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Haitian Creation in Boston

In partnership with:
With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Thursday, June 24, 2004

Marie St. Fleur, Regine Jackson and Marc Prou discuss and celebrate the influence of Haitian immigrants in Boston. Over the past four decades, Boston has seen a significant wave of immigrants coming from Haiti. In fact, our city has the third largest settlement of Haitians in the United States, and these new Bostonians have become one of the largest immigrant groups living here today. Steadily gaining public visibility, Haitians in Boston are creating new social, political, and economic organizations. And new leaders are emerging from this community to actively engage in local, state, and national issues as well as matters related to the future of Haiti itself. Not only changing to adapt to life in their new home, Haitian immigrants are also helping to build a new and more multicultural Boston that better reflects all of its citizens. Presented in collaboration with the La Kou Association and The Haitian Studies Association (HAS) to coincide with the Haitian Bicentennial Festival.

Marie P. St. Fleur is a former Massachusetts State Representative who represented the Fifth Suffolk district from 1999-2011. Her district consisted of parts of the Boston neighborhoods Dorchester and Roxbury. St. Fleur joined non-profit research and advocacy organization Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children in November 2013. Ms. St. Fleur comes to her new position after a long career in public service, where she was known as a tireless advocate on behalf of children and families. Her new role allows her to use her experience as an attorney, legislator, and senior leader in municipal government to support grassroots research on early education and the care system, advocate for change, and expand outreach and engagement of families, providers, policymakers, and government agencies and the public in support of this sector. Ms. St. Fleur was appointed by Mayor Thomas M. Menino on June 13, 2010, as the Chief of Advocacy and Strategic Investment for the City of Boston. In that capacity, Ms. St. Fleur led the Mayor Menino Circle of Promise Initiative and oversaw the Department of Intergovernmental Relations, The Office of New Bostonians, The Small and Local Business/Boston Jobs For Boston Residents Policy, and his Diversity and Reentry Initiatives.
Regine O. Jackson is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Richmond. She specializes in race and ethnic relations, American immigration, and urban ethnography. Her current research project is titled "No Longer Visible: Haitian Immigrants in the 'New Boston.'"
Marc Prou is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Co-Director of the Center for African Caribbean and Community Development at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He has published several articles and chapters on Caribbean social history and culture, Creole language, immigration and education. Prou's research on Haiti addresses educational reform, language, race and ethnicity. He is the author of Spoken Haitian Creole: Kreyol Pale Kreyol Konprann. He is currently the Executive Director of the Haitian Studies Association, a scholarly organization that addresses research on Haiti from a multi disciplinary perspective.