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Blogger Profile: Other Worlds

Beverly Bell first went to Haiti as a teenager. Since then she has dedicated most of her life to working for democracy, women’s rights, and economic justice in that country. She founded or co-founded six organizations and networks dedicated exclusively to supporting the Haitian people, including the Lambi Fund of Haiti. She worked for both presidents Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Rene Preval and wrote Walking on Fire: Haitian Women’s Stories of Survival and Resistance (Cornell University Press, 2001). Today she is associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and runs the economic justice group Other Worlds.

Alexis Erkert and Deepa Panchang are co-coordinators of Other Worlds' Another Haiti is Possible program. You can access all of Other Worlds’ past articles regarding post-earthquake Haiti here.

Other Worlds's Blogs

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Other Worlds

Economic Justice

July 12th, 2010

"We've Lost the Battle But We Haven't Lost the War": Haiti Six Months After the Earthquake.

Haiti during the World Cup is much like my hometown of New Orleans was during the Superbowl. Don’t try to make plans with anyone to do anything during a game. (In the more cash-rich New Orleans, the ban on non-game-related activity stretched back a day or two before a game, ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

July 8th, 2010

A Second Slave Rebellion in Haiti (Or: What's the Worth of a Haitian Child? Part III)

One of the many effects of poverty in Haiti is that desperate parents regularly give away their children in the hope that the new family will feed and educate the children better than they themselves can. Instead, the children usually end up as child slaves, or restavèk. In a country ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

July 2nd, 2010

Slavery in Haiti, Again (Or: What's the Worth of a Haitian Child? Part II)

“I’m struggling to end slavery because I know how I suffered,” said Helia Lajeunesse, a former restavèk, child slave, who is now a children’s rights advocate. Today there are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world, according to the research of Kevin Bales of Free the Slaves.[1] This is ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

June 24th, 2010

Jean-Jean's Survival: What is the Worth of a Haitian Child (Part I)

Jean-Jean, six, is part of the pack of kids that races to meet me each time I arrive at one internally displaced people’s camp in Port-au-Prince. Jean-Jean is usually at the front, all flashing eyes and big toothy grin, out-shouting the others or engaging in some ridiculous antic for my ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

June 10th, 2010

'So That Everyone Can Eat, Produce It Here'

Doudou Pierre is on the coordinating committee of the National Haitian Network for Food Sovereignty and Food Security (RENHASSA). He is also a member of the International Coordinating Committee for Food Sovereignty, organized by Vía Campesina, the worldwide coalition of small farmer organizations. In addition, he is a member of ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

June 8th, 2010

What Would "Another Haiti" Look Like?

Written with Laura WagnerA slogan of Haiti’s popular movement – a grouping of many organized sectors, from community-based journalists, to cooperative street vendors, to children’s rights advocates – is ‘Another Haiti Is Possible.’ Most Haitians we speak with, whatever their sector or political persuasion, have very clear ideas of what ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

June 4th, 2010

Groups Around the U.S. Join Haitian Farmers in Protesting "Donation" of Monsanto Seeds.

“We’re for seeds that have never been touched by multinationals. In our advocacy, we say that seeds are the patrimony of humanity. No one can control them,” said Doudou Pierre, national coordinating committee member of the National Haitian Network for Food Sovereignty and Food Security (RENHASSA), in a recent interview. ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

June 3rd, 2010

"We are at a Crossroads" - Yannick Etienne on Sweatshops as a Development Model.

The U.S. and U.N. have based their plan for Haiti’s redevelopment on the expansion of the assembly industry. Toward this end, the U.S. Congress passed legislation last month which would expand benefits and income for U.S. investors yet again. Haitian workers will continue to earn $3.09 a day. Worker rights ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

June 1st, 2010

United Nations Attacks Refugee Camp, Protests Mount

Last week, the United Nations peacekeeping mission fired tear gas and rubber bullets into a crowded refugee camp, leaving at least six hospitalized and others suffering respiratory problems. Citizen organizations plan demonstrations for today, the sixth anniversary of the U.N. armed presence in Haiti. The march is part of growing ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

May 27th, 2010

Thinking About Ourselves and Our Future: Rural Haitian Women Organize

“If we rural women can organize ourselves together to form a bloc, we could accomplish a lot of things,” says Yvette Michaud, founder of the National Coordinating Committee of Peasant Women (KONAFAP by its Creole acronym). The committee is a first-ever effort to unite, on a national basis, the voices ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

May 24th, 2010

Environment and Food in Haiti: Two Crises, One Solution

In part II of an interview, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste discusses the role that agriculture can play in Haiti in addressing both the environmental and food crises. (See “The Clock is Set to Zero” for the first part.) Jean-Baptiste is the Executive Director of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP by its ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

May 20th, 2010

Poverty Wage Assembly Plants as Development Strategy in Haiti: An Interview with the Center for Promotion of Women Workers

