Burn on the Bayou
Burners Without Borders
(A Burning Man Project)
For close to three decades, the annual Burning Man gathering in Nevada's Black Rock Desert has been a communal celebration of various forms of artistic self-expression. During the 2005 Burning Man event, Hurricane Katrina grew into a Category 5 storm that hit the Gulf Coast, devastating parts of Mississippi and Louisiana. Throughout the duration of the storm, news spread through word-of-mouth and fragmentary radio reports.
Burning Man participants scrambled to find satellite phones to contact loved ones and collect money and relief supplies. Some participants dropped everything, loaded up whatever trucks and vehicles they could find, and drove south. Within days, an unlikely caravan was headed into the disaster zone. As the number of
volunteers grew, they focused their rebuilding efforts on a destroyed Vietnamese Buddhist temple in Biloxi, Mississippi. After several months, they moved to nearby Pearlington, Mississippi, to continue the work, gifting their time to help those in need.
Burners Without Borders is a grassroots, volunteer-driven, community leadership program, and part of the Burning Man Project. Its goal is to unlock the creativity of local communities and solve problems that bring about meaningful change. BWB promotes activities around the globe that support a community's inherent capacity to thrive by encouraging innovative relief solutions and community resiliency projects that make a positive impact. BWB believes that people have the inherent capacity to solve their own problems and that social transformation is within reach of all communities. Founded by Burning Man participants who instinctively gathered in the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster zone, BWB has grown into a dynamic, international, community-activation endeavor. Since its inception, BWB has participated in over 123 projects in 29 countries – from fostering entrepreneurship in Haiti with marginalized artists, to an award-winning alternative currency system for Kenya’s poorest. There are 26 active BWB chapters across the US, Canada, and Australia, which are known for the unbridled creativity its members bring to every civic project they initiate. You need not participate in Burning Man to be Burner without Borders. Burning Man Project brings experiences to people in grand, awe-inspiring and joyful ways that lift the human spirit, address social problems, and inspire a sense of culture, community and personal engagement.