News + Updates

Community Partner Spotlight!

Check out one of this year’s community partner for Outreach Tulane 2013!

A Community Voice

A Community Voice is a neighborhood organization in New Orleans’ low to moderate income communities. It is a vehicle for the residents of the community to make changes in their communities as they attempt to restore them from the damages of Hurricanes Katrina and Issac. The members choose the issues that they want to work on in the neighborhood, they elect their own leaders and learn to participate in actions and policy making decisions that affect them.

There is vital information that is needed for low to moderate income households in the New Orleans East, upper and lower ninth ward communities. Among the critical information that will be disseminated to the resident is that which relates to new information regarding government services, updates on access to health care, new free programs for children/students and neighborhood meeting information.

The highest form of communication is a direct conversation with an individual, this allows them the opportunity to obtain vital information and for volunteers to learn about true New Orleanians. A Community Voice will canvass with 60 students, paired into a team of two, in each of three neighborhoods and provide a flyer to each household along with a short verbal message if the resident is home.

This activity is popular with volunteers because it allows them to engage with real New Orleanians, and those residents are accustomed to volunteers and some even like to tell them stories. This is very important because the dominant culture provides an image of neighborhoods, and therefore, their residents, as violent and bad. Previous volunteers have loved this experience because they had a way to positively exchange information with people who truly appreciated it, and to engage in a meaningful way with the real New Orleans. Breaking down barriers between generations, race, class and status is another goal of our organization, and this is one of the most effective ways to do just that — to allow the volunteers to have their own experience and to learn from it. 

Sign up for Outreach Tulane in August to help volunteer with A Community Voice or visit their website!

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It takes more than one day…

It took more than a day… to Restore Wesley United

Outreach Tulane may only be one day of service, but it is an important springboard for our community partners and students whose impact persists long beyond the work day. Just take a look at the Wesley United Digital Arts and Training Center, one of our long-term Outreach Tulane projects with the United Saints of New Orleans. Repairs made to New Orleans’ 2nd oldest African American church between November of 2009 through January of 2011 have returned this great building to pristine condition. They are well on their way, only sixteen weeks out, from fully re-opening to continue to serve the needs of the Central City neighborhood community. We are proud to have invested over 7,000 volunteer hours over the years through Outreach Tulane and the MLK Day of Service to assist in this effort!

This is particularly appropriate as Central City will be our focus for Outreach Tulane 2012! We will again be partnering with United Saints to work in Central City this year – they will be working with us on the Blight Project. This project involves clearing lots in the region to give a fresh start for rebuilding.

Use Outreach Tulane to spur your passion for action this year and volunteer with us!  Only 20 more days until registration opens! Stay tuned!

Click here for more information on the Wesley United Project or contact Don Paul at weneedsbees@gmail.comImage

Why service?

As Outreach Tulane rapidly approaches the exec board is taking the time to stop and reflect on the question “Why do we serve?” Here’s one response to that question (look forward to more posts soon with answers from the rest of the board!)

Maybe the response “we serve because we ought” is along the right path.  I would contend that indeed it is; however, this answer lacks total correctness. We serve because we are made to do so. Formed by our Creator and crafted in divine image by serving others we serve life and creation itself.
        In the words of the eminent English poet John Donne, “No man is an island”. We do not live in an isolated state of creation; we are none of us the sole beings of creation. As such, we cannot live in away that places us above one another – all of our actions have consequences, both seen and unseen. We are all connected on the most fundamental of levels. The last illusion is that any of us are separate.

Moving Along!

The Exec board recently had another one of our conference calls during the summer to coordinate all of the exciting things that we have planned for this year’s Outreach Tulane. We are in the midst of coordinating with community partners now to secure projects sites and continuing to work on getting the word out about this awesome day of service. We have a lot of great things planned so stay tuned! We’ll have more concrete information on Outreach Tulane as the summer draws to a close. As always, we do it for the love of New Orleans.