Written with Tory Field The U.S. Congress has passed bi-partisan legislation, the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act, that would extend and expand current trade law with Haiti to increase U.S. imports of Haitian assembled textiles. Passed May 5 and 6 by the House and Senate, respectively, the bill is ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

May 13th, 2010

Foreign-Led Commission Now Govern Haiti: Voting Membership Determined by Size of Contribution

On April 15, the Haitian Parliament ratified a law extending by 18 months the state of emergency that President René Préval declared after the earthquake of January 12. The parliament also formally ceded its powers over finances and reconstruction, during the state of emergency, to a foreign-led Interim Commission for ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

May 8th, 2010

The Urgency of Housing in Haiti, Part II: Government Destroys Refugee Camps, National Hurricane Center Predicts Busy Season

“Everything we owned got smashed. We lost everything.” Getro Nelio was not referring to the devastating earthquake of January 12. The unemployed, 24-year-old Haitian was speaking about losing his home a second time in three months, on this occasion due to the government. Since late March, armed Haitian police have ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

May 5th, 2010

The Urgency of Housing in Haiti: First Priority in Addressing Widespread Rape

The 7.3 earthquake which struck Haiti on January 12 was only the start of Haiti’s most recent catastrophe. It has been followed by an ever-deepening social and economic crisis for those whose survival was precarious before the quake, especially among the 1.3 million who were left homeless or displaced. For ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

April 26th, 2010

Broadcasting Women's Voices in Haiti's Reconstruction: Women's Community Radio

Haitian women have been increasingly vocal and active in social, political, and economic issues since the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship in 1986. Though it has not come easily, their progress in changing gender relations of power within the home, within social movements, and within the nation has been steady. ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

April 23rd, 2010

Addressing the Social Causes of Poor Health: Alternative Health and Healing in Haiti (Part III)

For most Haitians, when health care is available at all, it all too often treats the immediate problem only. Given the conditions under which the vast majority of Haitians live – dire poverty, malnourishment, and lack of access to water or sanitation – the next illness or physical challenge is ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

April 19th, 2010

The Shock Doctrine in Haiti: An Interview with Patrick Elie

Patrick Elie has long been a democracy activist. Moreover, during President Aristide’s administration-in-exile during the 91-94 coup d’etat, Patrick was coordinator of the anti-drug unit of the National Intelligence Service, where he was key to exposing the collusion between the U.S. government and the military coup leaders. He subsequently served ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

April 16th, 2010

The Business of Disaster: Where's Haiti-Bound Money Going?

(Written with Tory Field)“A sweeping exercise in nation-building on a scale and scope not seen in generations,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the international donors conference on March 31 in New York, where foreign nations and other international institutions pledged $5.3 billion toward Haiti over the next 18 months, ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

April 12th, 2010

Social and Psychological Well-Being: Alternative Health and Healing in Haiti (Part II)

Lenz Jean-Francois is a social psychologist. He is also a professor and provisional head of the psychology department of the School of Social Sciences of the State University of Haiti. He talks about how local organizations and institutions are using social psychology in Haiti’s post-earthquake context to help survivors heal. ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

April 1st, 2010

Healing Body and Heart, Cuban-Style: Alternative Health Care in Haiti (Part I)

(Written with Tory Field)The governments of Cuba, Brazil, and Haiti signed a trilateral accord on March 27 to rebuild the public health system in Haiti. Brazil committed $US80 million toward the effort and pledged to create a national epidemiologic surveillance network. The Cuban contribution includes more than 1,600 doctors, a ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

March 25th, 2010

"Our Bodies Are Shaking Now": Rape Follows Earthquake in Haiti

“The way you saw the earth shake, that’s how our bodies are shaking now,” said a member of the grassroots anti-violence group Commission of Women Victim-to-Victim (KOFAVIV by its Creole acronym). She was speaking at a meeting about violence against women and children since the earthquake January 12. The venue ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

March 23rd, 2010

Where Solidarity Means Survivial: Lessons for Policy-Makers (Part I)

Perhaps more than anything today, Haiti needs a new macro-economy, one based above all on meeting the needs of its citizens. Post-earthquake economic restructuring could include equitable distribution of resources, high levels of employment with fair compensation, local production, and provision of social services. In the meantime, what saved many ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

March 18th, 2010

What Haitians Want From Americans (And What They Don't)

We asked Haitians in civil society organizations, on the streets, in buses, “What do you want from the U.S.? What help can Americans give Haiti?” Here are some of their answers. Roseanne Auguste, community health worker with the Association for the Promotion of Integrated Family Health: The U.S. people don’t ... continue reading

Other Worlds

Economic Justice

March 17th, 2010

Post-Disaster Reconstruction: Putting Haitian Citizens Into the Equation

Haitian civil society has been completely bypassed in decision-making regarding the post-earthquake reconstruction process. They have thus created their own process. The Haiti government's Post-Disaster Needs Assessment, launched February 18, granted one week, March 14-20, for “consultation with civil society and the private sector,” according to the terms of reference. ... continue reading

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