Happy Haitian Independence Day!

Today, the Haitian community –locally and abroad – is celebrating their Declaration of Independence from French rule which occurred on this exact date in 1804. More than 200 years later, the vibrant people of this island nation remain resilient and determined to overcome any setback. 

As we recount the stories of our ancestors and the successful slave revolt that would forever change the world, we must also recognize the historical significance and global impact of the Haitian Revolution. 

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. As the first free Black republic, Haiti became a beacon of hope for enslaved persons under colonial rule worldwide. Their courage and sacrifices inspired the next generation of revolutionaries who would follow in their footsteps and pursue their own path towards freedom.

Their legacy will continue to live on through our advocacy work to protect human rights and help end human trafficking. This year, I encourage you to take the time to rediscover the beauty, culture, and historical contributions of Haiti towards the development of the free world.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will gather virtually to celebrate Haitian Independence Remembrance Day with a traditional bowl of soup joumou. 

I hope you will join me in the fight for social justice in 2021 and beyond.