Dr. Esi Bani of the University of Louisville

I am certain that we have all been watching or hearing about the devastating events in New Orleans this week, and have probably began to offer whatever cash or in kind assistance we can. However, I hope we, especially members of the African Studies Association (ASA) can offer some concerted help, in particular to our colleagues at Tulane, Loyola and other New Orleans institutions, as well as to the people of the city. I so fondly remember the hospitality that the people of New Orleans and the universities showered on us last November during the Annual Meeting. I can't believe many of those places we visited and performers we met are in dire straits today. But it is true. Apart from contributions to alleviate immediate humanitarian relief needs, I propose we individually and collectively offer to help our colleagues at the affected institutions with specific needs that they have. Money? Help replacing Book collections or research materials/samples destroyed by flooding? Need to temporarily relocate ongoing research to another institution? And other specific requests that we can address. My university for instance, The University of Louisville, in Kentucky ( www.louisville.edu ) is offering students from affected universities in Louisiana, Mississippi & Alabama the opportunity to enroll here this semester. Other Universities are also doing the same. I am certain many of you have thoughtful suggestions about how we can assist our brothers and sisters who have lost everything.