On March 10 - 12, 2011, approximately 50 Haitian-American, Haitian and African-American faith-leaders came together, in Washington, D.C., for a Summit on Advocacy for Haiti. Those of us who assembled were challenged to identify substantive areas for policy advocacy to help build a safe, strong, and sustainable Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake. The Summit was successful in bringing various communities together to embrace this initiative and adopt certain specific resolutions to influence significantly the policy and legislative agenda of the United States towards Haiti in various areas.
Mission Statement for Advocacy
We seek to build an advocacy movement among the Haitian Diaspora and African-American Christians to influence significantly the reconstruction policies and legislative agenda of the United States toward a sustainable Haiti.
Key Advocacy Areas
To support reconstruction that is transparent, accountable, and inclusive of the Haitian population, the Haitian Diaspora and African-Americans;
- That the rebuilding of Haiti be used as an opportunity for partnerships to train the local workforce and maximize job creation. (fostering)
- That aid resources, financial, technical or otherwise, be allocated to support education, health care delivery, decentralization and development of the rural areas.
- That the process for aid allocation to Haiti be transparent and that there is accountability for the expenditures of such aid.
- That U.S. interventions support building capacity of local and national government and state institutions to build capacity.
- That the reconstruction plans and their implementation include meaningful participation of Haitian, Diaspora, civil society organizations and minority businesses to build capacity, and that these plans are transparent.
To support policies that contributes to the economic vitality and sustainability of all participants in the agricultural sector with particular attention to small farmers; and,
- Promote that funds for food-aid be spent on procurement of locally produced food as the first priority.
- Provide direct financial support to small scale farmers and their institutions.
- Increase funding for the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture for capacity building.
- Improve access to credit, technical assistance/education, and other resources.
- Support the development, implementation and enforcement of an effective land tenure system.
- Engage the participation of African-American farmers and Historical Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) in an exchange of knowledge, experience, and mentorship to achieve the above.
To promote fair and humane immigration policies; and,
- Create a Haitian Family Reunification Program similar to the Cuban Family Reunification Program.
- Extend the stay of deportation of Haitians from the U.S. to Haiti until January 12, 2012.
- Reopen the opportunity for all Haitians who qualify to apply for Temporary Protective Status (TPS) and to acquire permission to work in the U.S.