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AUGUST 29, 2015
Richard Cohen Photo
Richard Cohen

Dear Gaston,

Ten years ago today, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, killing nearly 2,000 people and displacing hundreds of thousands.

I’ll never forget the horrifying images of families stranded on rooftops, surrounded by the swirling floodwaters and begging for help – or the thousands of evacuees stuck in New Orleans’ Superdome for days without enough food or water.

Shortly after the storm, we opened a small office in New Orleans. Among our first priorities was ensuring that the city’s most vulnerable children were not left behind as the city rebuilt its school system.

In one of our proudest moments, we successfully litigated a pioneering lawsuit aimed at making the promise of the city’s new charter school system become a reality for all children, not just the privileged.

We also won justice for migrant workers who had come to the city to help rebuild it only to be exploited by employers who cheated them out of their wages.

After a decade, the recovery in New Orleans is still not complete. And neither is our work for the city’s children.

The coming battles won’t be easy. But we’re committed for the long haul.

On behalf of our clients, we thank everyone who has stood with us.


Richard Cohen Signature
Richard Cohen
President, Southern Poverty Law Center

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