News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

"We Shall Not Be Moved" Spotlights New Orleans' Rebuilding Efforts

| August 9, 2012

Research Fellow Tells Recovery Stories Through Voices of Residents

We Shall Not Be Moved, released in August 2012, is an account of how five New Orleans neighborhoods rebuilt in the years following Hurricane Katrina. Focusing on recovery efforts in the hard-hit neighborhoods of Broadmoor, Hollygrove, Lakeview, the Lower Ninth Ward, and Village de l'Est, author Tom Wooten tells the story of this rebirth through the eyes, voices, and experiences of residents who refused to give up in the wake of one of the country’s worst disasters. With a  foreword written by Walter Isaacson, the book is getting rave reviews from many quarters, including Paul Farmer who says it is “compelling beyond belief, deserving the broadest possible readership, and mandatory reading for urban planners and community organizers.” Farmer says it is a “tour-de-force about one American city and what it means to fight for the survival of your hometown.”

Wooten is a research fellow with the Belfer Center’s Broadmoor Project, an initiative launched by the Center in 2007 to harness the Kennedy School’s unique convening power and technical expertise to contribute to the redevelopment of the Broadmoor neighborhood. Wooten was part of the first cohort of students sent to Broadmoor to help the neighborhood gather data, launch a charter school, open a public library, and continue to develop and implement a sustainable redevelopment plan. Wooten returned to New Orleans as a full-time resident in 2008 on a project-sponsored fellowship to conduct research on the recovery and redevelopment process from the perspective of residents in several neighborhoods. That work provided the basis for We Shall Not Be Moved.  

Wooten, whose research for the Broadmoor Project is on the municipal management of recovery projects, the concept of a “tipping point” in residential recovery, and the Louisiana Recovery Authority, is currently working on a Belfer Center effort to publish case-studies related to New Orleans' recovery. He will begin a PhD program in sociology at Harvard University in the fall of 2012.

Additional information on We Shall Not Be Moved is available here.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Wooten, Tom. “"We Shall Not Be Moved" Spotlights New Orleans' Rebuilding Efforts.” News, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, August 9, 2012.

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