Book Launch and Discussion: “Tectonic Shifts: Haiti since the Earthquake”

Mark Schuller and Pablo Morales, editors of the new Kumarian Press publication Tectonic Shifts, will be at the Brecht Forum tonight, starting at 7:30pm. The book launch and panel discussion features contributors Manolia Charlotin, Melinda Miles, Lisa Davis and Etant Dupain. The Brecht Forum is located at 451 West Street in New York, New York.

Description: The 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti’s capital on January 12, 2010, will be remembered as one of the world’s deadliest disasters. The earthquake was a tragedy that gripped the nation—and the world. But as a disaster it also magnified the social ills that have beset this island nation that sits squarely in the United States’ diplomatic and geopolitical shadow. The quake exposed centuries of underdevelopment, misguided economic policies, and foreign aid interventions that have contributed to rampant inequality and social exclusion in Haiti.

Join contributors and editors of the newly released ‘Tectonic Shifts’ (Kumarian Press) for an evening of discussion featuring a diverse, on-the-ground set of perspectives about Haiti’s cataclysmic earthquake and the aftermath that left more than 1.5 million people homeless. Following the themes set forth in the book, we will discuss Haiti’s heightened vulnerability as a result of centuries of foreign policy and (most recently) neoliberal economic policies, foreign impositions, and political changes that occurred during the relief and reconstruction periods. Analysis of these realities offers tools for engaged, principled reflection and action. We will highlight the many struggles that the Haitian people face today, providing lessons not only for those impacted and involved in relief, but for people engaged in struggles for justice and transformation in other parts of the world.

Manolia Charlotin is the editor and business manager of the Boston Haitian Reporter and cofounder of Haiti 2015, a grassroots campaign to advance access to opportunities in Haiti and connect community based organizations all across the country.

Lisa Davis is human rights advocacy director for MADRE and a clinical professor of law for the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic at CUNY School of Law.

Melinda Miles is the director of Let Haiti Live, an advocacy and solidarity project at TransAfrica Forum that brings together alternative media, community mobilization, coordination of international advocacy, and grassroots-based efforts for reforestation and family-level food security.

Etant Dupain is the coordinator of Bri Kouri Nouvèl Gaye, a Creole-language journal in the Haitian popular sector aiming to democratize information in Haiti and help spread information where it
has never reached.

Mark Schuller is assistant professor of African American Studies and Anthropology, York College, CUNY. He is the author of forthcoming Killing with Kindness: Haiti, International Aid, and NGOs (2012).

Pablo Morales is an editor at NACLA Report on the Americas and a board member of the Brecht Forum.

Gina Athena Ulysse is associate professor of anthropology, African-American studies, and feminist, gender, and sexuality studies at Wesleyan University. She is the author of Downtown Ladies: Informal Commercial Importers, A Haitian Anthropologist and Self-Making in Jamaica (2008).

For more information, see http://brechtforum.org/civicrm/event/info?id=12132&reset=1

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