“When hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf and the floodwaters rose and tore through New Orleans, it did not turn the region into a Third World country… it revealed one.”  – Danny Glover

Trouble The Water takes audiences on a journey that is by turns heart stopping, infuriating, inspiring and empowering. People leave the theaters wanting and needing to do something not only about the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, but about the underlying issues that remained when the floodwaters receded – failing public schools, record high levels of incarceration, poverty, lack of government accountability and structural racism.

We've worked with dozens of faith-based, advocacy and service-based groups working on racial and economic justice, sustainable and equitable development and youth empowerment who are harnessing the power of Trouble The Water, engaging people in dialogue and inspiring them to act. 

If you work with a group that might want to screen Trouble The Water, please contact our action team by clicking here: GROUP SCREENINGS

Volunteer Opportunities and Charitable Giving

Troubled Waters--Awakening Minds nonprofit fund for individuals bound by substance abuse seeks to address one of the most pressing challenges facing New Orleans’ underserved communities. In the words of founder Kimberly Rivers Roberts, “When Trouble the Water opened and gave us the opportunity to go to different places and do new things, we began to see the world in a different way. We began to wonder why our communities in New Orleans are suffering as they do, bound by low expectations, drug infestations, vicious cycles of ignorance and hopelessness. Scott and I were once a part of that." In partnership with the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, Kimberly and Scott have founded the Troubled Waters--Awakening Minds fund to address these issues by helping enable individuals bound by substance abuse to be admitted to long term treatment facilities where they will receive the education, care and counseling necessary to conquer addiction and rebuild their lives without the limitations of addiction.

The 21st Century Foundation facilitate s strategic giving for black community change, working with donors to invest in institutions and leaders that solve problems within black communities nationally. 21CF has distributed millions of dollars to more than 500 groups since its inception with grants that provide seed capital to support new initiatives, to fill the gaps in vitally needed programs, and advance community groups to the next level of leadership and activism.

Common Ground Relief is a community-initiated volunteer organization offering assistance, mutual aid and support. Visit the website to learn how to volunteer, how and what supplies to donate.

Flight 509. Join Flight 509's* Global Paradigm Shift, a weekend of service and a call to committed action, April 24th - Sunday, April 26, 2009.  

Hands on New Orleans hosts citizens from around the world, as well as provides service opportunities for citizens in the local New Orleans community. Whether you are one person or a corporate team, Hands On New Orleans provides worthwhile and effective volunteer options. We gladly engage out-of-state individuals and groups, local citizens, corporate groups, and tourists, all in service to our community.

Katrina Women’s Response Fund provides strategic support to meet the immediate needs of women of color and low-income women in the Gulf Coast region and ensure that their leadership and priorities are central in both short and long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts. By making grants to organizations throughout the region, the Katrina Women’s Response Fund invests in the crucial infrastructure that promotes the health, safety, and economic well-being of women, their families and communities.

Make it Right Foundation is built upon catalyzing redevelopment of the Lower Ninth Ward by building a neighborhood of safe and healthy homes that incorporates modern, high-quality design and construction while preserving the spirit of the community’s culture.

Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. Together with individuals and local groups in more than 120 countries, Oxfam saves lives, helps people overcome poverty, and fights for social justice. We are an affiliate of Oxfam International.

The legal questions and problems facing the individuals and communities throughout the Gulf Coast region are monumental in scale, and will remain for months and years to come. In order to address this need, law students from across the country have formed the Student Hurricane Network (SHN), a national association dedicated to providing assistance to communities affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Tides Foundation Relief and Reconstruction Fund quickly and efficiently channels emergency relief in the aftermath of natural and civil disasters. The Fund pools donors’ resources to increase the impact of their giving, and researches and distributes funds to effective grassroots and advocacy organizations working for long-term economic, social, and structural change.

Founded in 1985, the Women’s Funding Network (WFN) is an international organization with over 100 member funds (and 20 associate members) that are committed to improving the status of women and girls locally, nationally and globally. WFN works to strengthen and empower member funds.

Criminal and Civil Justice

Advancement Project is a democracy and justice action group. Using law, public policy and strategic communications, we act in partnership with local communities to advance universal opportunity, equity and access for those left behind in America.

