Lending support & critical information for hurricane recovery

Disaster impact on subgroups of community: African American women 

Yajaira Ayala, University of Delaware, and Bill Anderson Fellow


Innovation and Description: Reframing Reality: An analysis of the experiences of resilience and vulnerability of Black women

Through this project we are learning the different challenges Black women are facing after disastrous events, as well as the strategies they are implementing to keep themselves and their families safe. With the assistance of the Pauline Hurst Mercy Center, we were able to interview 29 women to learn about their recovery experiences after Hurricane Laura devastated Lake Charles, LA. Data is currently being analyzed to present findings to the community.

Other Participants:

The Pauline Hurst Mercy Center

Primary Disaster Justice Benefits:

By connecting interview data with news paper articles, government reports, and other information provided by the Pauline Hurst Mercy Center, as well as the intellectual support of the Disaster Justice Network, the lived experiences of everyday women teach us about the impact of government and non-profit organizations’ assistance during and after disasters. More importantly, it illustrates the additional burdens historically marginalized communities face during the recovery process.

Secondary Disaster Justice Benefits:

During these conversation with Black women, they were also able to point what vulnerability, resilience, and recovery mean to them and their communities. Ideas which, at times, stand in opposition to research and policies implemented at the federal and local levels.

Would you recommend others (disaster survivors, disaster-impacted communities) learn more about the activity, project or program to consider adoption of a similar one?


What refinements additional to the ones you have implemented would you recommend others consider if they wish to adopt the activity, project or program?

Additional implementations for a project like this include more on the ground work with community organizations, their partners, as well as more on the ground engagement with the local community.