Renewal and Rebirth: A Fundraiser for Haiti

Fordham Law School’s Disaster Relief Network (DRN) and Black Law Students Association (BLSA) are sponsoring “Renewal and Rebirth: A Fundraiser for Haiti” on Thursday January 20, 2011, from 6:30pm to 10:00pm. Activities will include a Haitian dance performance and a Haitian art auction that will be presented by the Vassar College Haiti project. The MC for the evening will be a well-known Haitian comedian named Haitian V. The event will take place at the 12th Floor President’s Lounge, Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus, located on 113 West 60th Street, New York, NY.

DRN is a student-run public interest group formed in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  The organization has since sponsored ten trips to the Gulf Coast region to provide assistance in legal aid, community organizing, and manual labor. Last March, DRN sent fourteen students and the Dean for Student Affairs to Cabaret, Haiti on a relief mission in response to the January earthquake. As law students with experience working to preserve justice and human dignity in the post-disaster context, they felt compelled to act.

DRN has made a pledge to continue its work in Haiti and will return to Haiti in March 2011. This year, DRN hopes to focus its efforts on the legal rights of those living in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. “Renewal and Rebirth” is an effort by DRN-BLSA to raise money to assist DRN’s partner organization, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), in its efforts to speak out against forced IDP evictions and to provide monetary support to IJDH-affiliated Partners in Health in its efforts to combat the continuing cholera epidemic in the IDP camps.  25% of the money raised will go to benefit DRN’s efforts in Haiti and the remaining 75% will be donated to IJDH or another similar organization working in Haiti. The suggested minimum donation will be $10 for law students and $15 for non- law students.

If anyone would like to make a donation before the event, please make a check payable to Fordham Law School and in the memo write “Disaster Relief Network”; please mail your donation to Fordham University School of Law, 140 West 62nd Street, Room 08, New York, NY 10023.

For more information, please contact Ritha Pierre at ritha.pierre@gmail.com or (718) 344-7662.

[Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/zyozy/4460937187/. This illustration (not related to the fundraising event) is Frantz Zéphirin’s “Haiti will be Reborn.” Minutes before the earthquake, Zéphirin “left one of the city’s bars, ignoring his friends’ entreaties that he stay. He survived. His eight friends died, as did his stepmother and five cousins. This was the first painting he did after the earthquake. It shows the hands of the dead rising from a sea of blood, but they are clutching signs. Haiti will [be] reborn, says one. The voodoo spirits have gathered to survey the scene. They are good spirits . . . they want to build a new nation,” Zéphirin says.]

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