Alex Epstein Describes the Ninth Ward

Question: What’s the difference between NY2NO and other volunteer groups?

Epstein:    At this point, they’ve seen every kind of volunteer, imaginable go down there, I mean, there’d been thousands and tons of thousands of volunteers who gone down to New Orleans to help rebuild and that’s all great, it all needs to happen, it’s all really important but they’re been very, very few but it actually gone to New Orleans and asked the residence what it is that they want.  You know, a lot of people go down there with great intentions and do great work but have no interaction with the people and kind of come down with this mentality of I know what needs to be done.  I’m going to help you and we don’t really believe in that and we believe in solidarity and bottom up organizing and so we want to… that’s why we canvass, we go out, it’s for our personal experiences in the individual conversations but it’s to get the members of the community to come together at community meeting so that together they can decide what needs to be change, what the major issues are and then how we can further assist them in that and a lot of the times, it’s rebuilding, a lot of the time it’s more canvassing and you know, the need for food and for school came directly from this community meetings and so we acted on it

The organizer says NY2NO is distinguished by their community canvassing and outreach.

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Photo credit: Getty Images / Stringer

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