In 2020, New Orleans marks the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the 10th anniversary of the BP oil spill. From each disaster, the city has rebuilt, but Black residents have been largely left behind, with six times as many Black households living in poverty than white households. These economic disparities result from unequal recovery from those disasters and an enduring legacy of racial inequity. In a city accustomed to weathering natural and man-made disasters, few were prepared for the logistical consequences of an epidemiological disaster like Covid-19. The current crisis has severely threatened the city’s economy and increased unemployment, especially among the Black community. In response, the city instituted multiple programs to address these economic fallouts immediately. Concurrently, the Office of Economic Development began work on a Generational Economic Development Plan, which seeks to sustain these Covid-19 recovery initiatives and address the history of inequitable racial economics in the city.
To assist with this work, the Office of Economic Development is partnering with FUSE Executive Fellow Shaun Randolph to create a comprehensive framework based on the Generational Economic Development Plan that establishes the city’s long-term economic development portfolio. The portfolio will look past Covid-19 recovery to build intergenerational wealth in communities of color, diversifying and strengthening New Orleans’s economy for decades to come.