IRONTON, LA STILL CONTINUES TO EXPERIENCE LONG LASTING EFFECTS OF HURRICANE IDA
Footage from Ironton, LA OCT 26, 2021
Ironton, a small town located in Plaquemines Parish, LA, has continuously been neglected since Hurricane Ida, category 4 hurricane, hit on August 29th, 2021. The town has experienced absolute devastation with no immediate resolve in site. St. Vincent de Paul has made it their goal to help and assist the town in any ways they can, but they still need help.
Ironton, Louisiana was founded in 1880, and this small but courageous community has been fighting for equality ever since. From the beginning, the people of Ironton have been denied rights and services given to other Plaquemines Parish residents. But the people of Ironton have persisted, and in the 1970s they were instrumental in making gains for Plaquemines' black residents by winning local political representation previously denied to them. Ironton residents also had to fight for basic services like electricity and running water, which the community did not receive until the 1980s. Ironton was one of the last places in the United States to get this basic amenity, and middle-aged residents still remember having to collect rainwater to ensure their families had a clean water source. The people of Ironton continue to fight for expansion of the levee system to include protection for their community, which was just devastated by a major hurricane for the third time in the last 20 years.
As Vincentians, we are called to seek out the forgotten and make sure they are no longer ignored. Right now this means advocacy for our neighbors who have been systematically oppressed. The first step of advocacy work is the most important: listening. The people we wish to help, not ourselves, are the experts on the type of help they need. It is by listening to our neighbors that we learn what they need, and what type of assistance they are seeking. If we don't listen to our neighbors, we risk making assumptions about how we can help that may not address our neighbors actual needs or desired outcome. If we don't listen, our efforts may not be helpful at all.So we ask you to listen to the people of Ironton.
Listen, and help if you are able.
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