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. 

Reflections on the "Hibernian Miracle" and its follow-up

Nancy Rachel RousseauNancy Rachel RousseauOn January 16, over 85 organizations pulled together in response to the earthquake that hit Haiti just four days earlier.  What is now being referred to as the “Hibernian Miracle” by some was an event that galvanized the humanitarian efforts of over 3,000 people.  There is no other way to describe it: the collaborative effort was extraordinarily amazing and overwhelmingly emotional.

St. Fleur inspired generation of young Haitian-Americans

Fafa GiraultFafa GiraultMarie St. Fleur’s election to the House of Representatives in July 1999 made her the first Haitian-American elected official in Massachusetts. That distinction also makes her planned departure — at the end of the current term next January —significant.
Some will say “ who cares” and “why is this important.” I’ll tell you why: For years she has been our liaison with the government here in Massachusetts. I question if her leaving will create some sort of a gap. Will her leaving inspire someone of Haitian decent to step up to the plate? I know she has definitely inspired me. We as a people have come a long way. Her being a woman of color is a big deal to me. Her being Haitian is an even bigger deal.
I decided to talk to some Haitian Americans between the ages of 18 to 35 to get their views. I asked how her position has impacted them and whether her departure affect our community in any way.

Presidents meet: Obama hosts Préval at White House

(Updated March 10)- President Obama hosted Haitian President Rene Préval at the White House today (March 10). In a summary of their remarks issued by the White House, President Obama discussed the ongoing American response, warning that "people should be under no illusions that the crisis is over." He added: "The challenge now is to prevent a second disaster" and said, "America’s commitment to Haiti’s recovery and reconstruction must endure and will endure." Full remarks after the break.


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