FROM THE DESK OF THE AMBASSADOR
I am thrilled to announce that the Embassy is launching Haiti Week in DC 2017, in partnership with the renowned establishment Busboys and Poets.
Haiti Week in DC, to be held from May 13th to the 21st, has been designed to offer the Washington community a glimpse into the richness of Haiti, while highlighting the island’s contributions in the Americas. Haiti Week in DC is intended to help shift the negative narrative often associated with Haiti in the US.
In the coming days, you will receive a detailed list of events that will be offered during Haiti week in DC. Many of these events will take place at the Haitian Embassy or at Busboys and Poets locations. While I do not want to get ahead of our staff who are diligently putting the final touches together, I would like to highlight a few events we are planning for this year’s Haiti Week in DC:
- A celebration of Haitian culture at Busboys and Poets featuring an acoustic performance by internationally acclaimed singer, Emeline Michel. She is known for fusing pop, jazz, blues, and traditional Haitian rhythms into deeply moving, joyful music delivered in a charismatic live show.
- For the history lovers, Smithsonian Museum Curator Dr. Joanne Hyppolite will provide a guided tour through the halls of the National Museum of African American History and Culture pointing out the contributions of Haiti and Haitian people on display.
- A panel conversation featuring DC Attorney General Karl Racine, Patrick Gaspard, former US Ambassador to South Africa and former Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Marie St Fleur, the first Haitian-American elected to a State Legislature. Yamiche Alcindor of the New York Times will moderate this conversation of prominent figures of Haitian origin, who will discuss current events and an array of other relevant topics.
- On Thursday, May 18, Haitian Flag Day, the Embassy will host a reception and an open house at its renovated Chancery.
- Professor Marcia Chatelain of Georgetown University will lead a conversation celebrating the journey and contributions of Haitian-Americans throughout US history.
- On Sunday May 21, 2017, we will close out Haiti Week in DC by unveiling our latest initiative to the public called the Pop-Up Shop at the Embassy. This initiative consists of turning the Embassy, for one day, into an elegant mini market where quality products sourced from Haiti and/or created by Haitian entrepreneurs will be displayed and available for purchase. The gift that Haiti really needs, in order to achieve long-term sustainable development, is not charity or the creation of more NGOs, but rather the support of initiatives that will enable the economy to grow so the Haitian people can prosper and thrive. The Pop-Up Shop at the Embassy is intended to be a platform for highlighting Haitian products and entrepreneurs who are the true catalysts for revitalizing Haiti’s economy.
Of course, our Haiti Week in DC would not be complete without Haitian food. Elle Philippe, a featured chef in the Embassy’s popular cooking class series, will curate a special Haitian menu that will be available at all Busboys and Poets restaurants.
As you can see from the above sample events, Haiti Week in DC is filled with a wide variety of exciting activities. We are thrilled about our strategic and fruitful alliance with Busboys and Poets during Haiti Week in DC. We are equally delighted to be collaborating with their team on a series of programmatic endeavors, which include a touristic exploration trip to Haiti later this summer.
In the upcoming days, we will share with you a detailed agenda of all the events that will happen during Haiti Week in DC. I look forward to seeing you at many of these events, and I encourage you to bring your friends, colleagues and family. It will truly be a memorable week!
I thank you for your continued support towards our efforts to reshape the Haiti narrative.
My Warmest Regards,
Ambassador Paul Altidor