Overlooked Voices: Hurricane Katrina Mississippi Black Women Survivors Resilience and Recovery

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Ophera A. Davis, Ph.D.
The Untold Stories 15 Years Later of Overcoming the Challenges

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - nvtip -- Unfortunately, natural disasters happen and all we can do is plan, evacuate, or take cover and wait for the storm out, deal with the aftermath, and start the rebuilding process. The 2021 hurricane season started on June 1. People who live in coastal areas need to get prepared now. According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the worst hurricanes usually occur between September to November, but in May, Tropical disturbance Ana became the 1st named storm this season, so the earlier months can be catastrophic. NOAA predicts another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. U.S. coastal cities can expect to see between 13-20 named storms this year.

Of course, you remember Hurricane Katrina, one of the most destructive disasters in American history. Many watched as Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans as thousands lost their lives, homes, jobs, and everything due to the impact in the tourist city. But, most people have never heard that Mississippi residents were affected by Hurricane Katrina too? The devastation in Mississippi was catastrophic! In fact, the infrastructure including roadways, homes, buildings, schools, businesses, state and federal sites were leveled. Unfortunately, the media did not talk about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on Mississippi or her citizens.  So, what happened to the Mississippians who had to deal with Hurricane Katrina? How did Mississippians face the approaching storm, did they evacuate, did they return after the disaster, how did they deal with the lack of media coverage, and where are they today?

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Dr. Ophera A. Davis is a public Intellectual, an interdisciplinary social scientist, an affiliate faculty member who taught at several colleges in Boston for over 20 years and she is a "Disaster expert." For the past fifteen years, Dr. Davis's research project has chronicled the lives of black women who survived Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi. Her work is unique in several ways. First, her project is the 'only non-fiction single group of Mississippi Hurricane Katrina Black women survivors' to date on black women. Two, her study is the first work on natural disasters and the recovery of Hurricane Katrina Black women survivors. There is scant data on women disaster survivors in the U.S. and even less on the recovery of black women. Third, Dr. Davis' work fills several gaps in disaster research on women, black disaster survivors and their recovery after catastrophes.

Hurricane Katrina left a long-standing impact on many. There are thousands of stories told about New Orleans survivors, but the stories of Mississippians are ignored. Dr. Davis is releasing the obscured stories from her longitudinal study in her book, "Overlooked Voices Hurricane Katrina Mississippi Black Women Survivors Resilience and Recovery".

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The book analyzes these women's lives over ten years and describes their experiences.  Also, it explores the lessons they learned and examines the women's buoyancy while discussing how they overcame challenges after Hurricane Katrina. In the book, each woman describes aspects of their resilience and recovery since the disaster. It serves as a platform to bring the hidden narratives and voices of these women to the forefront.

Dr. Davis has given conference talks on six continents on 'Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi women Survivors,' and career Counseling Practices in Multicultural populations. Also, she received the American Counseling Association 'Blue Ribbon' award for her work on Hurricane Katrina Black Women Survivors.

Overlooked Voices: Hurricane Katrina Mississippi Black Women Survivors Resilience and Recovery will be launched in Summer 2021.

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