The legal team of Common Ground Legal Collective provides free legal assistance to residents as they begin rebuilding their lives after Katrina and Rita, with volunteer lawyers from Louisiana Legal Aid, Loyola Law Clinic and volunteer Common Ground lawyers. They also help document police misconduct and unsafe prison conditions.

Critical Resistance is working to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial complex, i.e. use of prisons as a solution to social, political, and economic problems driven by private interests. They support the idea that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure.

Family and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children is a statewide membership-based organization that fights for a better life for all of Louisiana’s youth, especially those involved in or targeted by the juvenile justice system. They engage in education, community building, and leadership development advocacy through strategically chosen goals in order to empower individuals, families and communities to transform currently oppressive systems and institutions into ones that uphold justice for Louisiana’s families, to build strong, powerful families and communities and to fight for justice for all citizens.

Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) calls upon religious values in order to educate, organize, and mobilize the religious community in the U.S. on issues and campaigns that will improve wages, benefits, and working conditions for workers, especially low-wage workers. Interfaith Worker Justice:  

Justice for New Orleans is a service of the Loyola Law Clinic. Their contributors are citizens of New Orleans interested in ensuring justice for all New Orleanians in this re-building period.

The Louisiana Justice Institute is a nonprofit, civil rights legal advocacy organization, devoted to fostering social justice campaigns across Louisiana for communities of color and for impoverished communities. LJI understands that as a state-based civil rights organization, it can and must serve as an agent for social change in Louisiana. Its creation is responsive to a specific and urgent need to resurrect capacity for statewide, systemic, legal advocacy on behalf of those most in need of assistance -- Louisiana's minority and Louisiana's poor residents.

Lawhelp.org/LA helps low and moderate income people find free legal aid programs in their communities, and answers questions about their legal rights.

The ACLU’s National Prison Project is the only national litigation program on behalf of prisoners. Since 1972, the NPP has represented more than 100,000 men, women and children. The NPP continues to fight unconstitutional conditions and the “lock ‘em up” mentality that prevails in the legislatures. Read the NPP report exposing the abuse and abandonment by public officials of inmates at the city jail during Katrina: Abandoned and Abused: Orleans Parish Prisoners in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Safe Streets, Strong Communities is a community-based organization that campaigns for a new criminal justice system in New Orleans, one that creates safe streets and strong communities for everyone, regardless of race or economic status.

Southern Center for Human Rights is a non-profit, public interest law firm dedicated to enforcing the civil and human rights of people in the criminal justice system in the South. The Center’s legal work includes representing prisoners in challenges to unconstitutional conditions and practices in prisons and jails; challenging systemic failures in the legal representation of poor people in the criminal courts; and representing people facing the death penalty who otherwise would have no representation.

Sustainable and Equitable Development

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is the nation’s largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities. ACORN has been working for the past year to help in rebuilding and recovering in New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast. Their activities include house gutting with volunteers, organizing the ACORN Katrina Survivors Association, and organizing community forums on rebuilding.

Common Ground Relief’s mission is to provide short term relief for victims of hurricane disasters in the gulf coast region, and long term support in rebuilding the communities affected in the New Orleans area. Common Ground is a community-initiated volunteer organization offering assistance, mutual aid and support. The work gives hope to communities by working with them, providing for their immediate needs and emphasizes people working together to rebuild their lives in sustainable ways. Visit the website to learn how to volunteer, how and what supplies to donate.

The Coalition to Stop the Demolitions calls out against the destruction of housing in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. With their demolition thousands of families will be permanently displaced. More than two years after Hurricane-Katrina, more than 3,400 families have not returned because most public housing remains closed.

The mission of Coastal Women for Change is to make a difference in our communities through securing and revitalizing our neighborhoods. They do this by ensuring that their communities have adequate information in a timely manner so that they can both influence and make informed decisions about the recovery process and community development, now and in the future.

Consciously Rebuilding is working for a sustainable New Orleans. They are currently engaged in a “Green” Transitional Housing Project that provides affordable, transitional, energy and water efficient housing to displaced residents and contributes community outreach, human capital reinvestment and civic engagement as a part of the revitalization of New Orleans.

