery after Hurricane Katrina

Nov. 12, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University Bloomington will present a lecture by Beverly Wright, director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) at Dillard University in New Orleans on Monday (Nov. 17).

Katrina Aftermath

Photo by: Ashley P. Wilkerson

Workers clean up after Hurricane Katrina in 2005

Print-Quality Photo

Wright's lecture, "Race, Place and the Environment after Hurricane Katrina -- Where Are We Now?," is part of the campus' Critical Issues Lecture Series. The series features scholars and activists who are in the forefront of important social and political issues facing black communities nationally and internationally.

The lecture will begin at 4 p.m. in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.

Wright is a professor of sociology at Dillard University, and founder and executive director of the DSCEJ. It is one of the few community/university partnerships that addresses environmental and health inequities in the lower Mississippi River industrial corridor, which commonly is referred to as "Cancer Alley."

For more than a decade, Wright has been a leading scholar, advocate and activist in the environmental justice arena. Since Hurricane Katrina, much of her work at the DSCEJ has focused on research, policy, outreach, assistance and education of displaced African-American residents of New Orleans. She has been an advocate of the safe return of residents, addressing the critical issues of health and environmental restoration and monitoring fairness as it relates to standards of clean-up.

The center is a resource that provides education, training and job placement to displaced citizens of New Orleans. Wright's lecture will focus on the center's efforts to assist Hurricane Katrina survivors as well as the environmental situation in New Orleans three years after the hurricane.

Co-sponsors of the lecture are IU's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Office of the Provost, Department of Sociology and the Office of Multicultural Initiatives.