Back now from New Orleans for the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and Rising Tide X —refreshed and still feeling that positive, creative energy and will to survive and rebuild that we felt at our first  Rising Tide (the second annual) in 2007.
We shall see whether there will be any more Rising Tides; if not, the ten-year run ends on a high note, and everyone involved has many reasons to be proud and grateful. If RTX  does turn out to be the last one—and even if it doesn’t—the organizers, from 2006 to the present, deserve congratulations and gratitude from the people of New Orleans and vicinity and indeed around the United States. Year after year, since the legendary Geek Dinners in the summer of 2006 (pix here  and here ), the organizers—all volunteers—have worked overtime to arrange interesting panel discussions on subjects that matter: on the environment, local schools, public safety, Louisiana politics and sports, the BP spill, HBO’s Treme, flood protection, and much more. They have brought in such substantial guest speakers as this year’s civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson, historian John M. Barry, Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré, actor and activist Harry Shearer, New Orleans geographer Richard Campanella, and and many more. (Click here  for RT history.)
It shows what a solid public platform Rising Tide has become, that on Saturday, about halfway through the environmental panel, “Category 5 General” Russel Honoré appeared as a surprise guest speaker to join the panel: Anne Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Bob Marshall, and Jonathan Henderson of the Gulf Restoration Network. (General Honoré was RT8’s keynote  speaker in 2013.) More about the environmental panel to follow.
Thanks are due also to Xavier University for generously hosting the last five conferences (since 2011), and to all the benefactors who have contributed financially to support the conference; their generosity made it possible to keep the ticket prices low—this last conference was free—and to defray the travel and lodging costs for guest speakers.
Rising Tides Through the Years
Rising Tide 7 Is Sat. Sept. 22 at Xavier  (2012)
Live-Blogging from Rising Tide 6  (2011)
Live-Blogging from Rising Tide 5 in New Orleans  (2010)
Making Blogging Sexy: Rising Tide 2  (2007)