quick note on Haiti.

the situation in haiti is painful, critical and incredibly important.  as someone who came from a country that has experienced its own share of loss and devestation due to active imperialism i see the ongoing issues in haiti as far greater than this most recent earthquake.  i stand in solidarity with the haitian people and our need to support the rebuilding efforts in both immediate and ongoing ways and i ask that we look closely at the leading factors (many of which we contributed towards) that led haiti into the economic crisis it has been in.  i feel so glad to witness so many people who are willing to think critically about the systemic issues that have impacted the country of haiti WHILE simultaneously supporting the people’s of haiti through ongoing fundraising efforts, raising visibility about the current situation,  educating ourselves about the history of resistance that the haitian people have embodied, y’all  and creating spaces for support through community building and sharing resources with local haitian descendents.

here are a few things i’ve found informative and interesting that have been written about the current situation in haiti.  i’ll begin with the one that pertains to this blog’s theme (adoption):

1. a shout out about this ADWATCH article.. my most favorite suggestion (though they are all brilliant) is in the comments:

I’d add – Don’t adopt a Haitian Child. After disasters there is often a heartfelt desire and a rush to adopt “Orphans”.

The problem is they are often not orphans – and even when they are, where possible it’s better for then to be cared for by extended family or adopted within their communities.

At times of disaster when families are trying to reunite and child protection systems are weaker is not the time to “fast-track” international adoptions and remove the important safeguards that should normally be in place to protect the best interest of the child.

2. the always brilliant and **incitefull** sisters of INCITE Women’s Health and Justice Initiative have authored this letter, I love this part:

As many of us work to figure out appropriate strategies to support the people of Haiti, it�s important to note that the people most vulnerable–namely, women, LGBT folks, people with disabilities, incarcerated people, children, and elders–can experience a slower unfolding of specific crises that are consequences of the original disaster and the social conditions that preceded the disaster.For example, women experience the most negative consequences of catastrophic events, particularly with regards to higher rates of injury and death, displacement, unemployment, increased incidents of HIV rates, sexual and domestic violence, increased poverty, and the disproportionate responsibility for caring for others.  This is especially true for women marginalized by race, sexual orientation, gender identity, class, health, ability, age, housing, and legal status.  Additionally, in times of crises and environmental emergencies, poor and marginalized women, who are least responsible for the horrific conditions in which they live, are often blamed for their poverty and become subjected to regulatory population control policies through family planning, poverty reduction, and so-called environmental protection programs.
(and some of their suggestions)
EDUCATE YOURSELF & YOUR COMMUNITY!

  • Research Haiti�s amazing history of resistance, resiliency, and self-determination
  • Educate your community on the colonial history of deliberate impoverishment, control, debt, dependency, and neglect in Haiti
  • Educate yourself and your community on the intersections of gender, violence, and disaster vulnerabilities
  • Examine how the crises of disasters and gender-based violence are connected to the social, political, environmental, and economic issues you may work on
  • Analyze how the violence of disasters and colonial legacies (and realities) undermines the sovereignty and self-determination of a people
  • Identify patterns of how women, LGBT people, and people with disabilities are particularly impacted by disaster and conflict situations in, for example, Haiti, New Orleans, Palestine, Afghanistan, the Congo, the U.S./Mexico border, Native reservations

ORGANIZE!

  • Convene organizing teach-ins on the history of Haiti, its historical connection to New Orleans, and the role the U.S. government has played in the underdevelopment of Haiti through invasion, occupation, and neoliberal supported policies
  • Reach out to Haitian immigrants and Haitian-Americans in your community who may need support
  • Support progressive democratic and human rights movements in Haiti and campaigns calling for debt cancelation and those to eliminate foreign aid restrictions that privilege US based contractors over Haitian labor
  • Support the capacity of the Haitian government to rebuild its institutional and physical infrastructure and provide sustainable and equitable public and relief services to it�s own people free of neoliberal mandates
  • Ensure that gendered perspectives are mainstreamed within humanitarian programs and long term recovery, both in recognizing the leadership roles and facilities of women and other marginalized communities to guide these processes and the specific vulnerabilities of marginalized communities in times of crisis and national emergency
  • Mobilize women of color & queer/LGBT people of color in your community to develop and share organizing strategies to address crises like these both abroad and here at home
  • Share organizing models and build skills to strengthen our grassroots organizing

DONATE!

3.  and I have a new-found love for the ILLDOCTRINE blog.. and really appreciated THIS perspective on haiti.


in peace y solidarity y’all.
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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Isabel Espinal
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 12:38:03

    I agree that educating ourselves about Haiti is important. In that spirit, I worked with other librarians to create a guide to information and research at http://guides.library.umass.edu/haiti

    Thanks for the info about the Global Fund for Women. I just added it to the guide.

    Reply

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