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Who Will Lead In The 'New' New Orleans?

Lisa Richardson, left, is the Director of Research & Evaluation at the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies. Denese Shervington, right, is its President & CEO.
StoryCorps
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Lisa Richardson, left, is the Director of Research & Evaluation at the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies. Denese Shervington, right, is its President & CEO.

For a couple of years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ narrative belonged to the people who endured the storm and those who helped rebuild after it. But as time went on and the city recovered, things changed. New demographics emerged and people started talking about “the new New Orleans.”

These changes left many people, including psychiatrist DeneseShervington and urban anthropologist Lisa Richardson, wondering about the city’s new identity and their place in it.

Not only has Denese relieved mental trauma in New Orleans, but she's also traveled internationally to assist after traumatic disasters. In 2011, she visited Japan after the Tohoku tsunami, the costliest natural disaster in the world.

denese_lisa_onlinecontent.mp3
Click here for Denese Shervington's memories of her trip to Japan.

The Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies will host Community Uprising: Katrina, Resilience, Resistance & Culture After 10 Years on August 20-21, 2015 at the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music; registration is open. This interview was recorded at StoryCorps’ mobile studio in New Orleans.

This story has been revised to reflect the following correction: The original text of this story referred the participants as "social workers." Ms. Shervington is a psychiatrist, and Ms. Richardson is an urban anthropologist.

Thomas Walsh is an independent radio producer and audio engineer who lives in New Orleans. You'll see him around town recording music, podcasts, short films, live events and radio features. He's practically glued to his headphones. A movie geek to his core, he's seen every film listed on the American Film Institute's 100 Years...100 Movies and would love to talk to you about them.

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