FIU Teach-In: Approaches to Haiti Relief and Reconstruction

The Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) in conjunction with the Florida International University’s School of International and Public Affairs, is hosting a teach-in on the crisis in Haiti that will include a discussion of the country’s economic, political, and social reconstruction, as well as its cultural preservation and the public health issues it faces.

The teach-in, reminiscent of when teach-ins were used in the 1960s to provoke action on behalf of civil rights, is the second FIU has held as part of the university’s long-term commitment to Haiti’s recovery. It will take place on Saturday, March 6, 2010 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the College of Law’s Rafael Diaz-Balart Hall Auditorium on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus, 11200 SW 8th Street in southwest Miami-Dade County.

The teach-in will include two panels each followed by a question and answer session. The first panel will features noted Haiti expert Robert Maguire, associate professor of international affairs at Trinity University in Washington, DC. Maguire’s presentation, “Rebalancing Haiti in the Earthquake’s Aftermath,” will discuss how Haiti became a country out-of-balance, moving from an agrarian society to one with widespread urbanization and unmitigated migration to Port-au-Prince. Maguire will also present a series of ideas and options for Haiti to regain and enhance its social, economic, environmental, political, and demographic equilibrium.

FIU experts Anthony P. Maingot, professor emeritus of sociology, and Chantalle Verna, assistant professor of history and international relations, will respond to Maguire’s comments and address related issues.

The second panel will include Brooke Wooldridge, FIU project coordinator of Digital Library of the Caribbean, who will present an update on FIU’s initiatives to assist Haiti with the preservation of its archives and valuable historical collections. The Protecting Haitian Patrimony Initiative brings together international contributors to support Haitian libraries and archives as they begin the difficult and costly process of rebuilding and working towards the future. Pilar Martin, clinical assistant professor in the FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, will address the current health situation in Haiti and prospects for the future. Additional speakers representing community organizations will round out the second panel.

The event is free and open to the public but an RSVP is requested. For more information, contact the School of International and Public Affairs at 305-348-7266.