Mr. Morial, son of former New Orleans mayor Ernest Morial and brother of National Urban League president and former mayor Marc Morial, joined 40 other local leaders from nonprofits and recovery organizations for a meeting one week after the earthquake. They strategized on how their expertise and resources could help Haiti on a range of issues, from emergency medical treatment to long-term housing.
The coalition's first effort is the Haiti Emergency Village Project. On Jan. 30, an eight-person team flew from New Orleans to Haiti to assist local hospitals and set up a base camp as part of a still-developing plan to build housing for earthquake survivors.
Backers of the project include the Make It Right foundation, the nonprofit founded by actor Brad Pitt, which is redeveloping parts of the Lower Ninth Ward.
Those working on the Haiti Emergency Village Project hope it can serve as a model for quickly building sustainable housing in the wake of disaster.
"We know what is involved in recovering from a disaster like this and hope to be a part of what we expect will be a large and ongoing response from New Orleans," says Flozell Daniels Jr., CEO of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation. "There's an undeniable relationship between New Orleans and Haiti, and it makes sense for us to get involved."