The Good Work Network is dedicated to helping low-income and disadvantage micro entrepreneurs get the resources they need to succeed, providing training, one-on-one consultation, group networking and collaboration opportunities, back office support services, market access assistance, and access to micro loan funds to individuals and businesses in the greater New Orleans area. 

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center is a private, non-profit civil rights organization established in the summer of 1995 to eradicate housing discrimination throughout the greater New Orleans area. Through education, investigation, and enforcement activities, GNOFHAC promotes fair competition throughout the housing marketplace — rental, sales, lending, and insurance. GNOFHAC is dedicated to fighting housing discrimination not only because it is illegal, but also because it is a divisive force that perpetuates poverty, segregation, ignorance, fear, and hatred.

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Project 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.

(A Project of the Institute for Southern Studies) Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch is a project to document and investigate the rebuilding of the Southern Gulf in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Through original reporting, in-depth features, voices from community leaders, and other unique coverage, Watch aims to promote a more democratic and accountable reconstruction in the South. Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch is a project of the Institute for Southern Studies, a non-profit research and education center, and the Institute’s flagship magazine, Southern Exposure.

The mission of Institute for Women & Ethnic Studies is to improve the physical, mental, and spiritual health and quality of life for women of color and their families in New Orleans.

Katrina Information Network (KIN) is a comprehensive clearinghouse of information and targeted campaigns on behalf of the communities hardest hit by the “perfect storm” of public neglect and private profiteering known as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Environmental damage. Children without schools or safe places to stay. Homes and neighborhoods in disrepair while contractors make millions. Yet, basic policies for survivors like victims compensation, restitution, rebuild support much less repair of the levees are still not in place. KIN is a collaboration of groups in the Gulf and across the country to build power for change through e-advocacy, grassroots pressure, local actions, resolutions, and selective buying, they seek to build greater pressure for what’s right.

Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development’s (CSED) goal is re-creation and repopulation of a strong community mindful of its history, resources and vulnerabilities as active, engaged, resilient, prosperous, energy independent and beautiful as possible. The CSED is a project of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association. 

Levees.org is a source for information about the failures of the Federal Government and US Army Corps of Engineers to provide adequate levees and flood protection in New Orleans and nationwide.

Moving Forward Gulf Coast, Inc. is a community effort, led by natives of the Gulf Coast region, who have personally identified families that want, but cannot afford or lack the information, to rebuild their lives in the Gulf Coast. Providing volunteer-based relief, Moving Forward strives for community empowerment and fosters collaborative efforts through community advocacy, training and creative programming.

The Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) is a collaboration of city agencies, non-profits, faith based organizations, academic institutions and local community stakeholders. Its goal is to empower neighborhoods to take leadership roles in stewarding their community to becoming cleaner, greener, healthier, more inclusive places to live and work.

The goal of People's Organizing Committee is to build and maintain a coordinated network of community leaders, organizers and community based organizations with the capacity and organizational infrastructure that can help to meet the needs of people most impacted by Katrina and facilitate an organizing process that will demand local, grassroots leadership in the relief, return and reconstruction process in New Orleans.

Established in 1988, PICO LIFT (Louisiana Interfaith Together) is the largest statewide grassroots organizing effort in Louisiana. It represents more than 100 faith communities in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and 12 other towns and cities.PICO LIFT's mission is to provide families and religious congregations in Louisiana with a voice in the decisions that shape their lives and communities.

Rebuilding Together is a nonprofit working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize communities on the GUlf Coast and throughout the country. Its network of more than 200 affiliates provides free rehabilitation and critical repairs to the homes f low-income Americans.

The mission of the Steps Coalition is to promote an equitable recovery and healthy, just, and sustainable communities in South Mississippi by working for affordable housing, community preservation, economic and environmental justice, and human rights.

Unity of Greater New Orleans is a free community service to prevent homelessness by providing affordable rental listings to the community and free listings to landlords. UNITY is seeking faith-based or community organizations to assist with the Unity/DSS Housing Plus Program. The Housing Plus Program is helping homeless individuals and families move off of the street into their own apartments.

