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Notes from June 30th Conference Call: "Projects"

Notes from "Projects" Conversation, June 30, 2010

Members present: Alice, Martha, AC, Julie, Rachel, Joann, Janet (note: I had indicated that Suzanne attended, but have no notes about her feedback, which is always valuable, so I would have written it down...Suzanne, my apologies if memory does not serve in this case, but I am assuming you came and went quickly, or that you did not

Review: of operations/admin discussion in previous call, based on the member survey. Martha, Suzanne, and Julie will follow up with report or more information.

Announcement: AC will be in NYC in July and would like to meet up with members. Also, she would like to discuss a Gender Shadow Report monitoring and reporting process, one that we could conduct at our website.

Martha: concrete actions needed for Poto sustainability

Noted: there are broad agreements among members (re the survey), details and clarifications now important for effectiveness and transparency of our actions.

Urls for Tapes of June 16 and June 30 conversations:

June 16th call - 89 mins
(review of survey results on operations- membership structure, meetings etc)
or call 1-218-936-4143 for telephone playback, enter access code 123193

June 30- 90 + (forward to 20 mins in where discussion of planning begins )
Or call 1-218-936-4143 for telephone playback, enter access code 683890

Survey Url:

Project Proposals (subject of June 30 call):

Martha: we may want to look at a 7-month window, leading up to the 1-year anniversary of the earthquake (January 12, 2011). As to the 4 choices in the survey, 90% of members said that a one-year anniversary memorialization/commemoration project is important, while the "convening" ideas (in the USA and/or Haiti) came in 3rd and 4th place.

Memorialization/Commemoration Project: AC, Janet, and Martha all agree this is an important project. Research and Mapping will be especially pertinent to the realization of this idea, so we will know what others are doing, and possibly find ways to collaborate.

Storytelling and Media Memorialization: Members on the call like this idea, and Taina in the survey also said this is an interest of hers.

Radio and Documentary Photography Project: Rachel hopes to use these tools for a project, which could be around memorialization. Marie, Martha, Suzanne, AC, Alice, myself and other members (as per the survey) would like to see use of the tools in a project or projects.

Tree-planting campaign: Alice, Joann, and Janet like this idea (Janet mentions a similar campaign in Kenya). Rodney Leon, an architect based in the USA, is a name mentioned in conjunction with such a project. See this video about the "soft houses" he proposes to build in Haiti:

Project proposals: 5 Main Threads

1) Gender Shadow Report
2) Dignity/Hygiene Kits
3) Media and Communications
4) Arts and Culture
5) Agriculture and Environment

Gender Shadow Report:

Martha: ensuring that rural women's voices are heard, and their needs and concerns are addressed, is very important.

AC: introduced the idea of a documentary wiki, which can serve as a central hub for information of all kinds (about the quake, related to the efforts of women and men, a place where women's "voices" can be highlighted, a tool for reporting on gender issues and gender-advocacy efforts). Haitians should be included by inviting them to participate, and trainings on how to use and contribute to the wiki should be organized. This idea will be especially relevant for tracking any progress on gender mainstreaming and gender issues, as outlined in the Gender Shadow Report.

Rachel: linking the wiki to the Haitian grassroots (by making direct connections to those on the ground in Haiti) is crucial, and making it an open-source resource is important so that everyone can participate. Rachel is very interested to include an early warning and messaging component to the wiki and/or to our work, which links (noted by Janet) to disaster responses and preparedness. This messaging can also be used in other contexts, such as helping women in danger of rape and sexual/domestic violence.

Janet: would be especially interested to work on the sections she contributed to in the Report, including environment, gender-related disaster responses, and governance.

Joann: she can get us tech help for the wiki.

Alice: would like to do media and communications work related to the Report, and can help (based on time availability) with translation-related issues.

Martha: would like to see the Shadow Report used as a tool for advocacy, and members developing plans of action around advocacy messages. This could be especially effective and important with regard to policymakers.

Dignity/Hygiene Kits:

AC: there can be different versions of the kits, or scenarios for how to implement this project.

Goals might include: finding donors (corporate and nonprofit, national and international, individual) and other partners, soliciting for donations (at our site and elsewhere), production in Haiti, forging collaborative links (such as with women's groups in Haiti, and universities/colleges and women's centers in the USA and elsewhere), and education around sexual violence.

Joann, Janet, AC would like to pursue this idea, and Alice and Rachel can engage in helpful social networking around it. Martha mentions the importance of planning around such a campaign.

