mimi pierre johnson haiti
Mimi Pierre-Johnson speaks at a Haiti vigil in Elmont, on July 10. Photo by Sam Bojarski

Slain Haitian President Jovenel Moise was known for making speeches criticizing Haiti’s elite. His willingness to paint himself as an advocate for the people has spurred Elmont Cultural Center President Mimi Pierre-Johnson to action in the wake of his death.

“This is the moment that if you say you love people, make sure you do what you say,” Pierre-Johnson said during a July 10 vigil following the president’s death. “We all have to come together for the people.” 

Pierre-Johnson addressed a crowd of more than 30 Haitian-Americans and their allies at the French Speaking Baptist Church of Elmont, which held the vigil to offer prayer and healing for the community. Social service leaders and elected officials who spoke cited the importance of uniting as a community to demand peace in Haiti, some of them offering solutions for a brighter political future. Other diaspora leaders have also emphasized the need to unite and heal as a community. 

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Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.