SecondI2ndHSP Symposium Proceedings

Second National/International Symposium
The Future of Democracy and Development in Haiti
July 22-24, 2005, Atlanta, Georgia
 

Summation of Proceedings
Convened by
 Dr. Ron Daniels, Founder of the Haiti Support Project
and
Ambassador Andrew Young, President/CEO, Good Works International

For further information or to obtain additional copies contact: The Haiti Support Project,601 50th Street , N.E. , Washington, D.C. 20019
1-877-424-8404 – www.ibw21.org

Executive Summary
Background

Convened at a time of grave and growing crisis in Haiti, more than seventy-five Haitian, Haitian American and African American political, business, religious, civil rights/human rights, civic leaders and humanitarian assistance providers, policy experts and analysts, friends of Haiti, representatives of the Interim Government of Haiti, the United Nations MUNISTAH and the United States Department of State gathered in Atlanta, Georgia for serious dialogue and deliberations on how to create the climate and conditions to move Haiti forward in this crucial period. The epidemic of violence plaguing the nation, the status of detainees and political prisoners, the prospects for elections, the need for more women voices in the dialogue and the conditions for reconciliation were among the dominant themes and issues addressed during the Symposium. 

Resolutions, Proposals and Recommendations

At the conclusion of Working Session II, the three sub-committees constituted during Working Session I submitted resolutions. In addition, the moderators/facilitators extracted key proposals from the discussion and presented them to the body for adoption by consensus:

Denouncing Violence

We assembled in Atlanta July 22, 2005 believe that:

  • Violence has no redeeming value
  • Haiti must break the cycle of violence that today sows fear and despair deep in the hearts and minds of its people.
  • We call on all political actors to join us in denouncing violence.
  • We strongly denounce all proponents of violence

We pledge to work towards justice and the establishment of a non-violent, freedom loving, democratic country that upholds the rights of all of its children without discrimination.

[The full text of this resolution with the signatories is available upon request]

Political Prisoners and Other Detainees

We call upon the Interim Government of Haiti to:

  1. Immediately release prisoners currently detained only for reason of political affiliation, if any.
  2. Immediately release prisoners arrested and detained that have already been in jail for a period that exceeds the amount of time they would legally be required to serve under Haitian Law.
  3. Expeditiously address the issue of prolonged pre-trial detention. 

 Haitian Deportees

  1. We call for suspending all deportations until the February 2006 transition.
  2. We encourage the U.S. Government to support and fund a  “re-socialization/re-integration”  program for deportees. Specifics could include:
  • Encouraging the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to support incorporating a provision in the “Second Chance Act” to support a comprehensive program of transitional services for deportees. 
  • Pressing the U.S. to fully comply with the Memorandum of Understanding agreed upon in 2003.

The Traffic in Drugs and Arms

We call upon the U.S. Government to increase the presence of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in Haiti to collaborate with Haitian authorities to more aggressively work to block the transshipment of drugs through Haiti and the importation of illegal arms/weapons.

Protection for Journalists and the Press

We call upon the Interim Government of Haiti and MINUSTAH to provide protection for journalists in their exercise of freedom of the press as a fundamental right within a democratic society.

Public Works Program

We call for the implementation of a public works program to undertake projects in sanitation, roads and infrastructure construction and repair, reforestation and electrification to provide productive jobs, stimulate the economy and reduce crime and violence.

Continuing the Symposium Process

Against the backdrop of expressions about the utility, value and success of Symposium II, the participants adopted a recommendation that a third Symposium be convened in Haiti prior to the close of the voter registration period, and that this session be more inclusive of women and   organizations which are based in and/or represent poor constituencies and communities.  An overture should be made to officials of the Presidential Commission on the National Dialogue in Haiti to request that this body support and host Symposium III as a means of connecting and enriching the process of dialogue on critical matters related to Haiti´s future.

