Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the American Red Cross was criticized for having too few minorities among their volunteers and thus being culturally insensitive to the many minority victims of the disaster. Accusations included a lack of translators, particularly Spanish-language translators, as well as rescue shelters in white neighborhoods far from minority neighborhoods. In response to such accusations, the Red Cross has tried to increase recruitment of minority volunteers. Additionally, the Red Cross has formed an agreement with the Helping Hands Coalition, a non-profit group representing predominantly black churches and community groups, in an effort to increase positive cultural relations.
Salmon JL, “Red Cross Bolstering Minority Outreach- Recruitment a Priority After Storms Expose Sensitivity Gaps,” The Washington Post, December 5, 2005