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Two Colorado State University women ‑ one a professor, the other a researcher ‑ have received a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, and a like sum from CSU’s College of Liberal Arts, to study the effects that a loss of culture has on these evacuees.

Kate Browne, an expert in Afro-Creole populations and professor of anthropology, has teamed with Lori Peek, a disaster researcher in the Department of Sociology, to document their stories.

“Evacuees feel a profound sense of attachment to New Orleans: its Creole food, its music, its flair for celebration and even the way of talking were wildly different than what they have found in other areas,” Browne said.

How evacuees fared from the Gulf Coast is reflected in the proximity to their former social networks.

The researchers write that many evacuees came from a culture based in French Creole roots in which celebration, regional cuisine and extended family ties are highly valued.

While not enough time has elapsed for evacuees to pull their lives together, the misconception that life for evacuees should be returning to normal only compounds their troubles.

Click here for the Rocky Mountain News article.

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