While the city prepares an official series of events from Aug. 25-31 as an official commemoration of the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a parallel event has been organized by local and national African-American officials. Titled "Care for Community: A Weeklong Commemoration of the 5th Katrina Anniversary," the event is hosted by former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, the Rev. Al Sharpton and radio hosts Warren Ballentine and Cedric Bailey.
On Aug. 31, the "Love Louisiana Festival," a gospel concert, will take place at Life Center Cathedral in Algiers, but the major event is a black-tie cocktail fundraiser, "Hailing the Heroes of the Gulf Coast," with a varied group of honorees including musician Lenny Kravitz, CNN's Anderson Cooper, former New Orleans City Councilman Oliver Thomas, filmmaker Spike Lee, local political consultant Vincent Sylvain, actor Brad Pitt and many more. The beneficiary of the fundraiser is not listed on the invitation, and as of press time, spokeswoman ChiQ Simms had not responded to Gambit's query.