Aristide lands in Haiti to cheers

Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand AristideFormer Haitian President Jean-Bertrand AristidePORT-AU-PRINCE —Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is getting celebrity treatment following his arrival in Haiti after seven years in exile. A small crowd of journalists, dignitaries, airport workers and former members of his security team mobbed Aristide as soon as he descended the steps of the small plane that carried him from South Africa on Friday.

He waved and blew a kiss to the crowd, but made no statement before entering a VIP lounge inside the airport terminal. His wife, Mildred, wept. Hundreds of people gathered outside the airport waving flags and photos of Aristide.

Aristide arrived with a small entourage that included actor and activist Danny Glover. Democracy Now! reporter Amy Goodman was also aboard the small plane and has been covering Aristide's route from South Africa. Read more

Trailblazing Women

This month we celebrate the legacy of International Women's day and Women's History Month by featuring remarkable women in the Haitian community. From Rep. Linda Dorcena Forrry and Carline Desire, a domestic violence advocate to Natasha Archer, a young doctor, Karen Keating Ansara philanthropist and Carla Prophete, an emerging high school star, these women embody the indomitable spirit of their fore-mothers in their own unique way. Read more

Carline Desire’s passion: Empowering Haitian women

Carline DesireCarline DesireCarline Desire is the executive director of the Association of Haitian Women in Boston (AFAB), a non-profit organization based in Dorchester.

BHR: Tell me about the early years, what significant events in your life as a young woman inspired you to do this work?
Carline Desire: I attended Cathedral High School. My parents took second jobs to send me to a parochial school. With all the events with busing at the time, they wanted to ensure I went to a good school. That’s where I was first introduced to the Apartheid movement – through a feminist who spoke to my class. She shared about women’s rights and what’s going on around the world, specifically with Apartheid. I joined a local group that raised awareness for Africa and Apartheid.
Then I went to Boston University, where I studied international relations. I joined a group of students who were involved in Haiti called Massachusetts Haitian Student Associations (AUAM). We invited people like Mel King and Byron Rushing – [who] were always involved in raising awareness about Haiti. We organized conferences and rallies. Back in the 80’s we formed an inter-collegiate committee to raise awareness about Haiti, and we tutored high school students at English High School. It was [around] that time we had massive influx of the ‘boat people’. Read more

A young doctor fights for quality health care in Haiti

Dr. Natasha ArcherDr. Natasha ArcherDr. Natasha Archer is a resident in the Global Healthy Equity program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is also enrolled in the Harvard Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency training program. She works mostly in Haiti, as a volunteer with Partners In Health (PIH).

Archer first wanted to be a doctor at the tender age of 6. She remembers playing doctor in elementary school skits.

“Both my parents were laboratory technologists and it was easy for me to put on my mom or dad’s lab coat and pretend to be a doctor,” Archer explains. “I remember one skit in particular, I put skittles in a tic tac box and pretended it was medicine. Then I gave it to my friend who was pretending to be sick and she came back to life after I gave her the skittles.” Read more

Karen Ansara strives to create holistic solutions

Karen Keating AnsaraKaren Keating AnsaraKaren Keating Ansara has become one of the leading philanthropists and activists in New England on behalf of the Haitian people. Ansara and her husband Jim created the Haiti Fund through the Boston Foundation last year and travel frequently to Haiti to assist in rebuilding efforts. She has also started an informative blog chronicling her interests in Haitian issues.

BHR: Walk us through the early part of your career.
Karen Keating Ansara: I went to Wellesley College. I was a Political Science major and essentially created an international development concentration. I went to work for Michael Ansara who was the founder of Mass Fair Share, which did political organizing to fight for economic reform on tax rates. I met my husband working there. Read more

Life in a Whirlwind: Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry juggles official duties, motherhood

Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry with daughter MadelineRep. Linda Dorcena Forry with daughter MadelineOn July 13, 2010, state Representative Linda Dorcena Forry started the day at her office in the Massachusetts State House and gave birth to Madeline Casey Forry - her third child and first daughter - that same afternoon.

