Haitian Studies Association

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An Island in the Chain: Haitian and Dominican Relations in the 21st Century (Jan. 12, 2023)

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In June of 2022, Dominican President Luis Abinader met with de facto Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry at the Summit of the Americas in the United States to discuss border security issues, including the mandate renewal of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH). Four months later, Abinader issued a decree ordering the expulsion of Haitian migrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent occupying state-owned land (primarily used for sugar plantations). Henry’s government remained silent.

Traditional analyses of Haitian-Dominican relations accentuate the white supremacist anti-Black discourses and practices in the Dominican Republic that target “Haitian-looking” people. This panel will historicize Dominican state-sanctioned violence against its Black denizens by exposing its political and economic roots and the complicity of the U.S. and Haitian states. And most importantly, the panel will also showcase the resistance of organized groups on both sides of the island and their respective diasporas.

Featured on this panel are scholars and activists in the Dominican Republic and Haiti:

  • Altagracia Jean Joseph of Fundacion Codigo Humano (DR)
  • Maribel Núñez Valdez of Accion Afro-Dominicana (DR)
  • Amarilys Estrella of We Are All Dominican (USA)
  • Colette Lespinasse, Defansè Dwa Migran (Haiti)

Charlène Desir of T.E.N. Global will open the event with a Vodou song, commemorating the anniversary of the January 12 earthquake in Haiti.

This panel is multilingual (Kreyòl, English and Spanish). Simultaneous interpretation will be available in all three languages.