Who ‘Owns’ Haiti? Now Streaming

On May 2, 2014, the Focus On Haiti Initiative of the Institute for International and Global Studies (IGIS), and the Latin American & Hemispheric Affairs Program (LAHSP), hosted Who ‘Owns’ Haiti? Sovereignty in a Fragile State: 2004 – 2014 at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington, D.C.  The symposium explored issues related to Haiti’s sovereign status by way of presentations and discussions on economy and development, cultural preservation and practices, and governance and international engagement.

The symposium brought together a diverse, multidisciplinary group of policy makers, practitioners, and academics from Haiti, the United States, the Caribbean and Brazil to discuss these issues.  Videos from the symposium’s panels and keynote presentation can be found below. Continue reading

Martelly at Howard University: A Concerning View on Poverty and Education?

President Martelly Speaks at Howard University

President Martelly Speaks at Howard University

Martelly’s speech last Wednesday at Howard University drew attention to his administration’s focus on free and universal education.  But while promoting both his education agenda and a nascent collaboration with Howard University, the President of Haiti also portrayed a disturbing depiction of the Haitian people.

Both Martelly and the Howard University administration discussed planned educational exchanges, promising an educational partnership that draws on solidarity between the prominent historically black University and the first black Republic. “African Americans and Haitians are connected by history,” Martelly said. “But we can also be connected by choice — united in partnership.” Continue reading

Streaming video: (Un)Making a Dominican: The Context for Denationalization


“The Price of Sugar” screening was well attended, and for those who weren’t able to come, the film sparked a rather intense discussion about Dominican citizenship, and the current judicial and executive decisions affecting the country.

As a follow up  to these discussions, we wanted to draw attention to an event occurring this evening (December 5th, 6pm) at the CUNY graduate center:

“Join us for a public event and conversation addressing the recent ruling of the Dominican Constitutional Court to strip Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship. In solidarity with other organizations and worldwide actions, scholars, artists, students, and activists discuss the ruling and its effects. Film Screening of Birthrights Crisis will help illuminate the history of the issue, along with a musical performance by Kalunga Neg Mawon Haitian-Dominican Music band.”

‘The Price of Sugar’ Screening in Washington, D.C.

December 3, 2013 | 5:00PM-7:00PM | Elliott School of International Affairs Room 505

In light of the recent ruling by the Dominican Constitutional Court revoking citizenship for thousands of Haitian-descended Dominicans, this event brings to campus The Price of Sugar. This award-winning documentary focuses on the lives of marginalized Haitian sugar cane cutters, who are at the center of debates of migration, citizenship, and human rights in the Dominican Republic. Haiti scholar Dr. Robert Maguire will introduce the film, and visiting scholar and anthropologist Scott Freeman will facilitate a discussion.

RSVP Here: http://go.gwu.edu/fohpos Continue reading

“Conquering Cholera in Haiti and the Dominican Republic” – Panel Discussion

By Nic Johnson, Undergraduate Research Assistant

On October 24, 2013, Representative Barbara Lee (CA) and the Global Health Caucus hosted “Conquering Cholera in Haiti and the Dominican Republic: The Untold Story of Progress” at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. The briefing featured representatives of public health organizations and advocacy groups to discuss new policy initiatives and partnerships for the elimination of cholera in Hispaniola.

Karen Goraleski, Executive Director of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, introduced the background of the event, a “call to action” in January 2012 that began a partnership between Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and a group of more than 20 international organizations to eliminate cholera on the island of Hispaniola by 2022. This international coalition led to the creation of the 2013 National Plan for the Elimination of Cholera in Haiti. Continue reading

Fault Lines: Views across Haiti’s Divide

By Nic Johnson, Undergraduate Research Assistant


At the launch of Beverly Bell’s new book Fault Lines: Views across Haiti’s Divide last Sunday, I joined a group of more than thirty devoted readers, supporters, and colleagues overflowing the bustling back room of The Coupe in Washington, D.C. The book surveys the conditions in displaced persons camps, shantytowns, and rural villages in the year following the 2010 earthquake, but what makes the book truly unique is Bell’s use of street journalism and personal experiences to report sentiments at a local level. Continue reading