Youth Activists Step Up in New Orleans

Posted on May 25, 2010

Part of the miraculous story of the neighborhood called Versailles in New Orleans rising from the floodwaters to rebuild itself and sustain its citizens after Hurricane Katrina was the unprecedented leadership role that the younger generation took. Traditionally, the Vietnamese culture in both Vietnam and in this community’s adopted home in New Orleans reserved moral, ethical, and political leadership to the older generations. 

In the wake of Katrina, and now in the midst of a cataclysmic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the younger generation is proving to be an indispensible link between the English-speaking establishment and the older generations of Vietnamese immigrants who, because of a language and cultural divide, cannot effectively speak for themselves. In this web-exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, watch how the youth in Versailles stepped into a void and organized their community to rebuild its demolished infrastructure, and then fight off a cynical political ploy to locate a toxic waste dump next to their neighborhood: Watch A Village Called Versailles tonight on Independent Lens on PBS (check local listings).



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