Make It Right
PO Box 58009
New Orleans, LA 70158
• Lower Ninth Ward
President / Director:
Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. The slow reaction to the initial emergency and to the ongoing crisis exposed troubling realities about the response capabilities of the American government when the citizens of our most culturally diverse city were in desperate need of help.
When Brad Pitt visited the Lower 9th Ward for the first time after the storm, he was shocked by what he saw: the remnants of people’s lives strewn across the streets and an entire neighborhood torn apart and turned upside down. Pitt was even more disturbed by the lack of a clear plan to address the situation. Many were quietly saying there was no chance the Lower 9th Ward would ever be re-built.
In a series of community meetings, residents of the Lower 9th Ward told Pitt about the challenges their community faced, both before and after the storm. The rising cost of energy placed a strain on the low-income households of the neighborhood, and residents expressed concern about worsening environmental conditions. Their concerns have been validated by many scientists, who have concluded that climate change is increasing the frequency and strength of hurricanes, resulting in the erosion of wetlands and barrier islands that once protected the coast. The residents of the Lower 9th Ward told Pitt that, while their terrible crisis had exposed their vulnerability, Katrina had also created an opportunity: to build something better than what had existed before.
Inspired by the courage and hope of the residents he met, Pitt resolved to do whatever he could to help them rebuild. Just as importantly, he wanted to help recreate and nurture the unique culture and spirit of the Lower 9th Ward, which symbolizes the soul of New Orleans. He understood instinctively that a New Orleans rebuilt without the Lower 9th Ward would never be whole.
He began by working with Global Green to sponsor an architecture competition aimed at generating ideas about how to rebuild sustainably. Pitt worked with local community leaders as well as experts from around the world to develop viable ideas for the Lower 9th Ward. That successful project inspired Pitt’s new focus: Make It Right.
The Mission of Make It Right is clear: it is to be a catalyst for redevelopment of the Lower 9th Ward, by building a neighborhood comprised of safe and healthy homes that are inspired by Cradle to Cradle thinking, with an emphasis on a high quality of design, while preserving the spirit of the community’s culture. The goal is to accomplish this quickly, so that the first residents can begin returning to their homes as soon as possible.
The Make it Right core team assembled by Pitt includes experts such as:
William McDonough + Partners, a world leader in environmental architecture
Cherokee Gives Back Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Cherokee, a firm that specializes in remediation and sustainable redevelopment of environmentally impaired properties
Graft, an innovative architecture firm that Pitt has collaborated with on projects around the world
Trevor Neilson and Nina Killeen, advisors to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation
This core team is working in tandem with leaders of a local, neighborhood led coalition of not-for-profits, and has expanded to include renowned local, national and international architecture firms, to ensure that the focus on — and commitment to — the Lower 9th Ward is demonstrably diverse and reflective of Brad Pitt’s dedication to giving this critical neighborhood access to the best expertise available. In short, they are working to “Make It Right.”
Holy Cross Neighborhood Association
New Life Intracoastal Community Development Corporation
All Congregations Together (A.C.T)
Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED)
Lower Ninth Ward Homeowners Association
Lower 9th Ward ACORN
Lower 9th Ward Neighborhood Empowerment Network Association (NENA)
Lower 9th Ward Health Clinic
Lower 9th Ward Neighborhood Council, Inc.
Common Ground Relief
For more information about Make It Right and any of our programs, feel free to contact us at: