Marie St. Fleur, Regine Jackson and Marc Prou discuss and celebrate the influence of Haitian immigrants in Boston.
Over the past four decades, Boston has seen a significant wave of immigrants coming from Haiti. In fact, our city has the third largest settlement of Haitians in the United States, and these new Bostonians have become one of the largest immigrant groups living here today. Steadily gaining public visibility, Haitians in Boston are creating new social, political, and economic organizations. And new leaders are emerging from this community to actively engage in local, state, and national issues as well as matters related to the future of Haiti itself. Not only changing to adapt to life in their new home, Haitian immigrants are also helping to build a new and more multicultural Boston that better reflects all of its citizens.
Presented in collaboration with the La Kou Association and The Haitian Studies Association (HAS) to coincide with the Haitian Bicentennial Festival.
BIO: Marie St. Fleur
Marie P. St. Fleur is a Massachusetts State Representative representing the fifth Suffolk district. Her district consists of parts of the Boston neighborhoods Dorchester and Roxbury. She is the first Haitian-American to hold public office in Massachusetts. Representative St. Fleur was one of the most active supporters of John Kerry's presidential bid, often traveling to Florida to do outreach on his behalf. Representative St. Fleur was appointed Vice-Chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee by House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, a leadership position that has tremendous influence in the budget process.
BIO: Regine O. Jackson
Regine O. Jackson is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Richmond. She specializes in race and ethnic relations, American immigration, and urban ethnography. Her current research project is titled "No Longer Visible: Haitian Immigrants in the 'New Boston.'"
BIO: Marc Prou
Marc Prou is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Co-Director of the Center for African Caribbean and Community Development at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He has published several articles and chapters on Caribbean social history and culture, Creole language, immigration and education.
Prou's research on Haiti addresses educational reform, language, race and ethnicity. He is the author of Spoken Haitian Creole: Kreyol Pale Kreyol Konprann. He is currently the Executive Director of the Haitian Studies Association, a scholarly organization that addresses research on Haiti from a multi disciplinary perspective.