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Would love to write a more in-depth blog entry on the fantastic Make It Right organization, but don’t seem to be able to find the time and am worried I’ll forget to post about it at all. I first heard about it a couple nights ago when Brad Pitt (founder of Make It Right) was the hour-long guest on Charlie Rose on PBS (clips/link to the interview are offered below). Here’s some information from the Make It Right web site that will help you understand their vision:
In December 2006, Brad Pitt convened a group of experts in New Orleans to brainstorm about building green affordable housing on a large scale to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Having spent time with community leaders and displaced residents determined to return home, Pitt realized that an opportunity existed to build houses that were not only stronger and healthier, but that had less impact on the environment.
Previously, Pitt sponsored an architecture competition organized by Global Green with the goal of generating ideas about how to rebuild sustainably. Several of those designs are currently under construction in the Lower 9th Ward and the project inspired him to expand his efforts.
After discussing the hurdles associated with rebuilding in a devastated area, the group determined that a large-scale redevelopment project focused on green affordable housing and incorporating innovative design was indeed possible.
The group settled on the goal of constructing 150 homes (one of the larger rebuilding projects in the city), with an emphasis on developing an affordable system that could be replicated.
To demonstrate replicability, Pitt determined to locate the project in the Lower 9th Ward, one of the most devastated areas of New Orleans, proving that safe homes could and should be rebuilt. Pitt hopes that this project would be a catalyst for recovery and redevelopment throughout the Lower 9th Ward and across the city of New Orleans.
Having listened to one former resident’s plea to help “make this right,” Pitt was inspired to name the project “Make It Right” (MIR).
While I’ve never been one of those folks to go ga-ga over Mr. Pitt (although he IS admittedly adorable!), I do have to say that after seeing the Charlie Rose interview I am incredibly impressed with Brad’s down-to-earth nature, the thought he puts into his answers, and his apparent genuine desire to truly improve the quality of life for others while at the same time respecting and bettering our environment. Count me in as someone who has now developed a healthy respect and admiration for Brad, and who also finds him even MORE adorable than before–beauty, brains, AND compassion! You are a fortunate lady, Angelina! 😉
Below are a couple of short videos clips of Brad on Charlie Rose, but for the interview in its entirety click here.
I’m feeling a strong need to seek out some uplifting and positive news stories. Maybe it’s just my personal frustration with several things in my own little universe or the bigger frustrations I feel with everything from this inexcusable, disgusting, and sad war to the ridiculous amount of time a not-to-be-named hotel heiress is garnering for being a spoiled brat. Who knows what exactly it is that’s sticking in my craw, but it’s got me having a mad desire to do something proactive to change my mood and hopefully change the mood of some of you as well. So in my sudden quest to seek out something (anything!) that is making this world a better place I decided to add a “Doing Good” regular feature to this blog. Okay, first step taken (truth be told, the first step was popping iTunes on party shuffle since music is usually my panacea for a cruddy mood), next step was to set about the internet seeking out positive sites. Easier said than done, sadly. Ultimately I found myself smack-dab on my MySpace friends list, which is mostly full of causes and bands I support, so it makes sense I’d find my first “Doing Good” subject there: The New Orleans Kid Camera Project(their MySpace page).
I’ll introduce this great organization by posting their mission statement:
The New Orleans Kid Camera Project was created to address the psychological and emotional impacts of Hurricane Katrina on children returning home to New Orleans. Through the use of photography, creative writing and mixed media, children from flooded neighborhoods explore their environment and express themselves, their stories and feelings with their friends. This project provides a venue for growth and recovery. By teaching the children tangible skills and exposing them to new means of expression, we hope to empower them to impact their lives and environment.
Those of you who have been frequent visitors to this blog are well aware that I’m working toward getting my teaching credential, and with my minor being in Visual and Performing Arts, it goes without saying that ANYTHING which involves children in such a productive and creative manner, such as The New Orleans Kid Camera Project, is going to be something I wholeheartedly support. My disgust with the lack of support by George Bush’s administration for those affected by Hurricane Katrina is something that still gets my blood boiling. Just thinking back on those first few days of the catastrophe, with our own citizens being disregarded in the degrading manner they were, the people and animals scavenging for safety and food, the buses and trailers sitting empty, all has me going between sadness and fury in a matter of minutes. And to think apathy on the part of our government still continues–appalling. So to see a group of people in New Orleans addressing the various needs the children in the area are facing, and will continue to face for some time to come, is something which definitely brings a smile to my face and warms my heart.
I hope many of you will visit their site, read their fantastic Philosophy/Visions/Goals page, share in the fine photos and videos created by the children, and especially donate any time/money/equipment that you can. I also hope that everyone’s mood is a bit better now–mine is! 🙂
(***Added 6/15/07:UNSEENAMERICA “New Orleans Kid Camera Project”
310 West 43rd St New York
Admission: FREE. Exhibition from Wednesday, June 6 through Friday, June 29, 2007.
Reception- Thursday June 21, 2007 from 5:00 to 7:30pm