National/International Symposium
The Future of Democracy and Development in Haiti
March 17-18, Washington, D.C.


Also schedule and headquarters hotel information


Dear Invitee:


If you have not confirmed your attendance/participation in the National/International Symposium on the Future of Democracy and Development in Haiti, we sincerely hope you will do so immediately. Confirmations are steadily coming in. Thus far the following individuals and/or organizations have indicated they will attend/participate for all or part of the Symposium:


Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, Congressional Black Caucus
Congressman Gregory Meeks, Congressional Black Caucus
Marc Morial, President/CEO, National Urban League
Dr. Joseph Baptiste, President National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (NOAH)
Hillary Shelton, Director, Washington Bureau, NAACP
Leslie Voltaire, former Minister for Haitians Living Abroad
Roy Hastick, President/CEO, Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Jocelyn McCalla, Executive Director, National Coalition for Haitian Rights
Frandley Julien, National Civic Movement, Haiti
Leonard Dunston, President, Emeritus, National Association of Black Social Workers
Lionel Pressoir, SHRAC, Haiti
Dr. C. Delores Tucker, President, National Congress of Black Women
Joe Thelusca, President/CEO, Global Access Partners, LLC
Joe Leonard, Ph.D., Executive Director,  National Black Leadership Forum
Jean Claude Martineau, former Director of Education and Culture, National Television of Haiti
Robert Maguire, Ph.D., Director of Programs in International Affairs, Trinity College
Lionel Delatour, Center for Free Enterprise and Democracy, Haiti
Rev. Justus Brutus, Director of Missions, Progressive National Baptist Convention
Marc Prou, Executive Director, Haiti Studies Association
Damu Smith, Co-Founder, Black Voices for Peace
Dr. Gilbert Parks, Chairman Emeritus, National Medical Association
Selena Mendy Singleton, Vice-President, Trans Africa Forum
James Morrell, Director, Haiti Democracy Project
Derrick Humphries, Black Congress of Law, Health and Economics
Gabriel Marcella, (will send a position paper on trusteeship issue based on Miami Herald article)


We are delighted that a number of leading African American civil rights, human rights, religious and professional organizations/institutions have already agreed to participate in the Symposium, and we expect more within the next few days. This is important because the Haiti Support Project is committed to building a constituency for Haiti in the United States with a priority on engaging   African Americans to impact policy towards the first Black Republic in the hemisphere and facilitate the mobilization of humanitarian and developmental assistance to contribute to improving the quality of life of the Haitian people. The Trans Africa Forum is also doing some important work in this area.


As indicated in the initial Save-the-Date Email Notice and Invitation, the goal of this important Symposium is to facilitate a serious and substantive assessment and dialogue about the state of affairs in Haiti with the objective of creating or contributing to momentum towards positive, workable solutions to Haiti’s social, economic and political crises.  In some respects the Symposium could be characterized as a modest effort to complement the initiative recently launched by the African Union at the behest of the Government of South Africa. The Haiti Support Project believes that constructive ideas can and must be generated in several quarters in order to contribute to the process of democracy and development in Haiti in a principled manner.


As I wrote in a recent article, “The Haiti Support Project … firmly believes that Haiti can best be served by organizations, institutions and individuals who can function as honest brokers, mediators and facilitators, people who are not tied to or committed to any political party, organization or personality within the broad array of progressive forces in the popular movement for democracy in Haiti.” It is in this spirit that we have reached out to a broad range of organizations and individuals to engage in a dialogue at this Symposium. Everyone who has been invited is considered a resource person with something to contribute to the process and all ideas are on the table for discussion.


HSP’s ideas are colored by our primary commitment, which is to the long suffering Haitian masses.  We will always strive to be on their side and we make no apology for our position in that regard. Accordingly, at appropriate moments during the Symposium,  we will offer views and ideas  which we believe are consistent with that commitment.


Your participation in the Symposium can help make it a meaningful and productive exercise. Therefore, we hope you will make every effort to attend/participate. Formal letters are in the process of being mailed out. However, we need your confirmation via phone or email asap!   Please contact  Ka Flewellen immediately by email at  HSP3971770 or call 202-397-1770.


Yours in the struggle,


Ron Daniels, Founder,
Haiti Support Project




About the Schedule


The Symposium will convene for the Opening Session,  Thursday, March 17th at 3:00 P.M. on Capital Hill in the Cannon House Office Building Room_____. The Opening Session will conclude with a Reception at the Rayburn House Office Building Room_____ from 5:30 – 7:00 P.M.  Hopefully informal discussions will continue at the headquarters hotel.


 March 18th will consist of a full day of working sessions from 9:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M. based on the following topic/subjects:


• An analysis of the social, economic and political situattion in Haiti a year after the insurrection and the challenges and opportunities moving forward.


• The prospects for some form of process of justice, reconnciliation and dialogue on a program of national unity leading up to elections, particularly in light of the recent initiative launched by the African Union.


• Building a constituency for Haiti in the U.S., with a sppecial emphasis on the African American and Haitian American communities, to mobilize political support to impact U.S. policy, provide humanitarian and developmental assistance and promote socially responsible business/economic investment in Haiti.


