Sandy Rosenthal unveils historic plaque at breach site of 17th Street Canal on August 26, 2010.
Updated 13 September, 2014 @ 17:00:31
This coming semester, Tulane University will offer a mini-course featuring Sandy Rosenthal and how she started and built the influential grassroots group, Levees.org.
The mini-course will be offered as part of a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) developed by Dr. Charles Figley, Director of the Tulane Traumatology Institute.
MOOCs are a surging new trend in higher education because they allow virtually unlimited enrollment worldwide.
Traditional online courses charge tuition and limit the enrollment to a few dozen students to ensure interaction with instructors. MOOCs, on the other hand, are free and anyone with an Internet connection can enroll.
A “coming soon” sign is installed at the site of the east London Avenue Canal breach. Photo/Sandy Rosenthal
There is a sure sign of progress at 5000 Warrington Drive, the site of one of the worst levee breaches in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
A large “coming soon” now stands at the east-side breach of the London Avenue Canal in Gentilly announcing that an Open-air Levee Exhibition and Garden will soon be built.
Working with the the Gentilly Civic Improvementy Association and other neighborhood communities, the grassroots group Levees.org will build a series of exhibits that tell the full vetted story of why the levees broke nine years ago.
“It will be the only venue in the city like it,” says Sandy Rosenthal, founder of Levees.org. “Visitors and residents alike can come see and understand what happened here.”
Levees.org is leasing the property from the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority through the Growing Green program for $250 per year. After two years, there is an option to purchase.
Sandy Rosenthal (front 2nd from left) with international visitors through the U.S. State Department
Today, Sandy Rosenthal, founder of Levees.org met with a group of seven international visitors in a special program with the U.S Department of State who were in New Orleans to focus on empowering civil society.
The group included representatives from Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Burma, the Czech Republic, Serbia, the Ukraine and Zimbabwe.
Ms. Rosenthal met the group at the site of the east side London Avenue Canal breach which will soon also be the site of a Open-air Levee Park. She spoke on Levees.org’s work in holding the federal government accountable for the levee failures.
On this day, we wish to share some encouraging news.
Working in partnership with residents from the neighborhood of Gentilly, Levees.org will soon unveil the first ever Open-air Levee Exhibit and Garden in New Orleans.
The exhibit and garden will be installed on a now-empty lot at the site of the London Avenue Canal where flood walls–designed and built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers–cracked open in a moderate amount of surge during Hurricane Katrina.
The Open-air Levee Exhibit and Garden will be a memorial to the trauma of the levee breaches, a commemoration of a pivotal moment in American history, and a symbol of the residents’ determination to return.
At a minimum, it will transform an illegal dump into a thing of beauty for the neighbors nearby.