Jean-Jacques Dessalines Boulevard
Haitian-Americans and local residents gathered for the celebration that unveiled Jean-Jacques Dessalines Boulevard, in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn/Idris Solomon for The New York Times

NEW YORK - In an effort to mobilize the Haitian diaspora, numerous Haitian influential figures gathered together for a two-and-a-half hour webinar on Friday to discuss how the Haitian-American community can strengthen ties between the diaspora and people in Haiti.

Titled “Building Bridges for Collective Empowerment,” the seminar, organized by the Haitian-American Alliance of New York (HAA) and The Haitian Times, featured Judge Lionel Jean-Baptiste of Illinois’ Cook County Judicial Circuit Court, New York State Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn and Haitian Times founder Garry Pierre-Pierre, among others.

“We need to empower Haitian-Americans in social, political and economic endeavors,” said Yolette Williams, CEO of the HAA. “Only when we are strong and organized can we affect changes in Haiti.”

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Larisa is a reporter for The Haitian Times covering politics, elections and education primarily. A graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, she has interned at CNBC and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. She is also a recipient of a 2021 DBEI Fellowship by Investigative Reporters & Editors. Larisa can be reached by email at or on Twitter @larisakarr.