Environmental and Racial Justice

Advocates for Environmental Human Rights (AEHR) is a nonprofit, public interest law firm whose mission is to provide legal services, community organizing support, public education, and campaigns focused on defending and advancing the human right to a healthy environment, and advocating for the human rights of internally displaced Gulf Coast hurricane survivors.

The African American Leadership Project (AALP) is a nonpartisan network of community activists, religious and business leaders, academics and concerned citizens that focus on dialogue and agenda building, policy advocacy, community planning and neighborhood development. It has been in existence for 5 years. 

Citizens for a Strong New Orleans East is a coalition of non-profit organizations and faith-based organizations who want to make sure that the communities of color who had lived in New Orleans East prior to Katrina can return home.

The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) Community/University Partnership, under the auspices of Dillard University in New Orleans, provides opportunities for communities, scientific researchers, and decision makers to collaborate on programs and projects that promote the rights of all people to be free from environmental harm as it impacts health, jobs, housing, education, and general quality of life.

ERACE seeks ways, through person-to-person communication, to show that they are committed to treating fellow human beings of all colors with love and respect.

The Latino Health Outreach Project provides one clinic a week early morning at a day-labor pick up site, one at a monthly Day Laborer Congress organized through the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice, as well as occasional clinics at other sites. In addition to providing health care, they are building relationships with organizations who have a history of working in New Orleans' Latino community. 

The Lower 9th Ward Community Health Clinic was a community-driven response to fill the unmet healthcare needs that emerged in the wake of the post- Katrina floods. 

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement is an organization of Afrikans in America/New Afrikans whose mission is to defend the human rights of their people and promote self-determination in the community. 

The New Orleans Women's Health Clinic, located at 1406 Esplanade Ave. in the historic Tremé Community - one of the oldest communities of free people of color in the U.S., is a project of the New Orleans Women's Health & Justice Initiative. The women's health clinic will offer a comprehensive, integrated program of quality, affordable, and safe preventative health care and counseling services specific to the needs of women under a primary care model. 

In addition to co-releasing the groundbreaking report, ‘And Injustice for All,' the New Orleans Worker Justice Coalition has prioritized the establishment of the Louisiana Workers' Center to adequately address the long-term impact of the human and civil rights crisis voiced by the workers. The Center will be an independent, but collaborative, community-based organization advocating for and organizing workers in post-Katrina New Orleans in a multi-racial, multi-industry context. 

The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), is a national and international collective of anti-racist, multicultural community organizers and educators dedicated to building an effective movement for social transformation.  

Cultural Work and Educational Reform

The Algebra Project is a national, nonprofit organization that uses mathematics as an organizing tool to ensure quality public school education for every child in America, following the belief that every child has a right to a quality education to succeed in this technology-based society and to exercise full citizenship.

Located in Central City New Orleans, Ashe Cultural Arts Center has established a successful practice of cultural art presentation and production, community development, artist support, and the creation of partnerships and collaborations that elevate creative artists of all kinds.

The Jazz Foundation of America is a national organization dedicated to saving the lives of elder jazz and blues musicians. Since Katrina, it has been there for hundreds of New Orleans Musicians and their families, many with small children, and have served 3,500 emergency cases since the hurricane.

The New Orleans Airlift is a New Orleans-based organization that supports and sustains New Orleans art and culture by facilitating artistic opportunity and cultural exchange both domestically and abroad. The Airlift recognizes a need for new audiences who will help to and sustain and enrich the practice of individual artists while fostering overall appreciation and international recognition for the still beleaguered city and its unique and irreplaceable artistic culture. 

New Orleans Independent Media Center is a collective of independent organizations and independent journalists in and around New Orleans, and clearinghouse of facts and information about New Orleans.

Students at the Center: New Orleans (SAC) is an independent program that works within the Orleans Parish public school system. 

Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools is a group of students in New Orleans who want to rethink and rebuild schools after Hurricane Katrina. Their vision is simple: a great education for every kid in the city, no matter the color of their skin, what neighborhood they stay in or how much money their parents make. No one deserves a voice in rebuilding New Orleans schools more than the students who go to these places every single day.