Follow-Up

Working collaboratively with Ambassador Young, the Haiti Support Project will strive to maintain the progress and momentum developed at Symposium II by undertaking the following steps: 

  1. Arrange briefings with the Congressional Black Caucus and other interested national African American political, civil rights/human rights, civic, religious and labor organizations and leaders headquartered in Washington, D.C. 
  2. Meet with officials of the U.S.  State Department and other appropriate governmental agencies to brief them on the outcome of  Symposium II and  press for support of the resolutions and  proposals adopted. 
  3. Arrange briefings with U.S. based leaders of CARICOM, the OAS and AU. 
  4. Visit Haiti for a round of consultations with officials of the Interim Government, the U.N. mission, political parties, constituencies and leaders to press for the implementation of the resolutions and proposals adopted at the Symposium II and begin preparations and arrangements for Symposium III, to be held in Haiti as mandated by the participants. 
  5. Initiate efforts to encourage the participation of more Haitian and Haitian American women in the meetings, conferences, symposia, etc., dealing with the process of justice and reconciliation and dialogue on a program of national unity. 
  6. Work to mobilize African Americans and Haitian Americans to serve as monitors of the election process from the final phases of registration to the campaign and voting during the election(s). 
  7. Explore the feasibility of establishing a leadership training and skill development program in public administration to serve as a resource to help strengthen Haiti´s governmental institutions. The program would be devised and implemented by the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, the parent body of the Haiti Support Project. 
  8. Convene a national conference, after elections are concluded in Haiti, to mobilize the African American and Haitian American communities to be the base for building a powerful constituency for Haiti in the U.S. to impact U.S. policy and provide technical assistance,  humanitarian and developmental aid to Haiti.

Synopsis of the Sessions

Women´s Roundtable Dialogue

The Symposium included a Women´s Roundtable Dialogue to address the issue of women´s representation in the Symposium, the impact of the crises in Haiti on women and the role of women in building a new future for Haiti. During the Opening Session, Sylvia Henry-Ashley, Vice-President, Business Development, Good Works International, reported that the Women´s Dialogue had agreed to focus on education as a critical need in Haiti. The group proposes to build four multi-service schools using retired cargo containers as the basic structural framework. Participants at the Symposium were invited to support this initiative.

Opening Session

In general the presentations during the Opening Session were characterized by salutes to Haiti´s remarkable history as the first Black Republic in the western hemisphere and appeals for Haitians to unite and resolve their differences by non-violent means. The Opening Session was Moderated by Dr. Marc Prou, Executive Director, Haitian Studies Association and Rev. Magdeline Womack, Vice-President, Public Relations, Good Works, International. 

Rev. Dr. T. Dewitt Smith, First Vice-President of the 2.5 million-member Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC) noted that his denomination is deeply involved in Haiti with more than 400 churches and scores of humanitarian assistance projects, some of which have been carried out in collaboration with the Haiti Support Project. He stressed that PNBC and numerous African American organizations are willing to mobilize even greater human and material resources to assist Haiti´s development if the various parties, factions and constituencies can come together to heal the nation and achieve peace and security.

Martin Luther King III, President of the Martin Luther King Center, echoed the appeal that Haitians reject violence and use non-violence as a tool to resolve conflicts. He discussed the philosophy and methods Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used for resolving conflicts.

Alix Baptiste, Minister for Haitians Living Abroad, described the non-partisan approach that he is using to outreach and mobilize the Haitian Diaspora to support Haiti, including advocating for Haitians living abroad to participate in the forthcoming elections.  

Henri Dorleans, the new Minister for Justice for the Interim Government, applauded the Lavalas movement for having given voice to the poor and disenfranchised in Haiti but challenged Lavalas to renounce violence in pursuit of its goals. He declared that “courage and sincerity” are needed to confront and overcome the crises that are thwarting Haiti´s progress. He announced that a special commission has been constituted to review the more than 1,200 cases of persons currently detained in Haiti´s jails/prisons with a view to releasing those who have been held for long periods of time without being formally charged. The remarks by Mr. Dorleans were very

positively received as they addressed one of the key issues with which many organizations and

agencies in the U.S. and the international community have been concerned –  the status of the detainees and a process for expeditiously adjudicating their cases.

Dr. Ron Daniels, challenged the participants to rise above politics as usual for the sake of the masses of the Haitian people. He reiterated the Haiti Support Project´s longstanding call for parties and constituencies in Haiti across the political spectrum to engage a process of justice, reconciliation and a dialogue on a program and government of national unity. Dr. Daniels indicated that African Americans stand ready to become major stakeholders and partners in the process of “finishing the unfinished Haitian Revolution.”

