Haitian Studies Association

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March 2024 Haiti Crisis Update: What We Know (Mar. 8, 2024)



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The Haitian Studies Association is holding a webinar with experts on Haiti to help make sense of the current political situation in the country. Since the past weekend Haitians in Haiti have been dealing with an exacerbated level of violence of unimaginable proportions. The Haitian government declared a state of emergency following attacks by gang members on Haiti’s National Penitentiary and another prison in Croix des Bouquets that freed over 3000 prisoners, including some gang leaders. One of the most notorious gang leaders, former police officer Jimmy Chérizier (aka Barbecue), has overtly stated that he—along with the newly-formed gang coalition Viv Ansanm— is ready to do whatever it takes to overthrow the government.  Meanwhile de facto Prime minister Ariel Henry was in Kenya to finalize the deal whereby Kenya will lead a U.N.-approved security mission to Haiti. As of Wednesday March 6th, Henry was unable to return to Haiti as gangs occupied the airports and there are rumors that the US is asking for his resignation. Panelists will also discuss possible scenarios to resolve the current crisis.


PANELISTS:

Mamyrah Dougé-Prosper (University of California, Irvine)

Bio fragment from: UCI School of Social Sciences (www.socsci.uci.edu)

Mamyrah Dougé-Prosper, global and international studies, assistant professor, specializes in research on social movements in the Caribbean and Latin America – particularly Black and Haitian social movements.

Prosper serves as the international coordinator for the Pan-African Solidarity Network with Community Movement Builders in the U.S. In that capacity, she serves as a coordinator of the Leve Kanpe Avèk Ayiti International Coalition that includes organizations in Canada, the U.S., Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay working to amplify the struggles of the people of Haiti. She’s also a founding member of the Black Radical, a multi-lingual Pan-African media collective.


Robert Fatton (The University of Virginia)

Bio fragment from: Department of Politics (virginia.edu)

Robert Fatton Jr. is the Julia A. Cooper Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia.  He also served as Chair of the Department of Politics from 1997 to 2004; and Associate-Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Virginia from 2010 to 2012.  He is the author of several books and a large number of scholarly articles.  His publications include: Black Consciousness in South Africa (1986); The Making of a Liberal Democracy: Senegal’s Passive Revolution, 1975-1985 (1987); Predatory Rule: State and Civil Society in Africa (1992); Haiti’s Predatory Republic: The Unending Transition to Democracy (2002); The Roots of Haitian Despotism (2007); and Haiti: Trapped in the Outer Periphery (2014).  He is also co-editor with R. K. Ramazani of The Future of Liberal Democracy:  Thomas Jefferson and the Contemporary World (2004); and Religion, State, and Society (2009).  He is the recipient of the 2011 Award for Excellence of the Haitian Studies Association for his “commitment and contribution to the emerging field of Haitian Studies for close to a quarter of a century.”


Jake Johnston (Center for Economic and Policy Research)

Bio taken from: macmillan Publishers (us.macmillan.com)

Johnston is Senior Research Associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. and has been the leading writer for the center’s Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch website since February 2010, just weeks after a 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti. His work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Nation, ABC News, Boston ReviewTruthout, and The Intercept, and elsewhere. He grew up in Portland, Maine and lives in Washington, D.C.


Jemima Pierre (The University of British Columbia)

Bio fragment taken from: The University of British Columbia (www.ubc.ca)

Dr. Jemima Pierre is Professor of Global Race in the Institute of Race, Gender, Sexuality and Social Justice (GRSJ) at the University of British Columbia and a research associate at the Centre for the Study of Race, Gender and Class at the University of Johannesburg. Trained as a sociocultural anthropologist in the African Diaspora Program at the University of Texas, Austin, her research and teaching engages with Africa and the African diaspora across three broad areas of inquiry: 1) the relationship of political economy to race, as articulated through capitalism, white supremacy, and imperialism; 2) migration, transnationalism, and diaspora; and 3) the ethics and politics of western knowledge production and disciplinary formation.


MODERATOR:

François Pierre Louis Jr. (Queens College CUNY)

Bio taken from: Haitian Studies Association

François Pierre-Louis, PhD, is Associate Professor of Political Science at Queens College, CUNY.  His research interests include immigration, transnationalism and Haitian politics. He has worked as a community organizer in Haiti and the U.S., and served in the private cabinet of President Aristide in 1991 and as an advisor to Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis in 2007-2008. He is the author of Haitians in New York City: Transnationalism and Hometown Associations. His articles have appeared in U.S. Catholics, Wadabagei, the Journal of Haitian Studies, Education and Urban Society, and the Journal of Black Studies. He is currently coordinating the Chancellor initiative to help rebuild higher education in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.