Prominent Haitians Discuss Earthquake
Monday, March 1st, 2010
The event, held on February 17 in Wollman Hall, was the first in a series created for the Lang community to openly discuss the aftermath of the tragedy in Haiti.
“This is really about creating a dialogue,” said moderator Ferentz Lafargue, a Lang literary studies professor who authored *Songs in the Key of My Life*, a memoir chronicling his life with Haitian parents through music.
A panel comprised of three Haitian New Yorkers, all key players in Haiti’s recent history, discussed how the country’s past and present will affect its future.
Audience members were invited to speak with the panelists. “I think that we have to look that it can be a great blessing in disguise,” said one audience member. He believes the disaster allows the country to be rebuilt properly.
NYU-Poly professor and founder and CEO of HomeShop Technologies, Inc., Hermann Mazard, Jr., discussed Haiti's persistent poverty and the recent earthquake. “Two issues happened to come together,” he said. “One didn’t happen because of the other.”
Rudolph Dupuy, an architect who built a studio in Port-au-Prince, expressed concern at the lack of a national recovery plan. “I have yet to see an emergency response plan,” he said. “There is no sense of organization.”
Dr. Carolle Charles, a sociology professor at Baruch College and board chair for Dwa Fanm, a Haitian women’s rights organization, noted Haitian society was not operating at its full potential.
The audience was deeply interested in becoming more involved.
Lafargue suggested anyone interested in contributing should find a matter concerning Haiti they are interested in and work for a long-term solution. “We as the people can develop the vision for the government,” he said.
More by this Author