Working Session I – Perspectives on the Current Situation in Haiti: Challenges and Opportunities to Restore Constitutional Rule

Moderator, Dr. Jemadari Kamara, Chairman Emeritus, Black Studies Program, University of Mass/Boston, Haiti Support Project Coordinating Committee

Presenters/Resource Persons:

Jocelyn McCalla, Executive Director, National Coalition for Haitian Rights

Dan Erikson,  Executive Director, Inter- American Dialogue

Dumas Simeus, Chairman, Simeus Foods International, Vice-President, NOAH

Lizbeth Cullity, Officer-in-Charge, Political Affairs and Planning Division,

                             United Nations, MINUSTAH

There was little question that the situation in Haiti has deteriorated in recent weeks with an increase in kidnappings, assassinations, politically motivated violence and crime. Much of the discussion centered on whether or not elections could and should take place in this atmosphere.  There were sharply differing views on this question with some presenters arguing that it is imperative that the elections be held as the only means to select a new government and restore constitutional rule. Comparisons were made to Iraq, El Salvador and South Africa where people voted in large numbers despite the threat of violence. However, those who took this position were open to the idea of extending the registration deadlines to make it possible for more people to register, combine the two elections into one or push the date of the election back in order to reasonably ensure that they will take place in an atmosphere where large numbers of people will be motivated to vote.

Others argued that it makes no sense to have the elections in this atmosphere, that with the current insecurity it is not safe for people to register to vote, for candidates to campaign or for people to turn out on election day(s). It was suggested that it is very important that the elections be seen as legitimate by a wide majority of the Haitian people, otherwise the elections may prove to be an exercise in futility. Participants were challenged to “think outside the box” in developing creative ways to restore constitutional rule without adhering to arbitrary and artificial formulas and deadlines.

While there may be some willingness to extend deadlines for registration and alter the election calendar for the first round, it is clear that the U.N. and the U.S. are committed to elections being completed by February 7, 2006 and a new government assuming power on that date. Factual data was presented on the progress of preparing the populations for elections so far. Approximately 600,000 people have been registered out of a possible 4.5 million. More than 300 of the 400 registration sites planned are open. And, the goal is to have anywhere from 800-1,200 polling places ready by October when the first round of elections is scheduled (According to an August 8, 2005 AP report another 400,000 people have registered since the Symposium bringing the total to 1 million).

There was no definitive agreement whether the elections should proceed or be postponed, however, there was general consensus that a number of factors would ultimately determine whether elections would be viewed as legitimate by the Haitian people and the international community:

  • A dramatic reduction in violence in order to create a much more secure environment for voter registration, campaigning and voting on election days.
  • Adequate registration sites and polling places that are accessible to people in poor neighborhoods and impoverished rural areas.
  • Inclusion of all political parties in the process
  • A high voter turnout with a large number of monitors/observers to oversee and verify that the elections are open, free and fair.
  • A well managed process to discourage fraud and manipulation and inspire confidence in the outcome. 

The discussion on the election was interspersed with comments and observations about how to reduce violence and create greater security in Haiti. Deportees from the U.S. who have become linked with drug gangs and other criminal elements were mentioned as a major issue, which must be addressed. It was also suggested that resolving the issue of the detainees and political prisoners could lead to a reduction of political violence. The implementation of a public works jobs program and a gun buy back campaign were recommended as initiatives, which could lead to a reduction in violence. There was a sentiment that the proposals mentioned above should be a part of a comprehensive disarmament, demobilization and re-integration program for gangs and the former military. There was a strong expression that participants at the Symposium should sign a resolution denouncing the use of violence.

Three committees were formed from this working session to prepare and present resolutions to the general body on disarmament and re-integration, economic initiatives to reduce violence and the denunciation of violence.

 Working  Session II – Perspectives on Justice, Reconciliation and a Program of  National Unity: Can Haiti Rise Above Politics as Usual?

Moderator: Dr. Ron Daniels, Founder, Haiti Support Project

Presenters:

Ambassador Andrew Young, President, Good Works International

Leslie Voltaire, Fanmi Lavalas  

Andy Apaid, Groupe 184

Marc Bazin, Mouvement pour L´Instauration de la Democratie

Paul Denis, OPL

Phillipe  R. Armand, President, Groupe Dynamics

Ian Campbell, Legislative Assistant for International Affairs, Congressman Gregory Meeks,

                          Congressional Black Caucus

Ian Campbell delivered a message from Congressman Gregory Meeks in which he stressed the importance of creating an environment in which “all parties can participate in the government.” Congressman Meeks underscored his conviction (which he expressed at the first Symposium) that the “key component in making this environment a reality is disarmament. Disarmament is an essential component of any negotiations and dialogue regarding the future of Haiti.  All parties, armed groups, members of the old regimes, and new regime representatives must participate in negotiations that will move the country forward. Anything short of not involving all parties in the negotiations, demonstrate a lack of sincerity in moving forward.” [full statement is appended to this Summation]

Ambassador Andrew Young offered a number of observations to precipitate serious discussion on the question of national reconciliation:

The answer to Haiti´s problems will not be found by simply electing a President.  Much more must be done to create a sense of forgiveness by all sides in order to foster a climate where there can be real progress is solving the country´s problems.

