New Orleans Stories

I hand-sewed a final seam on something the other day, and turned on a podcast from The Moth to listen to while doing it. I just reached over to my computer and clicked the most recent one to play. The host introduced The Moth, what they do, etc, and then said “Today’s story is from Mack McClendon.” Mack McClendon! I know that guy.

See, in early January I took 9 students from the University of Vermont to New Orleans on a Jewish Funds For Justice service learning trip. For a week we volunteered, heard from speakers, took tours, ran sessions, and had great conversations about race, class, history, activism, and social justice.

One of the organizations we worked with was The Lower 9th Ward Village–a community centre started by Mack McClendon.

Mack Talking to the Students

Mack was incredibly generous with his time and stories. In this photo above, the UVM students are asking him questions and recording his responses.

In his Moth story, Mack speaks about the building that the Lower 9th Ward Village has: how he set his sights on it, and how he acquired it for use as a community centre. It was incredible to hear him tell this tale on the internet radio, to everyone, and also have a personal experience with the building, and a sense of pride in having seen the UVM students use that building to build relationships and build their own community .

Here’s the building from the backyard:
Lower 9th Ward Village Building

Listen yourself: Listen to Mack.

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