Haiti Earthquake

Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III Urges the extension of Temporary Protected Status for Haitian nationals

Dr. Steve Gallon III
Dr. Steve Gallon III



At today's regular monthly meeting of the Miami-Dade School Board, District 1 School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III will advance agenda item H-18, authorizing Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho to urge Pres. Donald Trump and Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals for at least another 18-month period. 
 
TPS was granted to Haitian nationals who were in the U.S. as of January 12, 2010, the date of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The U.S. has provided a safe haven to approximately 50,000 Haitians who have been unable to return to their home country because of insurmountable environmental obstacles, deadly diseases and violence. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted a six-month extension in TPS to Haitian nationals on Monday. The sad reality is Haiti will be in no better position to humanely receive and care for the more than 50,000 people affected, when the extension expires January 22, 2018.
 
The vast majority of these individuals has been in the US for at least 6 1/2 years, well before the 2010 earthquake, and has strong community ties including families with U.S.-born children. Haiti’s government is in no position to insure the safety to or assimilate these 50,000 Haitians, nor to make up for their remittances should they be curtailed by their deportation, and it remains unsafe to deport them. Their deportation would consequently tend to destabilize Haiti, which is contrary to the national security interest of the U.S.
 
DHS’s announcement extending Haiti’s TPS designation for six months, rather than the usual 18 months, sends mixed signals and omits significant facts.  The announcement stresses this is likely the last extension, that TPS holders should prepare their travel documents for return to Haiti, and that conditions have greatly improved. Further, the announcement also misleadingly states, “96 percent of people displaced by the earthquake and living in internally displaced person camps have left those camps.  Even more encouraging is that over 98 percent of these camps have closed.” This is misleading because many camps were forcibly closed due to regular, unchallenged, large-scale evictions by landowners, not because other housing had been found, which it had not been, or because residents had any place else to go.  This has been a huge problem in Haiti.  Even more significantly, several of the larger camps were reclassified by the Haitian government as "permanent housing," simply because the residents had attached so much salvaged building material to their shanties.
 
Recent leaked DHS efforts to demonize Haitians as criminals and welfare cheats as a means of justifying termination were reprehensible: inherently racist, such considerations are irrelevant since TPS is a humanitarian program, TPS recipients are ineligible for welfare, and criminals are ineligible for TPS.
 

The Miami-Dade County School Board Meeting starts 11 a.m., today, in the School Board Administration Building auditorium at 1450 Northeast Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33132. 

 

Listen to Our Youth on How to Stop the Shootings in Our Community

  CRB Youth Forums Flyer Update

In response to the rash of fatal shootings and other violence in our community, youth and young adults in Miami-Dade County are invited to a series of community forums on How to Stop the Shootings.

Young people are encouraged to come out and share their special insights about what can and should be done to make our communities safer.

A forum will be held this coming Thursday, March 10, at the West Perrine Park, 10301 SW 170 Terrace at 6:30 p.m.

The Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board (CRB) along with County Commissioner Dennis Moss and local community-based organizations are convening the event.

Future forums will be held later this month at Edison Community Resource Center and at the Miami Gardens Community Resource Center.

When they participate, our youth and young adults will be empowered to share their ideas, create partnerships and identify resources that are needed to stop the shootings. The CRB will be pleased to have you join us for this important opportunity.

Please spread the word about this event, especially to young people that you know. Free refreshments will be served.

 


Resettlement Community Gives Hope to Haiti Six Years after Earthquake

Leveque_Haiti_2

Six years after the devastating January, 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the community of Leveque has emerged as one of the most successful resettlement communities in the country and a beacon of transformation.  

The once barren land where Leveque now sits was granted to Mission of Hope, Haiti (MOH) by the Interim Haiti Relief Commission after the earthquake as a place to rebuild homes for those who lost everything. Over the last six years, MOH built more than 600 block homes in Leveque through its Blue to Block program, enabling families to move out of the blue temporary tarp huts that were erected following the quake and live in a truly thriving community with a church, school, clean water, and sustainable farming. Over 150 hearing-impaired families have been integrated into the community as well.  

"These people not only have a new home, they have a new life. They have hope again," says Brad Johnson, President of MOH. "And it could not have happened without the collaborative effort of many partners, including New StoryInternational Deaf EmergencyWater Missions Intl and many others."

The cost of each home built through MOH is $6,000 and includes 3 rooms, a small plot of land for farming, a detached bathroom, and fruit trees.  The overall objective of Blue to Block is to build a community, not just a housing project. This has been accomplished by establishing a school, a church, clean water solutions, and agricultural training in Leveque. 

"Our mission is not just to change a village, but to change a nation. We want to empower Haitians to transform Haiti," says Johnson.

Mission of Hope currently works with over 420 indigenous organizations in Haiti and is committed to seeing the nation transformed through sustainable growth. To reach that goal, MOH trains and supports over 3,000 local farmers in sustainable farming techniques, feeds over 90,000 children a day, and hopes to have 100% of the food used in its food distribution program to be grown by Haitian farmers by 2020.  MOH also educates over 6,500 students and is currently building a technical school that will provide further education and job training.


Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson Travels to Haiti for Discussions with President Martelly’s Administration about Reconstruction Efforts and Haiti Elections

MIAMI - Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) will travel to Haiti today at the invitation of House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman-emeritus Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27). The purpose of the trip is to examine the findings of a Governmental Accountability Office report, commissioned through the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which reviews the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) assistance efforts in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. The delegation, which also includes Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), will also assess the security situation in Haiti and receive an update on the status of local elections.

“It has been four years since the worst natural disaster in recent memory occurred in Haiti—the Haiti Earthquake of 2010. Despite heavy investment in Haiti, many projected goals have not been met.

I am committed to restoring Haiti for the good of its people, who are more than our neighbors: they are the loved ones of my constituents, my staff, and my friends and family. It is time to renew our efforts to rebuild Haiti by insisting on accountability and transparency,” said Congresswoman Wilson.

Throughout her life, Congresswoman Wilson has been a champion of Haitian causes. In 1982, she stood up for the fair treatment of Haitian women refugees who were incarcerated at the Krome Detention Center.

Congresswoman Wilson’s tireless activism led to a change in policy and improved living conditions for women at the Krome Detention Center.

Congresswoman Wilson has traveled to Haiti numerous times, including soon after the devastating 2010 earthquake. She fought to extend and expand temporary protective status (TPS) for Haitians, led the effort to get the State Department to add Haiti to the list of now-58 countries eligible for the H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant visa program, and introduced a resolution to combat gender-based violence.


Remember this Name: Victoria Duval

 

Victoria Duval
Victoria Duval


 

Yesterday, a Miami-born young lady of Haitian ancestry was probably the most talked about sports story on local television news stations. At seventeen years-old, Victoria Duval defeated 11th seed and former champion Samantha Stosur, in three sets, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the U.S. Open. 

Those of us who do not follow tennis closely, never heard of this young lady until. What an incredible personality and great athlete. This young lady’s sweetness and humility are such a breath of fresh air. 

In her young years, Duval has witnessed violence, tragedy and triumph. She and her family were held at gunpoint by armed robbers in Port-au-Prince. Her father was buried and near death until his rescue from rubble in the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Miraculously, he recovered with limited disability. 

She plays her next opponent, 48th-ranked Daniela Hantuchova, on Thursday. Duval has been compared to tennis great Venus Williams. Go, Victoria! Represent the 305 and the 509! 

 

 

 

-vb


Haiti Earthquake Three Years Later

Three years ago today at 4:53 p.m., the most awful devastation to the island of Haiti occurred. It is estimated that 200,000 to 300,000 people lost their lives. Others survived. Some missing limbs or even eyesight. Some separated from family. Forever.

The recovery of Haiti has been slow and not without controversy. The people still suffer but they remain strong. God Bless Haiti and her children wherever they are.

Never forget.

Photo: The Solefull Lounge


 


CONGRESSWOMAN FREDERICA WILSON AND SOUTH FLORIDA ELECTED OFFICIALS URGE THE U.S. TO REMEMBER ITS COMMITMENT TO REBUILD HAITI

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime and more than twenty other elected officials from across South Florida will come together Friday, January 11, 2013 at 12:00 noon, at North Miami City Hall, to urge the U.S. to remember its commitment to Haiti, as the third anniversary of the devastating earthquake approaches. Saturday, January 12, 2013, will mark three years since the massive earthquake leveled Haiti, killing more than three hundred thousand people, injuring another three hundred thousand and leaving one million people homeless.

“The people of Haiti are hurting. Still, hundreds of thousands of people live in tent cities, and progress has been slow in rebuilding homes, roads, schools, hospitals and businesses. As the most powerful democracy in the world, the U.S. has a duty and moral obligation to provide leadership and continued support to the people of Haiti. I also urge the international community to continue its support, to help rebuild the struggling Island Nation,” says Congresswoman Wilson.

Following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, that killed hundreds of thousands of people and left more than one million homeless, Congresswoman Wilson, who represents one of the largest Haitian-American populations in the country, put in a request to the White House for an extension and re-designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals living in the United States. She also hand-delivered a letter to President Obama, signed by 50 members of Congress, with this dual request.

 

WHO:    Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and Miami Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime

WHAT:   South Florida Elected Officials Urge U.S. To Remember Its Commitment to Haiti

WHEN:    Friday, January 11, 2013, 12:00 noon

WHERE:  North Miami City Hall, second floor, 776 NE 125 Street, North Miami, FL 33161

PARTICIPANTS: 

Senator Oscar Braynon II, State Rep. Daphne Campbell, State Rep. Barbara Watson, State Rep. Shevrin Jones, State Rep. Cynthia Stafford, State Rep. Sharon Pritchett, North Miami Vice-Mayor Marie Erlande Steril, North Miami Councilman Jean Marcellus, North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin, North Miami Beach Mayor George Vallejo, North Miami Beach  Councilman Frantz Pierre, North Miami Beach Councilman Philippe Derose, Miami Dade  School Board Member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, City of Miramar Vice Mayor Troy Samuels, El Portal Mayor Daisy Black, El Portal Councilman Adam Old,  Miami Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, Opa-Locka Mayor Myra Taylor, Opa-Locka Vice Mayor Joseph L. Kelley, Opa-Locka Commissioner Timothy Holmes, Pembroke Park Mayor Ashira Mohammed, West Park Commissioner Thomas Dorsett and West Park Commissioner Rita Mack.