Eight days later she was back on Beacon Hill for a House vote in formal session. The days and weeks leading up to the end of a legislative session on the last day of July are crucial, as hundreds of bills get funneled through the House and Senate and onto the governor’s desk.

In the two weeks after the baby’s birth, Forry was in and out of the State House five times. During the maternity leave that followed, she held regular meetings at home with Robert Cahill, her chief of staff, to review constituent requests and catch up on legislation and community meetings. She also remained actively involved in advocating for support of the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti and services for the local Haitian community.

Forry credits her work ethic and commitment to service to her parents Annie and Andre Dorcena of Dorchester, who are Haitian immigrants. Her mother is a retired health aide for seniors and her father worked in housekeeping for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Children’s Hospital. Read more

Special Mental Health First Aid for the Haitian Community

Apr. 2, 2011 - 9:00 am

Special Mental Health First Aid for the Haitian Community
Saturday, March 26
Event: 9-3:00 pm
CHA School of Nursing Building
125 Lowell St, Somerville, MA 02143. Read more

Special Mental Health First Aid for the Haitian Community

Mar. 26, 2011 - 9:00 am

Special Mental Health First Aid for the Haitian Community
Saturday, March 26
Event: 9-3:00 pm
CHA School of Nursing Building
125 Lowell St, Somerville, MA 02143 Read more

11th Annual Haitian-American Unity Parade

May. 15, 2011 - 1:00 pm

11th Annual Haitian-American Unity Parade
Sunday, May 15
Event: 1:00 P.M.

Mattapan Square/ Blue Hill Ave. For More information contact (617) 298-8076

16th Annual Haitian Flag Raising Ceremony

May. 13, 2011 - 2:00 pm

16th Annual Haitian Flag Raising Ceremony
Friday, May 13
Event: 2:00 P.M.
Boston City Hall Plaza, Boston, Mass

Restoring Hope In Crisis: From Haiti To Home

Apr. 7, 2011 - 6:00 pm

Restoring Hope In Crisis: From Haiti To Home
Featuring AmeriCares President & CEO Curtis R. Welling
Thursday, April 7
Event: 6-8pm
Westport Arts Center
51 Riverside Avenue
Westport, CT 06880 Read more

WACKY FAMILY SUNDAY

Mar. 20, 2011 - 11:30 am

Westport Arts Center
Sunday, March 20
Event: 2-4 pm
51 Riverside Avenue
Westport, CT 06880 Read more

"Mountains Beyond Mountains" (Haiti Awareness)

Mar. 24, 2011 - 7:00 pm

"Mountains Beyond Mountains" (Haiti Awareness)
Thursday, March 24
Event: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Xaverian Brothers High School
800 Clapboardtree Street
Westwood, MA 02090

Tracy Kidder speaks on "Mountains Beyond Mountains" (Haiti Awareness). Xaverian Brothers High School welcomes author Tracy Kidder as the guest speaker for this year's One Book - One Community read. Kidder, a prolific and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, will speak on Thursday, March 24 at 7 P.M. A book signing will follow the lecture. The event is open to the public and is free.

Haiti Earthquake Survivor Rev. James Gulley

Mar. 20, 2011 - 10:00 am

Haiti Earthquake Survivor Rev. James Gulley
Sunday March 20
Event: 10 am
Wesley United Methodist Church in Worcester. Read more

The Hatian Creole Language: History, Structure, Use and Education

Mar. 22, 2011 - 5:30 pm

The Haitian Creole Language
Tuesday, March 22
Event: 5:30-8:00 pm
University of Massachusetts Club
225 Franklin Street, 33rd floor
Boston, MA

The Haitian Creole Language by Massachusetts Bay Community College President Carole Berotte Joseph. Please join me at a book signing party. RSVP by March 17 to May Seto at mseto@cpcglobal.com or 617-357-5777 ext. 204

Silent Auction

Apr. 9, 2011 - 6:00 pm

Silent Auction
Saturday, Apr 9
Event: 6:00p to 9:00p
St Michael's Episcopal Church, Holliston, MA

