The Center has been intensively engaged with Haiti over the past several years through the activities of our most active Interdisciplinary Research Group, the Haiti Research Group. We have also created a Center for Latin American Studies Advisory Committee on Haiti, drawing from the Haiti Research Group and other members of faculty and staff from a variety of schools and departments of the University, to guide our efforts. These are individuals who have been working on and in Haiti for years and in some cases for decades.
The Center staff and the Advisory Group are already planning a series of Haiti response workshops to bring students, faculty, and staff together from all over the University to develop concrete projects. The workshops will include specialists from a broad range of areas: from Architecture to International Studies; from Communication to Engineering; from Business to Geology; from Education to Medicine. We are also inviting the participation of our colleagues at FIU through the Miami Consortium for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. The mandate is to produce funding proposals that directly apply the diverse resources of our Universities to address Haiti’s most pressing problems.
We confidently predict that, just as we have courageously done with our first responder agencies, the University of Miami, more than any other US academic institution, is poised to take on the crucial role of addressing the long-term development challenges of Haiti. The Center is also looking at the effects of the disaster on our local Haitian American community which will only continue to grow in the months and years to come.