Congresswoman Wilson and Senator Nelson to Host Panel Discussion on Progress in Haiti on Friday, January 13 in Miami

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) announced today that she and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) will be hosting a panel discussion on the progress in Haiti in the two years following the earthquake that devastated the island nation on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm at the Miami Edison Middle School.

Joining them will be U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Ken Merten, U.S. State Department Haiti Special Coordinator Tom Adams, and USAID’s Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, Ambassador Liliana Ayalde.

In addition to these distinguished speakers, the event will include Pastor Eddy Gervais of the Faith Community Center, the Miami Edison Senior High School Band, participants in Congresswoman Wilson’s “5000 Role Models of Excellence” project, singers Farah Juste (Haitian national anthem) and Rochelle Lightfoot (U.S. national anthem), and a photo and story exhibit titled “Ayiti Leve Kanpe” (“Haiti Will Rise”).

 

What:              Panel Discussion on Progress in Haiti

Date:               Friday, January 13, 2012

Time:               4:00 pm

Location:         Miami Edison Middle School Auditorium

                     6101 NW 2nd Ave., Miami, FL  33127-1211

 

 


Some donors outraged money collected for Haiti earthquake relief not released

Posted on Monday, Oct. 11, 2010

 

Where is the money? City sits on Haiti fund
By NADEGE CHARLES

 

In the days after the January earthquake devastated Haiti, residents and business owners opened their pocketbooks to help the crushed nation, giving thousands to the city of North Miami -- purportedly for American Red Cross relief efforts.

Mayor Andre Pierre, who was born in Haiti, flew to the Caribbean nation in July and presented a ceremonial, oversized check to Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive.

Yet, nine months later, the $116,300 in donations sits in a city bank account, outraging donors.

 

 

 


Little Haiti Based Non-Profit to Benefit from May 1, 2010 Gala

Chef Paul and Bernice Steinbaum hosting Art of the Palate Gala to benefit Art Studio Miami programs for youth impacted by the Haiti earthquake

March 10, 2010 Miami, FL- Celebrity chef Paul Griffith and renown art gallery curator Bernice Steinbaum will be hosting a gala May 1, 2010 to benefit Little Haiti based Art Studio Miami (ASM).  The gala will be held at the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in the Wynwood Art District, 3550 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33127.  All proceeds from the event will benefit programs for youth impacted by the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  Tickets and sponsorships for the event are available for sale at www.ASMHelpLittleHaiti.org.

ASM annually serves approximately 200 youth from the impoverished area of Little Haiti, and staff and volunteers have been working around the clock to serve the needs of youth that have lost family and friends. 

ASM has been at the center of the Haitian relief efforts since the earthquake.  Congressman Kendrick Meek (D-FL) addressed news crews the week after the disaster at the City of Miami’s staging area for Haiti relief, located directly across the street from ASM.  Meek called for local organizations to provide leadership and support during the long period of rebuilding.

 “South Florida is in this for the long haul; this will be the center for the recovery. . . we are going to need leadership and understanding,'' said Meek.

In response to Meek’s appeal, ASM volunteers and staff have been working around the clock to serve youth impacted by the earthquake, doubling programs for at-risk youth.  To offset the costs of increased programs, celebrity chef Paul Griffith, best known to followers as Chef Paul, and renown gallery owner Bernice Steinbaum, are hosting Art Studio Miami’s innagural gala, Art of the Palate.  Funds from the event will benefit services and programs at ASM. 

“In the wake of this disaster, people are forgetting that many Haitian people who have already immigrated to Miami are in desperately impoverished conditions, living below the poverty level, which in several cases means homelessness, no running water, and little to no food or water,” said Degi.  “Chef Paul and Bernice Steinbaum are stepping in to support our efforts to provide opportunities for youth to thrive despite challenges arising from this disaster.”

Since 2007, ASM has served over 500 youth from Little Haiti and Overtown using creative, art based projects to nurture students’ creative thinking abilities and prepare them for classroom settings and job situations.  The organization partners with professional artists and community leaders to provide students with mentors and concrete tools to remain in school, and gain stable employment after graduation. 

Event sponsors include Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Chef Paul, These Are All Our Children, DUO Magazine, IRREVERSIBLE Magazine, University of Miami HOPE Public Resource Center, The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division LSD, Shop2Donate, Orange Stain Productions, Make Art Matter, and Mount Degi & Associates.  

For more information please contact Beth Degi, Art Studio Miami at 786.250-ART1 or Beth@ArtStudioMiami.org.

For more information visit www.ASMHelpLittleHaiti.org.  To view ASM programs in action watch the ASM video at www.blip.tv/file/2124377.

 

 

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