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New York City-based Haitian-American Organizations, Rev. Al Sharpton and Elected Officials Hold Prayer Vigil for Haiti

July 23, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Little Haiti BK, in partnership with the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, Haitian-American community organizations and the National Action Network will hold a prayer vigil for Haiti on Sunday, July 25 at 1:30 p.m., at Newkirk Avenue between Nostrand and E. 29th Street in Brooklyn, New York.

The vigil is a community-led event, providing an outlet for New York-based Haitian-Americans and allies to unite in prayer for the people of Haiti. Brooklyn is home to the second-largest population of Haitian-Americans in the United States.

The people of Haiti have faced political instability, food insecurity and turmoil following the assassination of the country’s president on July 7.

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Elected officials including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and prominent Hatian-American community organizations, including Little Haiti BK, Inc., the Haitian-American Law Enforcement Fraternal Organization, Haitian-American Law Enforcement Fraternal Organization, and more (please see below for the full list of participants), will appear in support of the people of Haiti and the New York City community of Haitian-Americans.

Map of Little Haiti

“We mourn with our Haitian community over the tragic events that have unfolded in Haiti in recent weeks. Our Haitian community contributes immeasurably to our shared social, economic, and civic life in Brooklyn and beyond, and it is critical that we stand in solidarity with them during this difficult time. I thank all the Haitian community leaders and community groups who are organizing this vigil in Brooklyn’s own Little Haiti,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“In times of struggle, we all need to support one another. The National Action Network stands in solidarity with the Haitian-American community through this tumultuous time because none of us can thrive until everyone can. We are hosting this prayer vigil to stand with our Haitian-American brothers and sisters, shed light on this scourge on Haiti and encourage other communities to get involved in this time of crisis,” said Rev. Al Sharpton, Civil Rights Leader and President and Founder of National Action Network.

“The people of Haiti need our prayers and support during this difficult time,” said Jackson Rockingster, Chair of Little Haiti BK, Inc. and President of the Haitian American Business Network (HABNET). “In Little Haiti, Brooklyn, the atmosphere is tense with fear for our loved ones abroad. Everyone here knows someone in Haiti who is struggling through these tumultuous times. The vigil is a way for us to express solidarity for the people of Haiti, and come together with our neighbors to pray for stability in Haiti and hope for the nation’s future.”

Lt. Claude Celestin, President of HALEFO, the Haitian-American Law Enforcement Fraternal Organization, said “As peacekeepers, and proud Haitian-Americans, we are proud to join our community as sponsors of the Haiti prayer vigil happening this Sunday. We stand by our community in New York City and abroad and are united in our hope for humanitarian aid, meaningful investments and sustainable development in Haiti.”

“As essential workers, we know the struggles the people of Haiti face,” said Dr. Kelynne J. Oristel, President of the Haitian American Nurses Alliance (HANA). “Many of our members lived, worked or were trained in Haiti as medical professionals. Residents of Haiti relied on our support following the devastating earthquake in 2010. Unfortunately, hardships are continuing. That’s why our members are proud to support and attend the Haiti prayer vigil on Sunday. We thank the event organizers and supporters who are gathering to increase awareness of the need for humanitarian support in Haiti.”

Sherbune Paul, Esq, President of the Haitian American Lawyers Association of New York, emphasised the need for the community to come together, saying “Our Haitian-American community in New York have a shared goal: that is to see peace and unity in Haiti. We all share a cultural background and have friends, relatives and loved ones living abroad, and we all wish for peace for the country.”

Yolette Williams, Executive Director of the Haitian American Alliance of New York, Inc. said, “This Sunday, we stand together as Haitians and we support the people of Haiti. There is no strength without unity. The Haitian American Alliance of New York pledged our relenting support for Haiti and our Haitian brothers and sisters who have endured decades of instability and trauma. We hope for peace and stability.”

“The ‘Pray for Haiti’ vigil encourages the community to come together. As scripture tells us, ‘Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.’” Rev. Dr. Samuel Nicolas, President, of the Haitian Clergy Association said.

Organizations sponsoring and supporting the event include: Association des Ingénieurs Haïtiens et Américains (ADIHA), Association Médicale Haïtiennes à L’etranger (AMHE), CUNY Haitian Studies Institute, Diaspora Community Services, Foundation for the Emancipation of Women and Girls, FS Nostrand Merchant Association, Haitian-American Alliance of New York Inc. (HAA), Haitian American Business Network (HABNET), Haitian American Caucus (HAC), Hatian American Lawyers Association of New York (HALANY), Haitian-American Law Enforcement Fraternal Organization (HALEFO) Hatitan-American Nurses Association of Greater New York, Haitian Americans United for Progress (HAUP),Haitian Clergy Association, Haitian-American Community Coalition (HCC), Haitian Round Table (HRT), Le MoJo Show, Life of Hope (LOH), Little Haiti BK, Inc., National Action Network, National Action Network Youth Huddle, Society of Haitian Administrators and Supervisors, and Society for Haitian Research (SHR).

ABOUT LITTLE HAITI BK

Little Haiti Bk, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that supports the work of our partner organizations. Our mission is to preserve, harness, showcase and celebrate the academic, civic, commercial, health, religious and other socio-cultural institutions of people of Haitian ancestry within the boundaries of Little Haiti Bk. We also serve to promote economic and community development and to attract tourism to the area. Little Haiti was designated as a cultural and business district by the NYC Council in 2018. Little Haiti encompasses East 16th Street to Brooklyn Avenue, and Parkside Avenue to Avenue H.


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