In recognition of UCSB’s third annual Haiti Flag Week — a facet of the national Haitian American Heritage Month — the Center for Black Studies Research will be hosting a series of panel discussions, speakers and benefits through Friday.
This week’s events include presentations from Haitian journalists and scholars, as well as dialogues between staff, faculty and students designed to boost contemporary knowledge about Haitian history, culture and the developmental challenges the nation faces. Today’s festivities will feature a discussion with Haitian journalist Anne-Christine d’Adesky at noon in South Hall 4603 as well as a presentation from Haitian anthropologist and poet Gina Athena Ulysse in the Student Resource Building’s Multipurpose Room at 3 p.m.
The week’s founder, Dr. Nadege Clitandre, a post-doctoral fellow in the Center for Black Studies and the English Dept., said the week of events will allow people to see Haiti as more than a poverty-stricken nation.
“I hope that people will learn more about the various ways to get involved and stay involved,” Clitandre said. “Flag Week not only enhances diversity and cultural exchange on campus, it gives the UCSB community the opportunity to learn about the scholars in various departments on campus who do research on Haiti.”
Clitandre said the week is also an opportunity to showcase UCSB’s contribution to relief efforts in the devastated nation.
“In light of the earthquake in January, the focus this year is on relief efforts and opportunities for involvement in the rebuilding of Haiti,” Clitandre said. “Because of the Center [for Black Studies Research]’s Haiti Initiative projects, the university is now in a position to spearhead the UC-wide effort to contribute to Haiti’s reconstruction,” Clitandre said. “Flag Week not only reminds us of these initiatives, but also adds to inter-university exchange and collaboration.”
Associated Students will contribute to the awareness week by donating $25,000 in previously raised funding to two foreign aid entities, Direct Relief International and the Lambi Fund.
According to Off-Campus Representative Chloe Stryker, A.S. will also be selling student-designed tank tops online and at the A.S. Ticket Office to generate additional money for relief efforts.
“We are still working on Haiti efforts because we have done so well,” Stryker said in an e-mail. “Our next project will be selling Haiti shirts made by a student on campus.”
Black studies associate professor Clyde Woods, acting Director of the Center for Black Studies Research, said the events can potentially bring an increased understanding to future campus aid efforts.
“While the earthquake has focused our attention upon Haiti, the nation has much to teach us about governance, policy, poverty and enduring aspirations,” Wood said. “We hope that this event will be the beginning of a multi-year project that will link UCSB’s students, faculty, staff and departments with a number of projects in Haiti supported by the Haiti Relief Committee of the Center for Black Studies Research.”
For more information and a full schedule of events, visit http://research.ucsb.edu/cbs.