In Nigeria, amnesty was granted to those who started a civil war by seceding from the federal union in an attempt to establish Biafra. In South Africa a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was constituted in an effort to heal the wounds of the past and allow the new South Africa to move forward.

In Rwanda a power sharing arrangement has been effected in an effort to overcome the destructive rivalries and tensions, which led to the genocidal killing sprees in the past. Thus far it seems to be working.

It is critical to have an open political process that people can trust. Haiti should avoid a

“winner-take-all” attitude and system in favor of one where everyone wins or shares in power and no one party has absolute dominance. There should be “simplified procedures” for the elections.

There must be an accommodation between rich and poor, the haves and the have-nots. The poor, who are the majority in Haiti, must have a stake in the system and benefit from it, otherwise there will always the potential for chronic insecurity and instability because of the alienation, anger and frustration of the poor.

In the current situation, it is crucial that a jobs program be implemented to give hope to the poor. 

A commitment to non-violence, forgiveness and a “no fault” approach should be elements of the reconciliation process if it is to be maximally successful.

If amnesty is to be a part of the reconciliation process, there is a need to decide whom it will apply to and whom it will not apply to.

A functional, independent judiciary is an important cornerstone to inspiring confidence that the system will be fair and just.

Responses and Discussions After Ambassador Young´s Presentation

A very rich, frank and productive discussion ensued after Ambassador Young´s observations/remarks much of which focused on the current climate of violence/insecurity, reducing violence, the need for dialogue among various parties, the attitude of the private sector, the prospects for meaningful elections and the role of the Haitian Diaspora in the upcoming elections:

There is a need for credible investigations of political leaders, activists and journalists killed during the time of the Aristide Government and the Interim Government. People who have committed crimes should go to jail, but those who are detained without charges or the innocent should be set free.

The Haitian National Police need to be improved. There is a need for more training in order to improve the capacity of the police to relate to the people and do their job more effectively.

If all sectors of Haitian society are to move from mere existence to co-existence, there is need for massive civic education for the Haitian people around a national vision and a permanent/ongoing dialogue among the political parties and constituencies.

The process of moving beyond “politics as usual” is well underway and “irreversible, ” but no one sector can do it alone. All parties must agree on the minimum conditions for shaping the new Haiti. Dialogue regarding this proposition is underway among various parties including elements of Lavalas. Those who are fighting against the process must be isolated.

There were strong allegations that Lavalas is the force behind the violence in Haiti, and a hint that those who have heretofore conducted the fight for change non-violently might  respond in kind.  This was countered by strong assertions that Lavalas is being blamed for perpetrating violence even as its leaders and sympathizers are being detained without charges, persecuted and killed, and that much of the violence is being committed by drug gangs and criminal elements.

A view was advanced that Haiti is a “collapsed state.” Haiti can either choose to return to some form of dictatorship, military or ideological authoritarian rule or elect to build democratic institutions and processes where all sectors have a stake and sense of real ownership of the system.

The forthcoming elections should be seen as an opportunity to move from “chaos to normality,” and as a vehicle to elect essentially a transitional government whose charge is to work diligently with all parties and sectors in Haitian society to create a new system of governance and a new state.  Such a transitional government should be constituted on the basis of proportional representation and power sharing as an outcome of an election that is inclusive of all parties and is well monitored by the international community to validate that it was free, open and fair. The question and challenge is how to engineer such a transition.

It was suggested that every avenue should be explored, including setting up an institute for leadership training and development, to find ways to enhance the skills and expertise of public servants in Haiti in every branch and division of government. This is an area where the resources and experiences of Haitian Americans and African Americans with government or equivalent private sector experience could be invaluable.

