Essence Announces Initiative for Families Affected by Hurricane Katrina

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) announced the creation of The ESSENCE Initiative for Families: Rebuilding Lives in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, along with a $250,000 contribution to African-American-led churches and community organizations in the affected regions.

The Initiative, funded in conjunction with ESSENCE’s parent company, Time Warner Inc., was announced by ECI president Michelle Ebanks. It is designed to provide immediate relief and long-term recovery for displaced African-American residents in the Gulf Coast region, who have been disproportionately affected by the devastation.

The first recipients that will benefit from the Initiative include the Urban League of Greater New Orleans; Houston Area Urban League; NAACP-Houston; Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas; Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority, Alexandria, Louisiana; Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church, Houston; Household of Faith Family Worship Church International, New Orleans; Mount Hebron Missionary Baptist Church, Garland, Texas; Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Houston; and New Deliverance Church, Inc., Houston.

“ESSENCE is deeply saddened by this immense catastrophe,” said Ebanks. “The Initiative was created to support churches and community organizations that are on the front lines helping those whose lives have been devastated.”

“Now more than ever, triage among government, business and communities is needed,” said ESSENCE editorial director Susan L. Taylor. “We must work through our churches and community organizations to secure our people and help them start a new life. This is the proud tradition of African Americans.”

ESSENCE will announce other assistance plans in the weeks and months ahead.

In addition to these efforts, http://www.essence.com will offer news and information on the hurricane and its aftermath, with stories of heartbreak, heroism and hope. The site will include daily reports from journalists in the field and from everyday people struggling under the weight of extraordinary circumstances. The site will also provide important polling data on the African-American perspective. And just as Essence has had a rich and important history of telling our stories over the last 35 years, we will continue to do that in the pages of the magazine as events unfold. We will encourage fair and balanced reporting by the media and sustained action long after the cameras have moved on to another story.

Via PRNewswire

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