Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

No ordinary triumph for Haiti

Dear Friend, This is no ordinary triumph. This is historic. This is the moment that the Irish poet Seamus Heaney foretold as the rising up of that “once in a lifetime…longed-for tidal wave of justice,” when “hope and history rhyme.” When the leader of 193 nations apologized on December 1 from his grand carpeted chamber at the UN to millions of Haitians, many with dirt floors, the poles of power began to shift. The earth shuddered a “great sea-change on the far side of revenge.”  It didn’t come about without hope. It also didn’t materialize without your unfailing support. And it would not have been possible without a scrappy band of Haitian and international lawyers, interns, and their allies at the Bureau de Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Port au Prince and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) […]

No Money, No Justice?

December 31, 2014 “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Mahatma Gandhi- Dear Friend, My name is Vladimir Laguerre and I am a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I am the former Foreign Media Liaison Chief to Haiti’s current President [2011-2013]. Before that, I was a sports commentator for Telemax and Tele Métropole in Port-au-Prince and a contractor for the New York Times covering Haiti. My work at the New York Times gave me the chance to better understand how BAI and IJDH’s work is important for establishing prosperity and stability in Haiti. Who can forget the role of these organizations before, during and even after the Raboteau trial? Who can ignore the role of BAI and IJDH in providing justice to the thousands of Haitian victims of MINUSTAH’s cholera?I’d like to take […]

Keeping Human Rights Heroes Safe

December 30, 2014 Dear Friend, Building a better Haiti and keeping people safe are two of my passions. Through Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), I found a great way to do both this year. When I moved from Haiti to the U.S. as a young adult, I had no money and spoke no English. From humble beginnings bagging groceries and driving a cab, I eventually grew to lead aviation security and emergency management at Boston’s Logan Airport. While I now lead my own security firm, I devote much of my personal time assisting others and giving back to my community because of the challenges I have faced along the way. I joined forces with IJDH and BAI this year because fighting for justice and speaking out can be dangerous work. BAI Managing […]

How I Used My Gifts for Lasting Change in Haiti

December 23, 2014 Dear Friends, I’m writing because this year I found an exciting opportunity to make lasting positive change in Haiti by supporting the Rape Accountability and Prevention Project (RAPP), at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). I hope that you will consider joining me in this meaningful and empowering initiative. I knew that the trauma of rape is complicated and has many repercussions—personally and culturally. I had read that the aftermath of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake was a time of great vulnerability and fear, when rapes increased dramatically, particularly in the camps where 1.5 million were forced to live. But it was not until this year that I learned I could do something about it. As an advantaged white Latina living in the States most of my life, I’ve been aware of but […]

Help Us Power Haitian Solutions

December 18, 2014 Dear Friend, I have seen so much change in Haiti in my lifetime. If you could see what I see daily, you would be filled with hope for my country too. I see Haitian solutions bringing justice. And justice bringing hope for stability and prosperity. Every day, our office in Port-au-Prince is filled with grassroots activists organizing, holding press conferences and strategizing with our team of lawyers. From there, the activists go out to change the unjust structures that keep the Haitian people down. Women’s groups pack courtrooms, changing the dynamics that intimidate rape victims and even make their lawyers feel uncomfortable. Demonstrators attract national and international attention to social issues, and that attention brings pressure for change. Labor leaders return to their unions with the legal tools they need to enforce their rights and earn their […]

Raise Your Voice for Justice This Holiday Season

December 15, 2014 Dear Friend, We do not speak. afraid of what might happen to us the air above our tongues prays for us to speak. afraid of what might happen if we don’t The Air Above Our Tongues, By Ruth Forman (from Prayers Like Shoes) Many awards were presented to human rights activists around the world on December 10th, International Human Rights Day. This year, the day reminded me of the two-day retreat I hosted last July for the staff of Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, in the cool mountains high above Port-au-Prince. There in my midst were about two dozen emerging leaders – young, dedicated, brilliant and eager Haitian lawyers, apprentice lawyers and law students – fighting daily for the dignity of their fellow Haitians. I pinned an imaginary medal on each of them, shook their hands and gave each a hug. […]

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Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
15 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116

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