My name is Stacy Parker Le Melle, and for the past seven years I have interviewed Americans about their Katrina experiences. Each interview is different. Each interview is unique. We talk about the hurricane and the aftermath. We talk about what it’s been like to survive, and for some, to thrive. We talk about crimes. We talk about epiphanies and lessons learned. We talk about their lives before. We talk about their dreams ahead.
Katrina is not history.
For those on the Gulf Coast, or for those whose love or livelihood is connected to the Gulf Coast, Katrina is not over. Far from it. Therefore, I will keep chronicling the lives of those who survived.
No story is the same.
I have spoken with survivors, and with those who came to their need. I have spoken with those who played some sort of “role”—people who found their personal and professional trajectories altered by Katrina and its aftermath. Read the stories and you’ll see: there is no single Katrina experience.
Every story counts.
I have only one rule: every story counts. No matter your color or your socio-economic background, no matter how quiet or intense you perceive your story to be, your story counts. Period.
Because we know this can happen again.
The more we know the truths of August 29th and its aftermath, the more we can understand what went wrong and what went right, the better prepared we’ll be for the next crisis, the better we can understand each others’ grievances, the more likely that some of the injustice of the Katrina response can be avoided in the future.
If you are interested in being interviewed, please contact me.
I plan to keep interviewing for at least three more years. If you are interested in sharing your story, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.