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Haiti and the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit, Michigan from June 22-26

June 21, 2010
Dear Friends,
This year, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) will bring its fight for human rights in Haiti to the U.S. Social Forum (USSF) in Detroit, Michigan from June 22-26. The Social Forum is an opportunity to collaborate with our allies, build new relationships, and promote awareness about our work to bring justice to Haiti’s poor majority. We have been carrying out this work across the globe – two weeks ago we were in Geneva to support the leader of a partner grassroots Haitian women’s organization as she testified before the United Nations Human Rights Council on gender-based violence in Haiti. Last week we were in Paris, two weeks from now we will be in New York City attending the UN Economic and Social Council session, and we will be in Washington DC for a Congressional briefing later in July. We are doing everything we can to keep Haiti on the world’s radar screen and bring voices of earthquake victims and grassroots groups to places where decisions about their lives are being made.

Mario Joseph, Av., the managing attorney at IJDH’s sister organization the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, will be a featured speaker on two panel discussions at the USSF:

The Battle for Haiti: Reconstruction or Recolonization?: A brief overview of current situation in Haiti, concrete policy recommendations and open dialogue to prioritize organizing strategies across the U.S. in solidarity with civil society partners in Haiti and throughout the Haitian Diaspora. We must make sure our support is based upon respect for human rights, respect for international standards on humanitarian relief and the treatment of internally displaced people, and respect for economic and labor rights. Thursday, June 24, 2010, 3:30-5:30pm, Cobo Hall, D3-23.

Mr. Joseph, named “Haiti’s most prominent human rights lawyer” by the New York Times, will offer his unique perspective on conditions on the ground in Haiti today, with particular focus on the need for fair elections and a coordinated and effective response to the skyrocketing incidence of rape and other gender-based violence in Haiti’s internally displaced persons’ camps.

Nicole Phillips, Esq. will also represent IJDH at the USSF, bringing her expertise on the right to housing in Haiti and relating her current efforts against unlawful forced evictions from internally displaced persons camps in Haiti.

If you are in the area, we hope to see you in Detroit. Please join us at the panel discussions on Thursday, June 24. We also look forward to engaging with you at other workshops and events at the USSF, and building a dialogue around how we in the U.S. can best stand in solidarity with Haiti’s efforts to recover and rebuild.
You can also read about our work at the USSF online at, follow us on Twitter, or find us on Facebook. Learn more about what IJDH has accomplished for human rights in Haiti since January’s devastating earthquake by reading our Summer Newsletter. We can’t wait to hear from you.


Brian Concannon, Jr.

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