Civil rights groups helping after Hurricane Katrina

Civil rights groups have diverted much of their attention to victims of Hurricane Katrina, helping with emergency relief and advocating for poor and minority survivors during reconstruction.

Some examples:

Asian American Justice Center: Staff attorney working full time for new policies mandating language access at the Red Cross and federal relief agencies for Asian immigrants during disasters.

Leadership Council on Civil Rights: Officials fighting the suspension of federal policies during recovery, including affirmative action rules for awarding contracts and rules that laborers be paid prevailing wages.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: Circulating a petition calling for a federally funded victims compensation fund; provided emergency help to 2,200 survivors and reunited 100 families.

National Council of La Raza: Fighting deportation of displaced undocumented Hispanics who registered for assistance; providing Spanish-language translation for victims seeking federal aid.

National Urban League: Established the Urban League Katrina Fund with $2.1 million (Ђ1.7 million) already earmarked to help build houses, find jobs and housing for evacuees.

RainbowPUSH Coalition: Launched RainbowPUSH Coalition Return Home, busing evacuees back to New Orleans, helping them get jobs and housing, AP reports.

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