In response to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti, UCSB is hosting a relief benefit at Corwin Pavilion tonight at 7 p.m.
Tonight’s event, slated to last until 9 p.m., will feature music, dinner and presentations from professors and local officials. A $5 minimum donation is recommended at the door; all contributions will be given to Direct Relief International and The Lambi Fund. The Environmental Affairs Board, The Human Rights Council, The Fund for Santa Barbara and KCSB collaborated to put on tonight’s fundraiser, with the Associated Students Legislative Council pledging to match all donations collected up to a $25,000 ceiling.
According to Nicolás Pascal, a global & international studies grad student and director of the Human Rights Council for UCSB, tonight’s benefit offers students the opportunity to donate to deserving organizations.
“The Lambi Fund helps Haitian families with long-term sustainable agriculture,” Pascal said. “Money is not the only form of relief, but it definitely helps if it goes to a legitimate non-profit or local foundation.”
The benefit will feature a multimedia presentation by Dr. Nadège Clitandre from the Center for Black Studies. Clitandre, the executive director of Haiti Soleil, a nonprofit organization supporting educational development in Haiti, returned to the U.S. from Haiti just days before the earthquake struck.
Nick Allen, a fourth-year environmental studies and business economics major and co-chair of the Environmental Affairs Board, said that Clitandre’s presentation will provide attendees with insight into Haiti’s history.
“Dr. Clitandre has an acute understanding of the social and environmental exploitation that has led to the widespread poverty, food insecurity and limited resource access that magnified the negative impacts of the quake,” Allen said. “Her talk will highlight perspectives that are often overlooked, and will bring the concept of environmental justice to life through analysis of this human tragedy.”
Although contributions are a critical part of the relief effort, EAB co-chair Violetta Muselli said the benefit is aimed to encourage much more than that.
“It is important that relief efforts in Haiti do not become just another shock-driven cause,” Muselli, a fourth-year environmental studies major, said. “A month from now, when the pictures of Haiti are no longer on CNN, the people of Haiti will still be suffering. This is when they will need the most help.”