The Frederick Douglass High School building in New Orleans’ Upper Ninth Ward was one of a handful of locations the Essence Festival chose as host sites for its day of community service on Thursday.

According to an article on, a team of volunteers brought stacks of chairs and sorted books in the library, getting the building ready for KIPP Renaissance High School to move in next month.

The day of service at KIPP was like a snapshot of the work that has taken place across New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“I don’t think there’s any city in America that has suffered as much as we have suffered and as broadly,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu told TIME last week, naming storms including Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav.

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