New Orleans Unmasked

The mere mention of New Orleans conjures images of scantily clad partygoers draped loosely across wrought iron balconies as the tantalizing smell of Creole cuisine drifts on the sultry southern breeze. But behind the tourist-attracting facade of Big Easy traditions, poverty-stricken neighborhoods fade into the background of oak-tree lined avenues and bead-strewn balconies, testament to the largely unacknowledged inequality inherent in Crescent City culture. While New Orleans is a city renowned for its richness of people, history, and culture, in our desire to exploit it, many of our most important local treasures fall through the cracks of our consciousness.

This site will concentrate particularly on heroes and heroines in struggles for social justice. It has been designed by members of The Students at the Center program, a school-based writing program in many New Orleans public schools, to commemorate those great men and women who were and are so influential in the development of New Orleans' widely celebrated culture. Much of this work will be based on collaborations with existing community organizations. The site itself is authored by students with the help of Bart Everson and Elizabeth Rhodes of Xavier University of Louisiana's Center for the Advancement of Teaching. The authors of the design document are Adriane Frazier, Ashley Jones, Towana Pierre, Quarrence Claiborne, Robyn Wright, Lesley Wood, Juan Hernandez, and SAC directors, Jim Randels, Lisa Richardson.