2022 Award Recipients
At H.S.A.’s 34th annual conference Dr. Régine Michelle Jean-Charles received our Award for Excellence; Dr. Charlene Désir received our Award for Service; and Edouard Duval-Carrié received our Florence Bellande Robertson Award.
You can read information of all three award recipients here.
Award for Excellence
Dr. Régine Michelle Jean-Charles
Dr. Régine Michelle Jean-Charles is a Black feminist literary scholar and cultural critic who works at the intersection of race, gender, and justice. She is the Director of Africana Studies, Dean’s Professor of Culture and Social Justice, and Professor of Africana Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.
Jean-Charles has been a member of the Haitian Studies Association since 2005 and her contributions to the field of Haitian Studies are numerous. For nearly two decades (2001-2019) Jean-Charles served in leadership roles with A Long Walk Home, Inc, a national arts organization based in Chicago that empowers young people to end violence against girls and women. As a teacher, Jean-Charles has taught courses at Boston College and Northeastern University on Black feminism and politics, Haitian literature, and Black culture in the Francophone African diaspora while also reflecting on her pedagogy in articles and book chapters, such as “Getting Around the Poto Mitan: Reconstructing Haitian Womanhood in the Classroom” and “The Architecture of a Black Feminist Classroom: Pedagogical Praxis in ‘Where #BlacklivesMatter Meets #metoo.”
Jean-Charles’s commitment to justice for Haitians and people in the African diaspora also extends to her scholarship in the academic and public spheres. Her books, Conflict Bodies: The Politics of Rape Representation in the Francophone Imaginary (Ohio State University Press, 2014), Martin Luther King & The Trumpet of Conscience Today (Orbis Press, 2021), Looking for Other Worlds: Black Feminism and Haitian Fiction (University of Virginia Press, 2022) explore important ethical questions through the lens of Black feminisms, Haitian Studies, and literary studies. Her articles and book chapters in various forums address a variety of subjects such as the representation of Black girlhood in literature, Haitian/Dominican border politics, the politics and representation of gender-based violence and rape in literature, and Haitian feminist genealogies. To this body of scholarship, Jean-Charles has also emerged as a powerful advocate for the Haitian diaspora in the media. Her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Ms. Magazine, WGBH, America Magazine, and Cognoscenti where she has weighed in on topics including #metoo, higher education, and issues affecting the Haitian diaspora.
In the last two years, Jean-Charles’s public writing has been instrumental challenging harmful portrayals of Haitians in the media during the latter years of the Trump presidency, the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court, and the social and political unrest in Haiti following the assassination of Jovenel Moïse. Jean-Charles’s work is centered on advocacy and praxis; she demonstrates a commitment to intersectional feminism and social justice for Haiti, Haitian people and groups across the African Disapora.
Award for Service
Dr. Charlene Désir
Dr. Charlene Désir is a professor at Nova Southeastern University’s Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Désir is committed to the academic, psycho-social, and spiritual development of immigrant people and disenfranchised populations. She provides assistance and guidance for personal, academic, and professional mastery through support programs, lectures, mentorship and coaching. Her research expertise, professional experience and cultural work is in children development, Pan African spirituality, and Black Psychology
She received her doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. As a professor and scholar-educator, Désir’s academic interest is in the social, psychological, and spiritual adjustment of immigrants, specifically psycho-social trauma, and how psychosocial issues affect social, cognitive, identity, and spiritual development. Désir’s work also looks at school social curriculum, psycho-social trauma occurring in schools, and how psycho-social issues affect students. Désir has presented various papers on the topic of immigrant students and their adjustment to life in the United States. She has published numerous journal articles and papers on the topic of immigrant identity, spirituality, and becoming a reflective researcher.
Désir’s stellar contributions and commitment to service includes her work in various projects and initiatives. She founded The Empowerment Network (TEN) Global, a non-profit organization that supports the personal, spiritual, and academic development of women and students in Haiti and U.S. Her other projects include the Black Androgynous Genius Project (BAGP), a coalition of Black queer and straight allies supporting the development and resilience of Black queer young adults; the Haitian Mental Health Think Tank, which addresses Haitian mental wellness during the COVID 19 pandemic and thereafter; the Gifted Lakou, a think tank and support group of adults who are interested in creating pathways to self-healing; and Sosyete Nago Summer Camp, a youth socio-cultural and academic program that serves an indigenous spiritual cooperative community in Jacmel, Haiti.
Désir is a Vodou priestess initiated in the Sosyete Nago in Jacmel, Haiti. She is also a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and the Vice President (2021–2024) of Kosanba, an academic association on the study of Pan African Religions. In 2012, she served as president of the Haitian Studies Association and was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Children’s Services Council in Broward County, Florida. Throughout her career, Désir has worked as a school psychologist, K-12 school counselor, school administrator for district and charter schools, an academic advisor and professor.
The Florence Bellande Robertson Award
Edouard Duval-Carrié is an internationally acclaimed contemporary artist and curator who incorporates Vodou elements, mythology, and historical figures from Haiti’s past along with Haitian iconography in his surreal mixed-media paintings. He studied at the Université de Montréal, McGill University, the former Loyola College (now Concordia University), and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. For an event to accompany the book launch of Continental Shifts: The Art of Edouard Duval-Carrié, New York University classified Duval-Carrié work as magical realism. He operates in a variety of media: altarpieces, lacquered tiles, and reliquaries in addition to painting and sculpture.
Born and raised in Haiti, Duval-Carrié fled the regime of Francois Duvalier as a teenager and subsequently resided in Puerto Rico, New York, Montreal, Paris, and Miami. Duval-Carrié’s art is often political, which is highlighted in his work including J.C. Duvalier en Folle de Marié and Mardigras at Fort Dimanche. Duval-Carrié’s paintings confront the viewer’s notions of the Western art historical canon and reflect on the influence of Africa and the Caribbean. Kongo Queen (2015) depicts a universe where the real and the mythological coexist to discuss ideas on physical and metaphysical journeys and metamorphoses. At heart, Duval-Carrié is an educator and cultural storyteller: he challenges the viewer to make meaning of rich symbolism and iconography derived from Caribbean history, politics, folklore, and religion.
His works have been exhibited in major museums, art institutions and galleries in Africa, Europe and across the Americas. His solo exhibitions have included: Decolonizing Refinement at Florida State University; Mémoires Encastrées at the Miami International Airport; and the Saga of the Baobab at the Museum of Black Civilisations in Senegal. Two of the artist’s works are displayed as public commissions in Miami: a 1996 piece for the Jefferson Reaves Rehabilitative and Health Center and The Lady of Miami at One Miami Riverwalk. Duval-Carrié’s work is in the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Pérez Art Museum Miami, and the Haitian National Pantheon Museum. Duval-Carrié’s work was also exhibited at the “Ouidah ’92” festival, which celebrated Vodun art from Benin and the African Diaspora in Ouidah, Benin in 1993.
For his years of artistry and creativity, Duval-Carrié has received several awards and fellowships for this received the 2018 Ellie’s Michael Richards Award; the Conseil de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres medal from the Consul General of France in 2014; a South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual Art Fellowship in 1995; and a Southern Arts Federation Visual Art Fellowship in 1996.
Duval-Carrié is also a founding member and current executive director of the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance, created in 1994 to promote Afro-Caribbean history and art.