Hotel Information


Hotel space is extremely scarce in Washington March 17-18 because of a major student convention. However, we have reserved a block of rooms at the Marriott Metro Center,
775 12th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005. The room rate is $129.00 per night, single or double,  plus tax. You must make your reservation immediately in order to be guaranteed a room. All reservations must be made through Susan Rice at New Era Travel -1-800-822-6393 toll free or 305-386-7016 (international).


Dear Participants and Invitees:


Urgent  — Book Your Hotel Reservations Today


It is critically important that you make a reservation at the hotel listed below today if you have confirmed your attendance/participation in the National/International Symposium on Haiti and need hotel accommodations. Reasonable hotel rooms are almost non-existent in Washington because of major conventions that are taking place at the same time as the Symposium. In fact we can no longer guarantee you the rate quoted below because the deadline for receiving that rate has passed. However, you should still call the number listed  below to get the best rate available. 



Hotel Information


We have reserved a block of rooms at the Marriott Metro Center, 775 12th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005. The room rate is $129.00 per night, single or double,  plus tax. You must make your reservation immediately in order to be guaranteed a room. All reservations must be made through Susan Rice at New Era Travel -1-800-822-6393 toll free or 305-386-7016 (international).



Latest Confirmations


We are continuing to receive confirmations every day for what promises to be a meaningful and productive Symposium. A complete list of participants will be emailed to you by the end of the week along with the agenda/schedule. The following are the most recent confirmations:


Alix Baptiste, Minister for Haitians Living Abroad, Interim Government of Haiti

James Gomez, Director of International Affairs, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition

Eugenia Charles, Executive Director, Fondasyon Mapou

Jean Claude Desgranges, M.D., Haiti

Dr. Evalliere Beauplan, DDS, former Senator, Haitian National Assembly

__________Cyllay, IFES

Josette Desir, National Civic Movement, Haiti

Winifred Chauvel, Executive Director, Haitian Leadership Foundation

Mike Benge, Senior Forestry Advisor, USAID

Suzette, Jean-Baptiste, National Civic Movement, Haiti



Mission Statement of the Haiti Support Project


 As an initiative of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, the primary mission of the Haiti Support Project is to marshal moral, political and material support to assist the Haitian people to develop a strong and vital democratic society and a vibrant and sustainable economy as a free and self-determining people. Given this nation’s unique history as the first Black Republic in the western hemisphere, the Haiti Support Project seeks to build a constituency and effective base of support for Haiti in the U.S. primarily focusing on mobilizing the human and material resources of African Americans in collaboration with Haitian Americans. We believe that African Americans and Haitian Americans working together can make a significant contribution to the process of democracy and development in Haiti.


Goals and Objectives


• Promote solidarity between the Haitian people and Africaans in America through cultural and educational exchanges, conferences and collaborative economic and political empowerment initiatives.


• Provide ongoing information and analysis of the strugglee for democracy and development in Haiti by organizing fact finding delegations/missions.


• Work to influence U.S. policy toward Haiti to conform too the aspirations of the popular  movement for democracy in Haiti.


• Mobilize material support and technical assistance for pprojects and programs initiated by organizations within the popular movement for democracy e.g., peasant, labor, women, youth, religious.


• To provide humanitarian relief for agencies/projects worrking to ameliorate the plight of the poor. Mobilize assistance to alleviate crisis situations in the event of natural disasters.


• Encourage support for investment in socially responsiblee business and community economic development projects and enterprises in Haiti.


• Act as a good faith facilitator and mediator, where apprropriate, to  promote justice, peace, reconciliation and  unity withing Haitian society.




Founded in 1995 by Dr. Ron Daniels, the Haiti Support Project (HSP) has organized numerous fact finding and support delegations to Haiti to familiarize African American organizations and agencies with Haiti’s history and culture and to identify critical material, humanitarian and social/economic assistance needs. HSP encourages African American organizations to provide human and material resources and technical assistance to match the needs identified by Haitian organizations, agencies and movements. HSP prioritizes providing assistance to organizations that have a civic participation/engagement/empowerment component to their program. Over the years, HSP and its affiliates have mobilized more than $1 million in material support assistance for Haiti in the form of school supplies, medical supplies and equipment, ambulances, farm tools/implements, computers, fax machines, office equipment, audio-visual equipment, AM-FM radios, grants and loans to miro-enterprises and educational stipends.


Deeply concerned about the political crisis and impasse in Haiti, in the Spring of 2001 HSP and Congressman John Conyers, Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, convened a National Emergency Conference on Haiti hosted by the Haitian Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts/Boston. In 2004, HSP sponsored Cruising Into History, a Caribbean Pilgrimage to Haiti mobilizing nearly 500 hundred African Americans, Haitian Americans and friends of Haiti to share in the commemoration of the Bicentennial of the first Black Republic in this hemisphere. As the culmination of more than two and a half years of an extensive national educational and outreach campaign, the Pilgrimage set the stage for the expansion of HSP’s effort to build a strong constituency for Haiti in the U.S.