Race, Gender and Class

David Abramson, Richard Garfield, and Irwin Redlener, The Recovery Divide: Poverty and the Widening Gap Among Mississippi Children and Families Affected by Hurricane Katrina, National Center for Disaster Preparedness & The Children’s Health Fund, Feb. 2, 2007

This study finds the following: the working poor were most vulnerable to Katrina; children have experienced persistent emotional stress; parents and caregivers have reported exceedingly high rates of mental health distress and disability; the rates of uninsured children in Mississippi have drastically increased; and children are becoming more disengaged from school as evidenced by rates of absenteeism.


Erica Williams, Olga Sorokina, Avis Jones-DeWeever, and Heidi Hartmann., The Women of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast: Multiple Disadvantages and Key Assets for Recovery. Part II. Gender, Race, and Class in the Labor Market, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Aug. 2006, Briefing Paper

Hurricane Katrina pushed those living on the financial edge over it—leaving them without housing, employment or family. This paper addresses the disadvantages experienced by women, particularly of color, in areas affected by Katrina and Rita as well as where those women live now.


Manuel Pastor, Robert D. Bullard, James K. Boyce, Alice Fothergill, Rachel Morello-Frosch and Beverly Wright, In the Wake of the Storm: Environment, Disaster, and Race After Katrina, Russell Sage Foundation, 2006

"Environmental justice, generally, is focused on the disparities of environmental health and conditions in parts of the United States.  Specifically, environmental quality in general seems lower in poorer, minority areas.  This report reviews the existing literature and research on the relationship between race, the environment, and large-scale disasters.  The authors make three central points.  First, environmental inequities by race and often by income seem to be an established part of the American urban landscape—Katrina simply tore back the cover on this unfortunate fact.  Second, disasters reflect what might be termed acute risks that, like the chronic risks targeted by environmental justice analysis, are often distributed in a way that reflects established chasms of power.  Third, this uneven distribution of risk may impose heavy and unfair costs on certain populations and seems as well to lead to an overall underinvestment in prevention and preparedness, thus increasing burdens for society as a whole.  Making environmental justice principles part of preparedness and environmental policy, in short, is not simply the right thing to do—it is the prudent thing to do."


Child Poverty in States Hit by Hurricane Katrina, National Center for Children in Poverty; Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, Sept. 2005

"The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina exposed glaring truths about poverty in America.  Child poverty and material hardship are not problems experienced by the states in Katrina’s path—they plague Americans around the country.  Just as residents began the clean-up process, the U.S. Census Bureau released numbers showing that in 2004, the poverty rate rose for the fourth straight year in a row—37 million Americans live below the poverty line.  In the wake of this national tragedy, poverty should once again become a topic of national concern.  Now is the time to focus on how to make sure no more children are left behind.  This article, addresses these challenges."