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New climate initiatives from Big Freedia, the Hip Hop Caucus and New Orleans youth

Members of the Hip Hop Caucus at Essence Fest 2024

As gun violence persists in the Gulf South, community members in Shreveport, Louisiana are reckoning with last year's mass shootings and murders. And locals are pointing to the area's history of mass incarceration as a contributing factor.

In part two of our series on gun violence in the region, the Gulf States Newsroom's Kat Stromquist traveled to Northern Louisiana and met residents who say decades of locking people up hasn't worked.

In the U.S., Black Americans are 40 percent more likely to live in areas where the chance of dying from climate change is higher than average. They're also disproportionately affected by environmental pollution. That's why the national nonprofit, The Hip Hop Caucus, is trying to leverage hip-hop culture to raise awareness.

The Coastal Desk’s Halle Parker went to last weekend’s Essence Fest to learn more about the caucus’s latest initiatives. She also spoke with Big Freedia to learn why the iconic New Orleans performer is joining the fight against petrochemicals.

Big Freedia isn’t the only New Orleanian working on creative solutions to combat climate change. In fact, a new $50,000grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies will invest in environmental initiatives led by youth.

Reporter for Verite News Safura Syed joins us for more on the program and how to apply.

This summer has been a scorcher, with multiple heat records already broken. But thanks to a new initiative from the Biden administration, some public housing residents might be getting financial assistance to help pay those expensive summertime AC bills.

NPR’s Ayesha Rascoe spoke with national correspondent Jennifer Ludden for more.


Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Karen Henderson. Our managing producer is Alana Schrieber. Matt Bloom and Aubry Procell are assistant producers. Our engineer is Garrett Pittman.

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Karen Henderson is an award-winning journalist whose stories have aired nationally on NPR.
Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WRKF from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.