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Contributed by Bonita Ferguson on 11/29/2010
A presentation by IC Assistant Professor, Dr. Mo Baptiste, Education Department, about his recent trips to Haiti and his engaging work there.
Thursday, December 2nd - 6:00-8:00 p.m. in Emerson Suite A
-Free of charge and open to the public-
The devastating earthquake that took place in Haiti on January 12, 2010, is an event that will live in the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world. As I was writing my dissertation on the Haitian Revolution and the marginalized leadership though the Haitian experience, I felt it was my duty to go to the homeland of my parents and be of service to my people. I had the opportunity to aid in relief efforts one week after the earthquake. During this trip, I witnessed people disguised as “relief workers” who were nothing more than self-serving opportunists. Nine months later I returned to Haiti and yearned to become part of a movement to rebuild and envision a Haiti that puts the voices and actions of the people at the center of change. There is a new grassroots movement being led by young inspired Haitians that is propelling this critical change starting with the cultivation of the most important life sources for all living things, WATER. These leaders from the margins have partnered up with outsiders like myself and the World Water Relief to provide treated water to schools in the village of Marebalais. The ultimate goal however is to provide sustainable water systems as well as a comprehensive environmental conservation curriculum throughout schools in Haiti.
That experience shaped my perceptions of humanity, hope and survival. As a scholar-activist my goal is to find other individuals who are willing to share this journey towards creating a healthier mankind. With the devastation from the earthquake and the recent cholera outbreak coupled with destruction caused by Hurricane Tomas, Haiti is in more need of help than ever. Some of you may be asking yourself, “How can I get involved?” You can first visit the websites listed below and bring reusable water bottles and/or jugs (plastic or aluminum) to the presentation. My goal is to collect 500 reusable water bottles by the end of 2010 and 5000 by the summer of 2011. Also, we are collecting medical and school supplies, art supplies, hand sanitizer (in bulk), Mosquito repellent (in bulk), energy saving light bulbs, tools such as hammers, drills, nails, etc… for the schools in the village of Marebalais.
I look forward to seeing you soon and creating a space to make change together.
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Jeff Claus, Department of Education at 274-1342. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.