It has been an honor to work in collaboration with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) over the last several years. They have been a strong force fighting for social justice and for human and civil rights in Haiti.
As a State Senator, I have seen firsthand IJDH’s work with the Haitian diaspora and friends of Haiti. The devastating earthquake of 2010 led to my partnership with IJDH and other community organizations, in response to the disaster. Petitioning our government to allow a Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program for people already approved for visas in Haiti was no small feat, yet IJDH was there with us collecting signatures. Before long, President Barack Obama granted HFRP for Haitian families. IJDH led the charge addressing the cholera epidemic by taking the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to court. IJDH and BAI’s fight was successful when the UN finally recognized and apologized for it.
My parents were born in Haiti and immigrated to the United States, where they began their family. They managed to help extended family and friends, new to America, get on their feet and adapt to American culture. Witnessing the selflessness of my parents led me to pursue a career in public service and so I am able to continue my parent’s legacy of kindness and generosity. As the only elected official of Haitian descent in Massachusetts, it gives me great comfort to see the passion and commitment of IJDH to work and strengthen the people of Haiti with legal support to dismantle barriers to progress and prosperity. I know the impact IJDH and BAI are making and wish to see them continue to accompany the Haitian community.
I have witnessed IJDH’s work with the Haitian community for many years and know how they are influencing policies both here and in Washington, D.C. and making a systemic difference. I am proud to serve as a member of the board and support the work of IJDH, and encourage you to support them by donating today. Thank you.
Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season,
State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry
1st Suffolk District