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Four forums to be held in communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey

Join the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service this month in Rosenberg, Victoria or Beaumont to hear from people who have walked in your shoes, who have survived a disaster and come back even stronger and more resilient. Guest speakers from around the country who have lead their communities through the long-haul of disaster recovery will share the good and the bad, insights about the road ahead and stories of community-led success. In the aftermath of Harvey, many communities sense the possibility of long-term opportunities to do things differently and are looking for a game plan. There is no formula for recovery, so what have other communities done and how could that apply to what our communities can do?

This event is a chance to hear first-hand accounts of home-grown, realistic solutions for disaster recovery and to network with peers. For additional Fourm information, contact Steven Mikulencak, smikulencak@tamu.edu and Charriss York, cyork@tamu.edu.

Please RSVP at no cost at https://HarveyCommunitiesForums.eventbrite.com.

-- April 16, Lamar Institute of Technology, Beaumont, TX

-- April 17, Rosenberg Civic Center; Rosenberg, TX

-- April 23, Victoria Educational Gardens Pavilion, Victoria, TX

-- April 24, Lone Star Convention Center, Conroe, TX

Joining us to share their stories of community recovery and rebuilding are:

James Crowell, president, Biloxi Branch NAACP and member of the National NAACP Board of Directors. Crowell will share his experiences in rallying community collaboration and volunteerism through faith-based organizations after Hurricane Katrina..

Windell Curole, general manager, South Laforche Levee District, Louisiana. Curole will discuss his work as part of a group to implement a comprehensive hurricane protection system and coastal restoration project in Louisiana.

David Dodd, president, DADCO, Louisiana. Dodd will speak about his work in both disaster and economic recovery, including work in New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy, as well as in Oklahoma after the 2013 tornadoes/storms and Louisiana after the 2016 floods.

Reggie Dupree, executive director of the largest non-federally funded flood control system in the nation, Terrebonne Levee and Construction District, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. Dupre will discuss implementation of a comprehensive long-term hurricane protection system and coastal restoration project for this parish.

Christine Files, board president, Bastrop County Long-Term Recovery Team and Disaster Leadership Team. Files will discuss her experiences and lessons learned from response to and recovery from seven disasters – floods and wildfires – in Bastrop County, Texas, since Sept. 2011.

Dierdre Hewitt, outdoor recreational planner, National Park Service. Hewitt will discuss her work with communities in northeast Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina toward developing ecotourism projects to spur economic and community growth.

Dr. C.J. Huff, former superintendent of schools, Joplin, Missouri. Huff will speak about the EF-5 tornado that destroyed six schools and damaged four others while he was superintendent in Joplin.

Gerard Landry, Mayor of Denhamsprings, Louisiana. Landry, who was in office when flooding struck his community twice in 2016, will discuss how he is now leading a community engagement planning process to develop and implement projects to rebuild a better Denhamsprings.

Linda Langston, former county supervisor, Linn County, Iowa. Langston will talk about the Linn County floods of 2008 and her involvement in response and recovery in the areas of social services, public health, post-disaster policy and community engagement.

John Young, former parish president, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Young will present on post-Katrina recovery and the challenges of attracting and keeping businesses in the affected area.