- Who We Are
- What We Do
- Where We Work
- Get Involved
- Stories and News
Haitian Platform to Advocate Alternative Development (PAPDA)
By Claire Gilbert
May 2nd, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5/2/2016
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Claire Gilbert, (617) 524-1400 (Grassroots International)
More than 60 Haitian and US Organizations Demand USDA Peanut Plan Be Cancelled
What We Celebrate from Paris: 14 Moments and Connections for a Stronger Global Climate Justice Movement
By Sara Mersha
February 25th, 2016
In a previous blog, we shared our critiques of the Paris climate agreement, and analysis of what took place. In this photo blog, we share some of the moments and lessons that demonstrate what Grassroots International celebrates from what took place in Paris – the clarity and strength of social movements on the frontlines of the climate crisis, and in the forefront of struggle to expose false solutions and promote real solutions to achieve climate justice. We were honored to be in that space with our Global South partners, US and other international allies, making connections across geographies and issues – these relationships are a key part of what it will take to heal and cool the planet, while developing deep resilience to the shocks and slides to come.
Like thousands of people committed to climate justice, I traveled to Paris last month to participate in the historic events surrounding the UN climate change meetings (COP-21). There I connected with Grassroots International’s team – including key staff members and representatives from partner organizations from Brazil, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Palestine – and joined in the activities in the ‘climate action zone’.
One of the common themes coming from the streets of the Climate Justice Summit in Paris (and not heard in the offical government negotiations) is a clear linking of capitalism's insatiable appetite and climate disruption. Two Grassroots International partners offered these reflections.
The United States occupation of Haiti, enforced by the U.S. Marines, officially began on July 28, 1915 after six months of military engagement ostensibly to protect their citizens from civil unrest at the time, and lasted until 1934. The occupation marked the end of Haiti’s long period of independence dating from the 1804 Haitian revolution against the French colonizers.
Building relationships with grassroots organizations that advocate for human rights-based development takes time, but without investing in them, philanthropy is likely to stumble. The case of Haiti is instructive.
With questions surfacing in the media about the Red Cross' housing program and Sean Penn rising to the organization’s defense, the debate about how best to help Haiti is in full swing.
It is rainy season in Haiti – or at least it is supposed to be rainy season. But the rains didn't come in April, and it has only rained a few times in May. All the rice seeds they saved up to buy, and all the time they took to plant the seeds and care for the plants – it's all gone. They lost them because the rains haven't come, and the government never finished the irrigation project it had promised them. But the bigger reason is climate disruption.
In the United States we’ve spent months zeroing in on the reality of police brutality against Black people. We’ve been grateful to see and take part in a growing movement that addresses structural racism—pointing out that Black people are disproportionately more likely to die at the hands of police, face institutional racism, and breathe more polluted air.
In the Black nation of Haiti, too, there has been a systematic dismissal of the value of Black lives and US policy has been deeply implicated in interventions that slaughter the interests of Haiti’s people in favor of a narrow elite.
Women, and rural women in particular, are the backbone of Haiti and its economy. They farm, harvest, and transport their produce to local markets where they in turn sell it. They do all of this despite little-to-no support from the government and without the necessary agricultural infrastructure to ease their burden.
The future success of global social movements depends largely on cultivating the next generation of activists. With the support of Grassroots International, local groups around the world are organizing creative social, political and environmental awareness programs explicitly engaging youth. Below are a few highlights from some of the grants we made this past year.