Learning from Katrina: Student Perspectives on Poverty, Race, and Ethics through an Experiential Course

Cassandra, Gabriella; Kremer, Natania

In January 2006, students from CUSSW and Union Theological Seminary participated in an immersion course entitled, Katrina: Poverty, Race, and Social Work Practice. The aim of the course was to explore experientially the inequality exposed by Hurricane Katrina and its effect on some of the poorest communities and individuals in the United States. This paper presents an overview of the course development. In addition, the authors describe some of their experiences and observations before, during, and after their travels to the Gulf Coast and other communities affected by Hurricane Katrina. The specific focus of the article is on the themes of poverty, racism, violence, governmental irresponsibility and disregard in the wake of this tragedy, and describes some of the efforts made towards supporting social justice in the Gulf Coast as it rebuilds.


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Columbia Social Work Review

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August 18, 2022