There was a debate about the role of Jean Bertrand Aristide in the process of achieving reconciliation and moving forward with elections that include Lavalas. There was a strong declaration that it is impossible to have elections in which Lavalas participates without negotiations and an accommodation with Aristide as head of the Party. The contrary view was that it is absurd to think that Haiti cannot have elections without Aristide´s consent.

There were perspectives presented by representatives of the private sector which suggested a serious effort is being made to eradicate the negative attitudes and practices of the past in terms of developing a cohesive Haitian society. In the past the “elite” was isolated from the church, social organizations and the poor. The new private sector must be committed to working to aggregate all sectors in the interest of advancing the common good of all Haitians; work to make certain that there are schools for everyone to enable all Haitian children to get an education; pay taxes as a duty and responsibility to the state and society; and support the “Social Contract” as a basis for political engagement.

Haiti must have an all-inclusive future where there is one standard of justice for all. The private sector must promote social justice and social repair. There must be elections which are accepted as legitimate by all parties and where the losers accept the results and the winners respect and protect the rights of the losers. This would be a major step forward in Haitian politics.

It is important to have a partnership between the private and public sectors to promote business/economic development and to mobilize human and material resources to meet critical societal needs. The “Bombay First” plan as utilized in India was suggested as a potential model of effective private/public sector partnership. It is important that the private sector and public sectors collaborate to create a plan and a strategy for its implementation.

The question of whether or not Haitians living abroad would be permitted to vote in the upcoming elections was discussed with Haitian Americans strongly urging the Interim Government to make every effort to allow the Diaspora to participate/vote in the elections. The Minister for Haitians Living Abroad assured the group that this is one of his top priorities and that progress is being made. Due to budget constraints and logistical challenges, participation in the election may have to be limited to Haitians in North America for this round of elections.

Concluding Commentary

The first Symposium on the Future of Democracy and Development convened in Washington, D.C. in March was modestly successful for the mere fact that so many political actors from rival political parties and diverse interest groups willingly gathered in a room together for an intense discussion and debate about what is required to restore stability and constitutional rule. It was also successful because the group reached a minimum agreement that “respect for human rights should be a non-partisan issue,” and that “disarmament of all political gangs, criminal gangs, former military groups and para-military organizations is imperative to curtail violence” in order to achieve security and stability in Haiti.

Building on the modest success of Symposium I and Ambassador Andrew Young´s momentous visit to Haiti in May, the deliberations in Symposium II were characterized by a sense of urgency that leaders and constituencies come together to seriously grapple with finding a way out of the current social and political morass in Haiti. Despite the dire circumstances in Haiti, there was a tremendous amount of energy in the sessions, earnest reaching out among adversaries to bridge divides and honest efforts to confront and overcome some of the issues that may have impeded progress towards a more unified approach to resolving Haiti´s manifold problems.

There was a sense of hope and cautious optimism that maybe that which seemed improbable prior to the convening of Symposium II may be possible – assembling a critical mass of leaders, parties, organizations and constituencies that will dedicate themselves to ending politics as usual; a critical mass committed to a principled settling of differences in order to contemplate devising a program of national unity, or common agenda to move the country forward at this crucial juncture in history and possibly forging some form of government of national unity or power-sharing arrangement.

There was a sense of hope and optimism as we left Atlanta, a feeling that some major issues had been addressed, some hardened attitudes softened and a collective realization that the interests of the masses of the Haitian people demand that a broad array of forces act to create the environment and conditions for the restoration of constitutional rule and a new beginning for Haiti. Ambassador Young and I intend to seize this moment of optimism and hope to vigorously press for the implementation of the resolutions adopted at Symposium II and move expeditiously to make arrangements for the convening of Symposium III in Haiti in the near future. We are determined to use this window of opportunity to conscientiously work with our Haitian and Haitian American sisters and brothers to make the most of this moment, conscious that the fate and future of a great people may hang in the balance. We appeal to all parties, interest groups and constituencies to move forward in that same spirit. Working together, “we shall overcome.” 

