Defend New Orleans: Assignment 1

25 نوفمبر

Part 1:

Defend New Orleans

“Defend New Orleans continues to evolve and maintain relevance. As things continue to decline or remain unimproved, we feel that it is as important as ever to fight for our city at home and to show people around the world what is really going on in New Orleans today. We see no end to the need for Defend New Orleans and no limit to what we can accomplish.”
-Jac Currie

The Organization

Defend New Orleans started in 2003 as a T-shirt design company created by Jac Currie in 2003. Originally, DNO was created by and for friends as a celebration of local pride.  After Katrina, there was a need to guard the city from aggressive homogenizing forces who wished to exploit the city without a care for its intricate history.  It was at this time that Defend New Orleans stepped up as a subversive protest movement. Since then, the purpose of the brand has evolved into preserving the city.

The slogan was never meant to be taken literally, but rather was a general statement regarding the city. The brand has an appeal, especially to the youth of New Orleans, that has united the community by creating a new ‘I Heart NY’ shirt.  The simple desire to make a difference and maintain the culture of New Orleans sparked a passion that caught like fire.  Soon hundreds of bathroom mirrors, walls, and cop cars all bore the now-iconic graphic. Two stores, Turncoats, in the bohemian Lower Garden District, and Rocks Off, a record store on Magazine Street, began carrying the merchandise to an ever-growing base of like-minded locals who were ready to fight back to save their city.

There was a movie created about the maker of DNO called “No Place Like Home”. It is about his first trip back to New Orleans after the hurricane hit.


Defend New Orleans makes money by selling merchandise and then gives all the proceeds to various charities.

Main People Involved

Jac Currie (founder)

Paul Cianciulli (co-founder)

Promoted by Ellen DeGeneres

Drew Stubbs


Defend New Orleans donates to a wide variety of local organizations including: New Orleans Musicians Clinic, Save Our Coast, Renew Our Music, and Sweet Home New Orleans, Habitat for Humanity, the New Orleans Restoration Fund and the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).



Part 2:


Cultural Design

The t-shirts that DNO sells are very culturally aware. As we mentioned in our first post, t-shirts are a huge current fad amongst this generation. DNO also books performers that our generation will appreciate and respond well to.

Social Networking

The purpose of DNO is to make connections amongst the people of New Orleans in order to solve social, economic and cultural issues. DNO makes social connections with vendors, artists, performers and other charities in order to spread their ideas.


Reviving Culture vs. Providing Need

One of the important negotiations of Defend New Orleans is the idea of  reviving the culture and customs of New Orleans versus providing help to residents of New Orleans who are in need.  How should an organization such as Defend New Orleans go about finding a balance between the two arguments?  DNO started as more a statement of cultural support than an actual call to action, but now has grown and developed into an organization that works to promote everything they love about the city of New Orleans.  The Defend New Orleans Blog, is particularly interesting because it is a source of information about events happening in the city, as well as cultural stories about food and traditions.

Awareness vs. Action

Defend New Orleans looks to raise awareness about fading culture in the city, as well as take action to revive the unique culture of New Orleans.  There lies a negotiation in how much money, time, and effort is to be spent raising awareness versus actually taking action.  DNO has combated this issue through selling a variety of  “Defend New Orleans” shirts and other products.  The shirts not only raise awareness when people wear them, but also bring in money so that action can be taken.  A majority of the proceeds from these sales go to sponsoring events to take action and help the people of New Orleans.  Money from the sale of Defend merchandise has aided Bridge House, Tipitinas Foundation, NORF, New Orleans Musicians Fund, Sweet Home New Orleans, and The Gulf Restoration Network among others.  The DNO organization has grown from a small statement of cultural support rather than an actual call to arms, to a community focused lifestyle brand. DNO works to promote the things they love in their favorite

4 تعليقات to Defend New Orleans: Assignment 1



ديسمبر 2nd, 2010 at 7:04 م

Having my dad’s family being from New Orleans, and I myself living there for 6 years, I really feel for this topic. Not only is it helping to restore the city, but also to preserve the culture of the city which would otherwise be lost and changed along with the new buildings being constructed. Many people often say that NO is boring, there is nothing to do, and that it is very dirty (maybe because there was a hurricane that leveled the city…hmm), but this topic seems to quiet all of the nay-sayers. I really have no questions but my all-encompassing comment is WELL DONE and THANK YOU



ديسمبر 15th, 2010 at 2:18 ص

Coming from a city that is rich in its own diverse history and culture, I also feel a deep personal connection to this topic. I have always been interested in historic southern cities and the unique sense of pride that they can instill in their residents. Defend New Orleans is just another great example of unity among people for who feel a common pride for their own home. To me it is very impressive that a small local company with a simple idea can become so popular and have such a deep emotional meaning to so many people in such a short amount of time. OVerall this article is very well written and talks about a very interesting subject that i would like to research more.



ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 10:44 ص

This is a good idea. Tshirts and stickers and such are great ways of getting the word out, especially in youths because we go crazy for new tshirts, and you really acknowledged that i would, however, have liked to see something about what the effects of the tshirt are, like are people seeing all these shirts and then going and doing something to help? this is a good attention getter and you already mentioned the protests which i think is good because it shows that the shirts are working. this is a good idea and i would love to be able to drive through New Orleans and the first thing i see would be a billboard that says DEFEND NEW ORLEANS on it. that would be awesome.

-Joshua Hoes



ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 9:28 م

I was absolutely in love with this case study. As someone who is very proud of the place where I am from, Maryland, I completely understand why these people were motivated in the first place to create this case study. I have visited New Orleans, before and after Hurricane Katrina, and definitely see the need for this social collaboration to occur. This city is so unique and its culture is intriguing. I am glad someone realized that their culture was slipping away and decided to act and stop it.
-Rebecca Ramia

Comment Form

You must be logged in to post a comment.