In September 2005, Institute staff visited the storm-ravaged Mississippi Gulf Coast. In this initial visit, the staff met members of the Turkey Creek community in North Gulfport, which was founded by freed slaves in 1866. Since that initial visit, the Institute has helped Turkey Creek Community Initiatives (TCCI), a local non-profit, reach out to other grassroots organizations to help create a coastal coalition of organizations called Steps, devoted to a healthy, socially just, sustainable recovery. More specifically, the Institute has served TCCI through community outreach and grantwriting. A documentary film on Turkey Creek called “Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek” tells the story of the Turkey Creek community and its journey after Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon (BP) oil spill.

Click here to download the Winter issue of the Steps Coalition newsletter. This six–page newsletter is a PDF file, which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

In 2013, the Institute hosted a Welcome Table retreat for Steps and members of the Mississippi Collaborative, a group focused on impacts of the Deepwater Horizon (BP) oil spill on the Vietnamese-American Fisher community. In April 2014, the Institute facilitated a meeting between fisher-family representatives and agency decision makers in the BP settlement, the first bilingual meeting in the history of the Welcome Table program.

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