The federal and state governments bear primary responsibility for disaster recovery, but the response by FEMA to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita was grossly mismanaged and tragically inadequate. With the Gulf Coast now recovering from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and the mass evacuations, the following non governmental relief agencies and community-based organizations -- with records of responsiveness and accountability -- are working on the ground now to provide relief and assistance for Hurricane Gustav evacuees. Please visit their websites to find out how you can help with donations of emergency supplies and funds.

Common Ground Relief is a community-initiated volunteer organization offering assistance, mutual aid and support. Visit the website to find out what supplies are needed in the aftermath of Hurrcane Gustav, and where to send them.

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) has launched the website www.gustavinfo.org in order to provide those affected by the storm, Gulf Coast advocates, and people across the country interested in Gulf Coast issues with the information they need to move forward. The site also provides concrete suggestions for how to directly help local organizations and people impacted by GustavGulf Coast Emergency Response Fund

The Gulf Coast Emergency Response Fund. Despite mass media reporting that Hurricane Gustav spared New Orleans, the hurricane affected communities throughout the Gulf Coast region - from Port Arthur, Texas to Pensacola, Florida. The Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health has received accounts from people on the ground reporting widespread damage, particularly in the coastal low-lying areas in southwestern Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi. Many people continue to be without power, access to clean water and basic supplies. Multiple tornadoes and heavy winds have brought down trees, and structural damage to physical infrastructure is extensive. The GUlf Coast Emergency Response Fund is doing a great job getting supplies where they are needed.

Gustav Solidarity is a new website that has been set up to help spread news about the grassroots, ground-up response to Hurricane Gustav. In addition to news and on the  ground reports, this website identifies grassroots organizations that need your help, now.

Hands on New Orleans is working with local and state agencies to prepare and ensure for a coordinated immediate response. Donations of funds to operate a volunteer reception center and to deploy an early responder team to meet immediate needs are necessary at this time; click here. To donate goods or products click here.

INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence  Your assistance is urgently needed to help low-income women of color and their families have a safe evacuation and return to the city of New Orleans as possible so as not to fall prey to the pushout that has kept so many folks from being able to return to New Orleans since Katrina. Local organizers are using whatever resources and funds at their disposal to help women and their familiess.

The Katrina Information Network's Gustav Action page offers resources to folks looking for information, volunteer opportunities, and what and where to donate, to help Gulf residents in wake of Hurricane Gustav.

Katrina Women’s Response Fund provides strategic support to meet the immediate needs of women of color and low-income women in the Gulf Coast region and ensure that their leadership and priorities are central in both short and long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts. By making grants to organizations throughout the region, the Katrina Women’s Response Fund invests in the crucial infrastructure that promotes the health, safety, and economic well-being of women, their families and communities.

The Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation (LDRF), is expediting funding to local agencies along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. You can help. Visit the LDRF website to find out how: to donate, click here.

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) requests for feeding capacity has now doubled from 310,000 meals per day to more than 600,000 as the Gulf Coast braces for the possibility of a Category 4 Gustav. Some 113 of 115 Southern Baptist Disaster Relief feeding units have been put on alert to mobilize along the Gulf Coast states a day or two in the wake of hurricane landfall. Several larger shelters are at ready in Texas where four Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief feeding units have deployed. Other sites will be determined as landfall nears. 

United Methodist Committee on Relief is prepared long before a disaster strikes-and the 2008 hurricane season is no exception. In each annual conference disaster response personnel are trained and ready to respond in the case of a local disaster. This ensures that someone in close proximity to an affected community is able to be there quickly and to oversee what can often be an extended period of recovery. In the case of a major disaster UMCOR provides consultants and grants to help the annual conference for their disaster response ministry which will be ongoing for years to come. UMCOR also ensures relief supplies are available in the UMCOR Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin Louisiana and in pre-positioned sites across the US.

United Houma National Relief Fund. Tribal communities on the Gulf Coast suffered flooding as well as wind damage and need assistance to rebuild, as well as specific emergency assistance supplies.