Bring New Orleans Back Commission / Urban Land Institute

The first comprehensive map for rebuilding New Orleans came out in early 2006, about six months after the flood. Saying it was highly anticipated would be an understatement. On it, some symbols that appeared as a death knell for some neighborhoods: green dots.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Churches of several denominations are coming together to address an often invisible problem on the Northshore: family homelessness.

Nineteen churches decided to pool their resources and host homeless families in need. They take turns hosting the families at each church and rotate every week, providing food, childcare, counseling services and transportation, to help the family get back on their feet.

Well, technically it’s 13 for now, there’s a baby on the way.


VIA LINK provides information, referrals, training and crisis intervention to people, organizations and communities so they can help themselves and others.

The VIA LINK call center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to listen, answer questions and provide resources to people who call 211 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If a caller is in crisis, the confidential counselor who answers will start helping them on the spot.

National Weather Service

Incredible by Modern Standards— June 1

New Orleans is a weather town. As hurricane season begins, hear the most emotional federal weather bulletin ever written. Plus, more on how the National Weather Service is using social science to improve forecasts. And hear from New Orleans residents who say the argument to call our 2005 disaster “The Federal Flood” instead of just “Katrina” still holds water. Why that weather wording matters.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Rowan Shafer is a third grade teacher at Morris Jeff Community School. She's committed to teaching a social justice curriculum... which she knows can sound abstract.

"Yeah, those are easy words to say that mean a lot of things," she says.

In this month's Voices of Educators segment, Shafer describes one of her favorite social justice units and explains why, after years of teaching fourth grade, she switched to third.

Do you know a great teacher to include in our series? Send us an email:


Since 2009, Propeller tackles the tough challenges in New Orleans by launching socially-minded ventures.

Propeller helps start up companies that have environmental and social missions. Their accelerator program helps entrepreneurs with solutions in primary sectors including health care, education and water. They’re trying to create a critical mass of entrepreneurs tackling these issues form multiple angles in order to move the needle forward on tough topics like obesity, childhood education, and getting more people in Louisiana insured.

Louisiana's controversial Marriage and Conscience Act failed to win approval in Baton Rouge this session. The bill would have prohibited the state from punishing businesses for having religious beliefs that say "marriage is between one man and one woman." Critics of the bill say it would have allowed businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

After the the bill failed, Governor Bobby Jindal stepped in and issued an executive order to accomplish the intent of the bill.

Jesse Hardman

Recently Louisiana senators David Vitter and Bill Cassidy signed a letter asking that FEMA eliminate the requirement that states address climate change in disaster planning to receive federal funding. Read the full letter here

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Thrifty shoppers often seek hidden treasures and surprises at thrift stores. But visitors at one store outside New Orleans can also help stray animals.

The St. Francis Animal Sanctuary thrift store offers a unique gathering place for the Mandeville community — a room full of happy cats.

Sometimes customers are surprised when they notice one corner of the St. Francis Animal Sanctuary thrift store is screened off. It holds about 20 cats, who lounge around and play with one another while volunteers sit in recliners and pet them.

Micah Project

The Micah Project develops a base of youth leaders to mitigate gun violence and eliminate the school to prison pipeline.

Meet Dolfinette Martin.

“I did 7 years, 4 months, 26 days in LA Correction Institute for Women. That was my 4th prison stay, but by God’s grace, my last.”

Dolfinette Martin had five children when she went to prison – for shoplifting – what she saw at the time as her only way of providing for her kids.