By Vicannia Merisma Vicannia Merisma is a 22-year-old senior at Florida International University majoring in Psychology. She was born in Haiti…
Maybe it’s best for us to part ways. On behalf of Haitians, Haitian-Americans, and Haitians by Association who are actively working towards the development of our country, I think it’s safe to say that your development efforts are not needed in Haiti anymore. Let me explain.
By Sean Penn
As an accident of life, I found myself in 2010 becoming CEO of first, an emergency relief organization, and ultimately one whose focus is development in Haiti. Now, nearly six years later, that organization, J/P HRO, employs roughly three hundred full-time Haitian staff (a number that vacillates relative to funding). We are involved in many sectors including health, engineering, education, housing, and relocation. To varying degrees, we have worked in psycho-social assistance, prevention and education on violence against women, and an assortment of other needs expressed to us by thousands of Haitian men and women from all walks of life and leadership. And yes, foreign consultants as well.
The word “Vodoun” or Vodou has always had a negative connotation for me. As a boy I was taught to fear the word. I would never speak about it aloud. I felt it was shameful. Ask a Haitians about Vodou and you get a sense that the person wants to run for the hills. We’ve been taught to fear “Hougan” and “Manbo”. They’re seen as sorcerers who deal in the occult and “black magic” for their own personal gain.
I’ve always wondered why?
We Haitians wish to disassociate ourselves from that word. We feverishly make the “sign of the cross” – we raise our hands to the sky in praise of the Lord – and beg Him to save us.
By Daniella Bien-Aime
The recent political and social uprisings that have resulted in massive demonstrations in North Korea, Haiti, and in the United States have grabbed our attention. These passionate attempts to right wrongs have strained us to face the complacency and some of the ineffectiveness of our government, justice system, and those in authority.
By Alban Boucher
You are in a race. You’re about to run, but notice you are farther behind your opponents. Do you figure out how to maneuver a way to win by cheating, or do you run faster, harder and more determined? Now, imagine the track is America and the person(s) running far behind are young black children. This is the challenge young black children face in America when it comes to education. This is their reality.
By Jean McGianni Celestin
During the “Millions March” demonstration in New York last month, tens of thousands of protestors marched from Greenwich Village through parts of upper Manhattan before concluding on the steps of the NYPD’s headquarters downtown. The demonstration was one of the largest organized responses to recent police killings of unarmed blacks around the country and came after the grand jury decisions not to indict the police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The rally made modern-day Martin Luther King disciples proud: it was a fusion of races, genders and nationalities, all marching peacefully for justice.
OP-ED: Haiti’s Linguistic Identity and History Overlooked by President Martelly and French Presidents
By Jacques Pierre Jacques Pierre is a Haitian Creole and Creole Studies lecturer at Duke University. Today marks the 211th…
By Jean McGianni Celestin
When NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were fatally shot in Brooklyn on Dec. 20, I was sitting in a barbershop a few blocks away. The mood shifted instantly. Executing two New York City policemen in broad daylight on the streets of Bed-Stuy carries severe repercussions; one of which is the fear of more deadly force by police on the entire community.