Citizen Organizing & Politics

January 12, 2013: What are the Memories? Where are the Lessons?

January 11, 2013

Today, the Haitian Collective to Defend the Right to Housing commemorates the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Titanyen, the site of the earthquake’s mass graves.

January 11, 2013
Haitian Collective to Defend the Right to Housing

It has been three years since falling rubble, bits of concrete, iron bars, and collapsing walls killed countless courageous women and men while they were at work, at school, in their homes or on the streets. In less than one minute, we lost many beautiful people – people filled with love, whose hearts were filled with hope. We lost elders, children, youth, academics, professionals, factory workers, peasants, and vendors. They were lost. We lost them.

Today, we have come to Titanyen where so many of their bodies lay in mass graves, to ask ‘Where have they gone?’ What have we done with their memories, their stories, their suffering?

A Message to Occupy Sandy from New Orleans And Haiti

November 29, 2012

Cross-posted from Occupy Wall Street.

By Beverly Bell

As a native New Orleanian and as someone who has lived and worked in Haiti off and on for more than three decades –since the earthquake, mostly on– I offer some recommendations on catastrophe aid and solidarity. The suggestions come from my own experience and observations, as well as critiques from communities in Haiti and New Orleans about their experiences after their epic disasters.

KOFAVIV co-founder Malya Villard-Appolon Named 2012 CNN Hero

October 16, 2012

Cross-posted from CNN 

By Allie Torgan

Malya Villard-Appolon is a rape survivor who co-founded KOFAVIV, an organization that helps victims of sexual violence in Haiti. She is a top 10 nominee for CNN's 2012 Heroes award. 

A LETTER FROM THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS AND MOVEMENTS OF THE AMERICAS TO THE DEFENSE MINISTERS

October 8, 2012

 

In this letter to defense ministers of the Americas, an agglomeration of social justice organizations across the Americas rebuke the recent (and longstanding) militarization of development on the continent, calling for both an ideological and a practical paradigm shift on the part of the United States. 

On the occasion of the X Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas to take place in Punta del Este, Uruguay, on October 8-10, 2012, we make the following statement:...

What dreams are made of: Haiti Kanpé

October 3, 2012

Cross-posted from the Trinidad & Tobago Review Column, posted on Miriam Chancy's website.

Trinidad & Tobago Review Column, Sept. 2012

Prince Luc, artist, Director, FOSAJ, w/Papier Maché Carnival Puppets, Jacmel 2012©MJA Chancy

Who has never dreamed? Of a desired object, person, or state of being? Who has never dreamed? Who has never dared to dream?

A week ago today, I sat in Cyvadier, on the outskirts of Jacmel in southern Haiti, and listened to Guerda Constant tell me the story of her ad-hoc work with rural youth, work she does in addition to her full time occupation working with NGOs.  I listened to her telling me of how she speaks with young Haitians, especially in rural areas, hoping to raise in them an awareness of their own gifts, of the beauty of their country, despite all evidence to the contrary.  Guerda told me the story of one little girl gifted with a beautiful singing voice.  She asked the girl what was her dream and the girl responded that she had none.  Guerda pressed her, asking her what she thought of when she let loose with her friends, what she wondered about.  The girl responded that she did not wonder about anything.  And when you are alone? Guerda asked, what do you think about.  And the girl answered that she did not think about anything in particular but that, occasionally, when a day, or two had gone by and she had not eaten, she would make her way to the side of a river running close to her house, find a spot, and sing there, alone, until she felt better, until the pangs of hunger left her and the song lifted her beyond the pain and despair.  This gift, this song, Guerda asked, thinking of the long history of Haitian troubadours, don’t you dream of doing something with it, of singing for others?  No, the girl answered. Here, I can’t afford to dream.  Guerda is one of many Haitians working to restore the capacity to dream and to hope to the youth of Haiti.  But we may well wonder what it means when a generation of children cannot dare to dream, refuses to dream, because they have already seen too much, or too little, to warrant what must strike them as reckless optimism.

Some Haitians Are Still Waiting for Permanent Housing

October 3, 2012

Cross-posted from PRI's The World.

By Amy Bracken October 1, 2012

Haitian activist tours U.S. demanding housing rights for the country’s 400,000 displaced

September 11, 2012

Housing activist Reyneld Sanon is beginning a tour to key cities in the United States. The tour will raise awareness about Under Tents, the international campaign for housing rights in Haiti. The campaign is a joint initiative of Haitian grassroots groups and more than 30 international organizations that are demanding a solution for Haiti’s homeless.

"Homelessness, Displacement, Evictions . . . This Sounds Familiar": New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center

July 23, 2012

Cross-posted from the New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center.
Posted on 05. Jul, 2012 by

By Hannah Adams, Guest Contributor

There are a number of obvious parallels between housing needs in New Orleans after the 2005 hurricanes and housing needs in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

In both disasters, large regions lost the majority of their affordable housing stock, resulting in massive spikes in homelessness and displacement.  UNITY of Greater New Orleans reports that homelessness rates effectively doubled in the city from January 2005 to January 2009. [1] The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center adds that New Orleans experienced a population loss of over 140,000 according to the 2010 census, and that poor New Orleanians and families with children under eighteen were among those less likely to return. [2] Meanwhile, the Under Tents Campaign reports that 400,000 Haitians remain homeless in displacement camps where they face gender-based violence, disease, unsanitary living conditions, and flooding.

“Under Tents”: International Campaign Launch for Housing in Haiti

July 2, 2012

"The quantity of people who are homeless in Port-au-Prince today is not acceptable. We need the support of other governments, like the US, to demand that the Haitian Government create a social housing plan. We are looking for allies to help our advocacy. We are asking simply for quality homes where people can live." - Jackson Doliscar of the grassroots group Force for Reflection and Action on Housing (FRAKKA).

Pages

Subscribe to Citizen Organizing & Politics