Our work in New Orleans dates to 1942, and intensified in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when we joined with those rebuilding the city. Our work focuses on creating a child-centered city with quality early education and child care, engaged parents, healthy food, quality schools and safe communities.
Why This Work Matters
New Orleans is a diverse city, with a rich mix of African, Native American, Latino and European cultural traditions. But its richness contrasts with a long history of challenges - including violence among youth, a disjointed education system, poor health outcomes and poverty - which present significant obstacles to the success of the city's children and their families.
The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina increased the barriers for those most vulnerable, possessing the narrowest safety margins.
But the extent of that devastation also presented an opportunity to rebuild a community already distinguished by its resilience and tenacity. Our goal is to work closely with our grantee partners and other stakeholders to identify and support community-led solutions aimed at creating a child-centered city.
What We Support
We believe the residents of New Orleans ultimately hold the keys to creating a child-centered city. Our partners include community-based organizations, government entities, businesses and school systems throughout the city, working on numerous fronts to create a better future by removing the racially-, income- and geography-based barriers that affect children and families.
Specifically, we concentrate our resources in the Central City neighborhood, where we partner with grantees and others to improve the quality and delivery of education; to improve nutrition; to expand access to quality healthcare including mental, oral, primary, preventative, community and pre- and post-natal care; to create greater economic security for families; to foster community and civic engagement; build nonprofit and leadership capacity; and nurture racial equity and racial healing. We also are working to establish a professional learning community for both informal and formal early care providers.
In addition, because a child-centered city is, by definition, a city of safe streets and neighborhoods, we focus on mitigating stress, reducing mental trauma and preventing violence.