Dear Partners, Friends, and Colleagues,
On April 27th, 2011, the central and northern parts of the state of Alabama were hit by dozens of tornadoes. According to a paper by Dr. Samuel Addy and Ahmad Ijaz of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama titled, Preliminary Economic and Fiscal Impacts of the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes on Alabama, 43 of the state's 67 counties were declared federal disaster areas; 240 lives were lost; more than 2,200 were injured; and about 14,000 homes were either totally destroyed or declared uninhabitable.
The paper also noted that Tuscaloosa County was one of the worst smashed where the tornado fully flattened many businesses and residential communities in the middle of the city.
After seeing the damage in storm-wracked neighborhoods,
President Obama said that he had "never seen devastation like this" and promised the residents that "we're going to make sure you're not forgotten."
On June 29th, 2011, I was invited to lead a participatory community-based Workshop at the University of Alabama on "Rebuilding Sustainable Communities for children and their families after the April 2011 Tornado in Tuscaloosa, Jefferson County (Birmingham, Pleasant Grove and Fultondale) and environs."
Professor Rick Houser has prepared a report on the Workshop which has been sent out to over 50 schools and a number of mayors including the superintendent of education in Alabama. Professor Houser is the Head of the Department of Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology & Counseling at the University of Alabama.
The links below (bottom right) lead to the press coverage of the event.
Founding Director & Professor