Get away with a "Wild West Wing Ding". All proceeds support: Local food pantries, shelters, homeless and inner city camp plus a school in Haiti, AIDS relief in East Africa and Appalachia school libraries and home repair. Donations are welcome. Excellent opportunity to advertise in Holliston/Metrowest Area. Hors d’oeuvres, dessert, beverages available while you browse. Please join us "Westward Ho/Westward Hope."Price: $10

Ping Pong Tournament Fundraiser

Mar. 25, 2011 - 6:00 pm

Ping Pong Tournament Fundraiser
Friday, Mar 25
Event: 6:00p
First Congregational Church, Stoneham, MA

Play Ping-Pong and help the people of Haiti. Come play ping-pong and raise money for Partners In Health in Haiti and Hungry Helpers/Community Dinners in Stoneham. Prizes—pizza and beverages—free child care. To Play: Adults $10 Children (8-12) $5 To cheer: free. Sign up to reserve a playing spot, call 781-438-0097.

Beyond Conflict to Compassion: Finding Civility & Common Ground Among Our Faith

Mar. 17, 2011 - 6:00 pm

CMM’s Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner Celebrating our 45 th Anniversary
Beyond Conflict to Compassion:
Finding Civility & Common Ground Among Our Faiths
Thursday, March 17
Event: 6:00pm – 9:00 pm
First Church in Cambridge, Congregational
11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA
(at the corner of Mason & Garden Streets next to Sheraton Commander Hotel)
MBTA Red Line Harvard Square
For directions visit www.coopmet.org Read more

International Gala for Haiti

Apr. 29, 2011 - 6:00 pm

International Gala for Haiti
Friday, Apr 29
Event: 6:00p
First Parish Unitarian Church, Cambridge, MA Read more

YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City

Apr. 27, 2011 - 6:30 pm

YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City
Saturday, April 27
Event: 6:30 pm -9:30 pm
The Center for Arts At The Armory
Somerville, MA Read more

Haiti and Aid Effectiveness

Mar. 31, 2011 - 6:30 pm

Haiti and Aid Effectiveness
Thursday, Mar 31
Event: 6:30-8:00pm
Suffolk University Law School Function Room, Boston, MA Read more

Unequal Treatment Under the Law: Women in the Criminal Justice System

Mar. 8, 2011 - 7:30 am

The 14th Annual International Women's Day Breakfast
Unequal Treatment Under the Law: Women in the Criminal Justice System
Tuesday, March 8
Event: 7:30a.m. - 9:30a.m.
Simmons College
300 The Fenway, Boston Linda K. Paresky Conference Center Read more

"Rebuilding Health and Education in Haiti: How can Students get Involved?

Apr. 9, 2011 - 8:00 am

10th Annual Haitian Leadership & Health Career Conference
"Rebuilding Health and Education in Haiti: How can Students get Involved?"
Saturday, April 9
Event: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Boston University School of Medicine
Hiebert Lounge
72 East Concord Street
Boston, MA 02118 Read more

“Lessons about Hope: Resilience in the Face of Disaster”

Mar. 6, 2011 - 2:00 pm

“Lessons about Hope: Resilience in the Face of Disaster”
Sunday, March 6
Event: 2 pm
Montserrat Aspirers Hall
364 Washington St. in Dorchester, MA Read more

International Women’s Day (Jounen Entènasyonal Fanm)

Mar. 5, 2011 - 9:00 am

International Women’s Day (Jounen Entènasyonal Fanm)
Haitian Women’s Health (Sante Fanm Ayisyen)
Saturday, March 5
Event: 9:00 AM -11:00 AM
Church of the Holy Spirit
525 River Street
Mattapan, MA 02126

Special Guests/ Envite Espesyal: Marie-André Pierre-Victor, LICSW, Marie Louise Jean-Baptiste, MD, Derline Fevrius, Singer. Refreshments will be served. For more information please call Carline AFAB at 617-287-0096.