Congressman Meeks to Join Pilgrimage to Citadel in Haiti
Group Pushes Cultural Historical Tourism to Promote Development
– Press Advisory –
October 7, New York – The Haiti Support Project (HSP), under the leadership of Dr. Ron Daniels, is slated to embark on the Third Pilgrimage to Haiti October 8-12, to visit the magnificent Citadel and other important cultural-historical sites. This year´s delegation of forty-three participants largely consists of educators, cultural artists, entrepreneurs, business and professionals, heads of community based organizations, community activists and opinion leaders. A major goal of the Pilgrimage is to combat the negative images of Haiti generated by unsympathetic media in the U.S. by providing an opportunity for the participants to meet Haiti´s people and experience the culture first hand. To that end the delegation will include: Warren Ballentine, “The Number One Truth Fighter in America, Nationally syndicated Talk Show Host, Radio One Network; Brook Titus, Producer for The Bev Smith Show on American Urban Radio Networks, and Richard Muhammad, Editor of the Final Call Newspaper.
In 2006, the Haiti Support Project launched the Model City Initiative in Milot, a small town that sits at the foot of the Citadel and Sans Souci Palace, to promote cultural/historical tourism. In launching the Initiative Dr. Daniels said, “cultural/historical tourism should be the foundation for people based economic development in Milot and the northern region of Haiti. We believe that every person of African descent and friend of Haiti should visit the Citadel at least once in a lifetime.” Accordingly, one of the highlights of Pilgrimage III will be the visit to the Citadel by Congressman Gregory Meeks, from New York, Chairman of the Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade. Congressman Meeks, who will be in Haiti as part of an Official Congressional Delegation, has agreed to join Dr. Daniels for the delegation´s tour of the Citadel and Sans Souci Palace. Congressman Meeks is believed to be the first member of the Congressional Black Caucus ever to visit the Citadel. Clearly excited about the Congressman´s participation in the delegation, Dr. Daniels commented that “the image of a member of the Congressional Black Caucus standing atop the Citadel will send an unmistakable signal to Black America and the world that Haiti is safe for tourism and open for business.”
Congressman Meeks, however, will not be the only notable leader participating in Pilgrimage III. Other Special Guests include Kangol Kid, the first Haitian American Hip Hop Artist and original member of U.T.F.O. Born in Brooklyn of Haitian parents, Kangol Kid is making his first visit to Haiti since he was eleven years old; George Fraser, President, FraserNet, Inc., the largest network of Black professionals in the world with more than 30,000 members, many of whom are business people who might be attracted to investing in Haiti; Joseph Beasley, IBW/HSP´s “Global Ambassador,” who is Regional Coordinator of Rev. Jesse Jackson´s Rainbow/Push Coalition. Mr. Beasley was part of HSP´s very first delegation to Haiti in 1995.
In addition to visiting the Citadel, the delegation will be briefed by U.S. Embassy staff, meet with Ministers of Government, local officials in Milot and business and civic leaders. A reception at the Presidential Palace will be the climax of the Pilgrimage. Ultimately Dr. Daniels envisions the participants in the Pilgrimage returning to the U.S. as “Ambassadors of Hope for Haiti.”
For further information or follow-up interviews contact: Destination Haiti Foundation, 011.509.3.401.6201 or Carolyn McClair Public Relations, 917.686.0854