May 16 parade highlights Heritage Month in Boston

Unity parade set for May 16: The annual parade features marching bands, floats, dancers and dignitaries- all celebrating Haitian and Haitian-American culture. Photo by Don WestUnity parade set for May 16: The annual parade features marching bands, floats, dancers and dignitaries- all celebrating Haitian and Haitian-American culture. Photo by Don WestGovernor Deval Patrick will serve as the grand marshall of the 10th annual Haitian American Unity Parade, which will be held on Sunday, May 16 in Mattapan and Dorchester. The parade steps off from Mattapan Square and travels up Blue Hill Avenue beginning at 1p.m. Organizers say this year's event is an occasion for support and solidarity with earthquake victims.
"This year, because of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, and several surrounding areas on January 12, 2010, the annual Haitian Heritage Month/ Flag Day celebration will be focused on that tragic catastrophe," said Wilner Auguste of Haitian-Americans United, Inc., which organizes the parade.
The 15th annual Haitian Flag Raising Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 14 from 12 to 2 p.m. at Boston City Hall Plaza. It will be a memorial ceremony for those who died in the January 12 earthquake in Haiti. The Haitian flag will be flown at half- staff for the occasion. A quilt of Massachusetts residents’ relatives who died in the earthquake will be displayed at the ceremony, Auguste said.

St. Fleur to work for Menino administration

State Rep. Marie St. Fleur, who earlier this year announced that she will not seek re-election this fall, will be joining the administration of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, according to a press release from Menino's office today. Her title in Menino's office will be Chief of Advocacy and Strategic Investment, which oversees Menino's lobbying efforts through his Intergovernmental Relations Offices. St. Fleur will begin her new duties in June, according to Menino's office.

Immigration chief pushes eligible Haitians to apply for legal status

The nation’s top immigration official appealed for help last week as his agency struggles to convince undocumented Haitian nationals living in the U.S. before last January’s earthquake to apply for temporary legal status. Ali Mayorkas, director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), addressed a gathering of immigration lawyers and activists for more than a hour-and-a-half at the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in downtown Boston last Friday.

Globe reporters share experience of covering earthquake's aftermath

Northeastern University will host a special free program with journalists and photographers from the Boston Globe sharing recent stories and images from Haiti on Wednesday, April 28 from 6-8 p.m. A representative from Partners in Health will also provide a brief update on efforts, progress, and remaining needs in Haiti. The event - which is open to the public- will be held in the university's West Village F, Room 20
Speakers will include:
· Bill Greene, photojournalist/videographer

Friday town hall meeting in Roxbury to focus on Diaspora's role in Haiti

A town hall meeting entitled "Haitians Building Haiti:Towards Transparent and Accountable Development" will be held on Friday, March 26 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College. The event will feature members of the National Haitian American Elected Officials Network and civil society representatives from Haiti. It begins at 5:30 p.m.
Scheduled speakers include Mayor Thomas M. Menino, keynote speaker Jean Lionel Pressoir of FONDESTHA, Haiti, and

Haitian-American nurse shares tale of compassion, heartache

Nurse Dana Bordenave with CNNs Dr. Sanjay GuptaNurse Dana Bordenave with CNNs Dr. Sanjay Gupta“January 12, 2010 will always be with me,” says Dana Bordenave, a Haitian-American registered nurse who recently returned from Haiti after helping earthquake survivors. She shared her experiences last month at a fundraiser in Randolph organized by Georja Joseph, owner of Tete-a-Tete Beauty Salon. Bordenave went to Port-au-Prince with the Haitian-American Nurses Association ten days after the earthquake hit the island nation.
“I wasn’t prepared for what I encountered. The magnitude of the problem is beyond words,” said Bordenave, who works at Rhode Island Hospital. She last visited Haiti in 1989. Upon her arrival this time, she had to wait at the airport for five hours before being taken to the General Hospital, where her group set up shop.

Connecting with a voice from Haiti's grassroots

Manolia CharlotinManolia CharlotinEarly Tuesday morning I finally received the call I had waited anxiously for. “Koman ou ye, Manolia?” Melinda excitely boomed through the cell phone. “M’ap kenbe” I responded.  
Melinda Miles, co-founder and executive director of Konbit Pou Ayiti (KONPAY), had finally called to brief me on Haitian grassroots relief efforts in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel.  She was actually in the States, preparing for her testimony to the U.S. Congress.  She hoped her testimony would shed a light on the ineffective practices that disable widespread distribution of aid in Haiti.  The international distribution system lacks the community building aspect that allows Haitian community organizers (also known as Animators) to effectively participate in relief efforts. 

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