Lunapads (whose founder AC has spoken to already) looks to be a likely partner.

Media and Communications/Arts and Culture:

Members have expressed interest in various projects related to these areas, and Martha and Janet discussed the relationship and linkages between these areas. Janet suggested that Poto as a group might do a project or projects where the tools and approaches/methods used in media and in arts might be integrated.


Rebuilding Haiti's agricultural sector and environment will be crucial to national revitalization. In other calls, Leonie, Joann, Marie, and Janet have discussed their interest in a project related to agriculture and environment (this is a main focal point for the Lambi Fund). In the June 30th call, Joann mentioned her interest in working on a project related to photo and video documentation of local and indigenous knowledge of plants and foods in Haiti.

Member Interests:

AC: newsletter (July: Monsanto controversy and agricultural focus); media project (including trainings); possible convening of members in Haiti in Sept-Oct; dignity kits; cyber-cafe (in Port-au-Prince?); wiki.

Janet: mapping of groups/org and possible partners (work in progress: have finished Haitian women's groups, though will add all members as collaborators so you can add names too); media and arts activities, including storytelling with a focus on women's voices; "Fly A Haitian Kite Day" (August 22, 2010) as a possible activity (see and

Rachel: wiki (including partners, inputs, and computer programmers); radio and documentary activities; grassroots mobile messaging.

Alice: citizen media training (link to Rick Davis and a telecenter project); social networking and "needs" support; media and tech section report (Alice will post about the call a few weeks ago on this subject); "Fly A Haitian Kite Day."

Joann: wiki; newsletter inputs; project on local and indigenous knowledge of plants and foods (Joann is investigating or applying for a grant to do video and photo documentation on this subject in Haiti).

Martha: community arts and media twinnings (ie groups in Haiti and elsewhere linking up); listserv; advocacy alerts; continuing work on Poto admin and projects; briefings for media, policymakers, and others; visibility of and for women in Haiti.

Member Project Ideas (my addition...we did not discuss these in-depth on June 30):

Martha: radio and other forms of storytelling, focused on women; development of a "sister-relationship" with one or more orgs in Haiti. (note: Taina is also interested in such a project).

Suzanne: working with groups like Architecture for Humanity; peer connections (Girl Scouts and/or Guides, YWCA); "Haiti: Eye of the Camera" film doc, working on with Marie; outreach to political figures on Gender Shadow Report and the needs of women in Haiti (also with Marie).

Janine: quake memorial project

Joann: Gender Shadow Report activities; environment and agriculture focus; local and indigenous knowledge project (mentioned above).

Regine Zamor: empowerment and body-related focus (improving health and well-being of women, healing of trauma); encouraging and amplifying women's voices.

Taina: audio-visual testimonies of women, esp. related to violence and discrimination; role of women in development of Haiti, and in government as well as political decision-making process; Haitian Studies Assoc. conference at Brown University (RI) in November.

Regine Roumain: working through the Haiti Cultural Exchange organization on a writing project linking girls in Brooklyn and Haiti, from which an anthology will hopefully emerge; women's role in the reconstruction of Haiti; arts and cultural focus; Poto and HCE might partner for a forum in NYC in August (?).

Alice: citizen media access and use in Haiti; mapping the presence of Haitian women and orgs online; "Fly a Haitian Kite Day"; Haitian Studies Assoc. conference.

AC: women's media empowerment project; cyber-cafe(s) in Haiti; dignity kits; oral history project at U. Cal. Santa Barbara; wiki and Gender Shadow Report; Haitian Studies Assoc. conference; newsletter.

Janet: Gender Shadow Report; arts-related mapping and outreach to women, groups, and others, with a view to collaboration and support; possible e-commerce function at our site for women artists; tree-planting campaign; dignity kits; citizen media project, perhaps using the "Blogging Positively" e-guide I wrote last year for Rising Voices ( I have already contacted members in the arts, and/or with a cultural/media focus, so hope to start a sub-group soon (members contacted include AC, Alice, Taina, Marie, Suzanne, Regine Roumain, Carla, Gina, Michele, Ella, Edwidge, Martha, Julie, Myriam, Leonie, Phoenix, Meg, Nadine, "Caribe 2010").

Niclas: UC Haiti Initiative, Santa Barbara, focusing on a range of areas, such as arts and culture, economics, agriculture, healthcare, and education.

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