CUNY Unanimously Approves the Creation of the Haitian Studies Institute (HSI)

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On Monday, May 2 at their board meeting the CUNY Board of Trustees voted to unanimously approve the creation of the Haitian Studies Institute (HSI) at Brooklyn College, reports.
Brooklyn is home to the largest concentration of people of Haitian descent in New York State. The Institute hopes to become a leading international research institute in Haitian Studies, supporting scholars and scholarship concerned with the discipline and to connect research through community outreach around policies that affect the lives of Haitian-Americans and Haiti.
“Last week marked an important occasion in the evolution of the Haitian Studies Institute with the opening ceremony of a two-day conference hosted by Brooklyn College and sponsored by the Haitian Studies Institute planning committee. I was joined by scholars, and other public officials to celebrate their contributions to the creation of this conference and the Institute. I was elated after hearing about the Board’s decision. This is a dream come true,” said Assemblymember Bichotte.
“The Haitian Studies Institute would not exist had it not been for the contributions of a committed group of people. I want to start by acknowledging and thanking Vice Chancellor of CUNY, Jay Hershenson, as well as Dr. Karen Gould, President, Steven Schechter, Executive Director of Governmental and External Affairs, and Dr. Richard Greenwald, Dean of the School of Humanities and the Social Sciences — all of Brooklyn College. They were so receptive to the idea of this Institute, which had been looking for a home for many years, and finally took root here in the heart of one of New York’s largest Haitian communities. I also want to thank the Executive Committee, the planning committee, the conference planning committee who put in so many hours over the past several months to bring all of this to fruition. Last, but not least, I want to thank State Senator Kevin Parker, City Councilmember Jumaane D. Williams, Dr. Jean-Yves Plaisir, and Edu Hermelyn who have been incredibly supportive as well.”
“I applaud the CUNY Board of Trustees and my colleagues in government for not only understanding the importance of establishing the Haitian Studies Institute at the City University of New York, but having the foresight to locate the Institute at Brooklyn College whose college community is home to the largest concentration of Haitian Creole speaking residents outside of Haiti. I look forward to supporting the Institute’s work on behalf of the Haitian community I represent and all New Yorkers across our great State,” said State Senator Kevin Parker.
“I’d like to thank the CUNY Trustees for voting in favor of creating a Haitian Studies Institute at Brooklyn College, and for the university’s administration for working with the community in seeing this project through from conception to realization. Brooklyn and District 45 is home to a thriving Haitian community, which I am so proud to represent, and boasts the second largest population of Haitian Americans outside of Miami. For decades Haitian Americans have called Brooklyn home and have contributed to the borough’s economic and cultural vitality. I look forward to the opening of HSI and the hiring of a Director in the near future as Haitian culture and contribution to our City is documented,” Council Member Williams said.
“A search has already been underway to identify a Director of the Haitian Studies Institute in preparation for the CUNY Board of Trustees’ decision. I am looking forward to meeting and working with that person,” stated Bichotte.

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