Bòn Ane! Happy New Year & Thank You!

A Message from IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon

From all of us at IJDH and BAI, Happy New Year! This year is a special one for us. It marks the start of IJDH’s 20th year. And, thanks to the steadfast support of partners like you, we are in a strong position to kickstart another year of ambitious campaigns and high-impact human rights defense work in close collaboration with our partners in Haiti. We look forward to sharing stories and celebrating our victories throughout the year as we mark this special anniversary. 

On New Year’s Day, we are also celebrating Haitian Independence Day. On January 1, 1804, Haitians not only declared victory over Napoleon, they proclaimed that the liberty and equality espoused by the U.S. and French revolutions did not depend on the color of one’s skin. Haitians’ insistence on racial equality changed the world and inspired successful struggles for freedom throughout the world.

As we know too well, 120 years later this comprehensive version of equality has not yet prevailed in Haiti. Equality has not prevailed in the U.S. either, or at the UN or so many other places where countries that built their power on slavery maintain disproportionate influence. 

Haitians keep fighting for equality in Haiti and throughout the world. On New Year’s Day, we at BAI and IJDH recommit to another year of supporting this fight, through our work in Haiti and wherever decisions about Haitians’ rights are made. We are particularly excited this upcoming year to expand our work on the restitution of the Independence Debt that Haiti paid to France, as part of the broader global struggle for reparations for slavery.  

May this day be marked both by celebration and by a renewed commitment to building peace through equality, justice and accountability. We are undeterred in our commitment to this mission and to the fight to advance Haitian-led solutions to build democracy in Haiti.

For 20 years, I have been inspired by Haitian freedom fighters. I look forward to another year of lessons learned and victories secured.

We wish you a joyous New Year filled with health, happiness, and success. Bòn Ane!


Brian Concannon
IJDH Executive Director