Tuesday, April 15, 2008

REJUVENATING THE FIGHT FOR THE GULF COAST - SJSU Students Remind Community of Why They Struggle

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Contacts: Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton (510) 508-5382, smlipton@sjsu.edu
Angie Gil (650) 575-9674, agil@appstream.com


SJSU Students Remind Community of Why They Struggle

Location: Outside Amphitheatre 12:00 – 1:00 / Student Union from 1:00 – 6:00 pm

San Jose, CA – This Thursday the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project will hold its second annual Post-Katrina Summit. The day-long event, which consists of multiple activities, is a symbol that the fight must continue for victims of Hurricane Katrina. CC Campbell Rock--a native to New Orleans, a veteran journalist, and Katrina evacuee--is set to speak about the ills of one of the worst national disasters, as well as how it has affected our society. In addition to her attendance, there will also be a panel discussion with the students of the organization, a music performance, and a showing of Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke."

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Project (GCCWP) is the national effort to pass HR 4048: The Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, which would create 100,000 jobs for Gulf Coast residents and evacuees to rebuild their communities. HR 4048 will provide our citizens with living wage jobs, make housing available for themselves and their communities, restore a sense of personal empowerment and hope, and restore faith among our citizenry of the government's ability to respond to the needs of our people.

The GCCWP, which is made up of students and faculty from San Jose State University, is no stranger to hard work. The collective has held several creative events over its 2-year lifespan in an attempt to get the country's support. Just last November the group participated in a campus wide sleep out, an event where students replicated the lives of homeless Gulf Coast residents and slept outside for a night. Students and faculty also orchestrated a Mardi Gras precession in February of this year, in which they recreated the family friendly events of the New Orleans staple.

The GCCWP has allied with regional partners (LA ACORN, All Congregations Together (ACT of New Orleans), Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing [BISCO], Equity and Inclusion Campaign), as well as national partners (ColorofChange.org, RFK Human Rights Center, and Student Hurricane Network) to pass HR 4048.

Many of the SJSU students are well aware of their peers' efforts and say they are pleased to be around conscious students. Senior communications major Jason Jong said, "I think its critical that events like this take place so that we're constantly reminded of the tragedy; not the sad side of it but the side that tells you something needs to be done." He continued, "People need to understand that even though the Gulf Coast isn't on the news, doesn't mean that people's lives have been restored."


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