Ron Daniels, Ph.D.
Founder, Haiti Support Project

List of Symposium Attendees: 

Ambassador Andrew Young, President, Good Works International

Dr. Ron Daniels, Founder, Haiti Support Project

Lizbeth Cullity, Officer in Charge, Political Affairs and Planning Division,

                            United Nation, MINUSTAH

Jeffrey Saliaz, Political Officer, U.S. Department of State, Haiti

Henri Dorlèans, Minister of Justice and Security, Haiti

Alix Baptiste, Minister for Haitians Living Abroad

Duly Brutus, Ambassador, Haiti Mission to the Organization of American States

Raymond Joseph, Ambassador for Haiti to the U.S., Washington, DC

Marie Saint-Fleur, State House Representative, 5th Suffolk District, Massachusetts

Ian Campbell, Legislative Assistant for International Affairs, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks

Martin Luther King III, President, Martin Luther King Center,

                                          President Emeritus, Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Claire McLeveign, Director of International Affairs, Office of Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Joseph Alfred, National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (NOAH)

Dr. Anthony Kwebu Andoh, North Scale Institute

Mrs. Anthony Kwebu Andoh, North Scale Institute

Andy Apaid, Groupe 184

Yvon Aristide, NOAH

Philippe Armand, President, Groupe Dynamics

Dr. Joseph Baptiste, President, NOAH

Marc Bazin, Mouvment Pour L´Instaurarion de la Democratie (MIDH)

Marie-Yolene Bazin, Mouvment Pour L´Instauration de la Democratie (MIDH)

Joseph Beasley, Southern Regional Coordinator, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition,

                            HSP Coordinating Committee

Gabriel Benoit, Sonje Ayiti Organization

Frantz Bourget, Haitian American Center for Business & Economic Development

Donna Briggins, Clark Atlanta University

Alix Cantave, Haitian Studies Association and LISC

Harold Charles, President, TCI SkyKing AirlineLionel Delatour, Vice- President, Centre Pour La Libre Enterprise Et La Democratie

Marie Delmond, KOPA

Paul Denis, Organization du Peuple au Lutte (OPL)

Marie Julie Dimanche, Fanmi Lavalas

Richard & Rose Edkins, Family Outreach Ministries International, Inc.

Dan Erikson, Director, Caribbean Program, Inter American Dialogue

Daniel Fils-Aime, Haitian American Historical Society

Ka Flewellen, Organizational Development Consultant, Haiti Support Project

Dr. Emanuel Francois, NOAH

Sorel Francois, Political Commission Fammi Lavalas.

Essud Fundcap, NOAH

Marion Garvin, AFL-CIO, CWA Local 3263

Mirlande Georges, Fanmi Lavalas

Serge Gilles, Parti Fusion des Sociaux Democrates Haitiens

Pierre Guillaume, NOAH

Sylvia Henry-Ashley, Vice-President, Business Develop, Good Works International

Dr. Cynthia Hewitt, Dean, School of Sociology, Moorehouse College

Edvige Jean-Francois, Journalist

Colonel Malachi Jones, NOAH

Dr. Jemadari Kamara, Chairman Emeritus, Black Studies Department, Umass/Boston,

                                        Haiti Support Project Coordinating Committee

Yanick Lahens, Groupe 184

Dale Latty, Georgia Democratic Party

Juanita Love, Concerned Black Clergy of Atlanta

Richard Martin, Global Peace Containers

Jean Claude Martineau, Author/Poet

Max Mathis, Haitian Ministry, Theophile Baptist Church

Jocelyn McCalla, Executive Director, National Coalition for Haitian Rights

Jean C Michel,.Chay Pa Lou, Inc

Rev. Dr. Leon Pamphile, Director, Functional Literacy Ministry, Haiti Support Project

                                           Coordinating Committee

Dr. Gilbert Parks, Chairman Emeritus of the Board of trustees, National Medical Association

Marc Prou, Executive Director, Haitian Studies Association

Carolyn Avila-Rose, World Vision International

Ronald Saint-Jean, Comite de Defense des Droits du Peuple Haitien

Pierre Sanon, Atlanta Haitian Community Center

Dumas Simeus, President, Simeus Foods International, Vice-President, NOAH

Rev. Dr. T. DeWitt Smith, First Vice-President, Progressive National Baptist Convention

Wayne Thompson, Chairman, Haiti Support Project Coordinating Committee

Janice Uddell, Dean, Clark Atlanta University

Lionel Vernet, Haitian Ministry, Theophile Baptist Church

Leslie Voltaire, Fanmi Lavalas

Andrea Waters, Center for Democratic Renewal

Victoria Wigodzky, Open Society Institute

Diane Wilson, North Scale Institute

Rev. Magdalene Womack, Vice-President, Public Relations, Good Works International

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About IBW21

IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to building the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. to work for the social, political, economic and cultural upliftment, the development of the global Black community and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.