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Freedom Fighter of the Month

Common Ground Collective

The Common Ground Collective began as a handful of concerned medics, nurses and activists who were horrified by the damage of Hurricane Katrina, and the equally devastating neglect that faced the survivors.

Four people from across the country, traveled down to the struggling New Orleans neighborhood known as Algiers, and began going door to door, asking if anyone needed medical treatment. This group of street medics grew, and worked with the community to create an impromptu health clinic inside a local mosque. There are now over 700 volunteers, both from inside and outside the community, who see patients, maintain the clinic and keep it running.

One of Common Grounds’ mottos is “solidarity, not charity.” It’s not an organization that drops in, hands out supplies, lectures the population and then leaves. The folks at Common Ground stay for extended periods of time, get to know the people in the community, and are trying to build an institution that will last even after they are gone.

To learn more about the Common Ground Collective, visit their website at CommonGroundRelief.org, and make sure to watch the short video about their New Olreans efforts here. You can also read a feature article about the group in a recent issue of Mother Jones magazine.