The following post was written by Kara Smith, UUSC’s associate for grassroots mobilization.
UUSC is all geared up to host a dedicated group of UU College of Social Justice Haiti program alumni in Washington, D.C., for an upcoming lobby day! April 6–8 is going to be an exciting three days full of training, conversation, and legislative advocacy.
As UUSC’s associate for grassroots mobilization, I’m thrilled to report that 25 service-learning trip alumni and community members from nine states and the District of Columbia will be convening on Capitol Hill to speak up for a just recovery in Haiti. They will team up with two representatives from the Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP): Mulaire Michel, an agronomist, and Philefrant St. Nare, a leader of popular education.
Plus they’ll be joined by UUSC Haiti Program Manager Wendy Flick, who will have just returned from MPP’s 40th anniversary celebration; Evan Seitz, UUCSJ’s senior associate for service-learning programs; and Shelley Moskowitz, UUSC’s manager of public policy and mobilization. And I’ll be there, too!
Together, we will advocate on behalf of the men, women, and children who are slowly rebuilding their lives after the most devastating natural disaster in Haitian history. We will urge our policy makers to be accountable and transparent about the progress that is or is not being made in the reconstruction process.
The goals for the weekend include the following:
- Share firsthand experience of Haiti with our legislators
- Support the Assessing Progress in Haiti Act, which asks for accountability and transparency about how relief funding is being spent in Haiti
- Highlight the eco-village as a new model for recovery that empowers the people of Haiti
- Ensure the inclusion of Haitian civil society in the recovery efforts as well as special protections for vulnerable populations
- Keep the recovery in Haiti on the radar of our policy makers
The alumni’s experience, dedication, and commitment are valuable resources. They have witnessed the resilience and innovation of the Haiti people firsthand and have been part of creating a sustainable recovery by working on the ground to build the first eco-village with MPP. And they will be translating that experience into further effective action as we meet with members of Congress.
Stay tuned for an update and more on how you too can help spread this message!