A Renaissance in the Lower Nine

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Though much has yet to be rebuilt, the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans is alive and bustling with community-driven nonprofit activity and projects.

This is on full display at Trinity-Claiborne this week with The Renaisssance Project’s “Talks: CTC” (‘Cross The Canal) as part of their Regrowing Community 2013 events.

Inspired by TED Talks, the Renaissance Project and Executive Director Greta Gladney are hosting nearly 30 different presenters over four days covering an expansive list of topics related to the community. Most impressive is that nearly all of them are local to the Ninth Ward, both Upper and Lower.

This evening I had the opportunity to attend a session featuring the Ochsner Blood Bank, Warrenetta Banks with the Lower Ninth Ward CSED, Marla Chirdon with the Council on Aging and Jenga Mwendo with the Backyard Gardeners Network. Their projects alone would be exciting to have in a neighborhood; add 20 more like them and, well, you have to see it to believe it.

Earlier in the day, the Lower 9th Ward Homeowners Association held a Road Home event at Trinity for families who faced contractor fraud, theft and other obstacles, and there was a big turnout for that, too.

Everyone around here takes things one day at a time, but it’s hard not to get excited about what’s around the corner for the Lower Nine.

-Kurt Jostes

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