Haiti

Recent Articles

Energy coop uses lantern workshops to bring families, communities together

By Raymond Jackson Contributing Writer   Communities of Light Cooperative is a self-sufficiency, training and assessment organization whose first product is solar energy-related. In 2009 an organization named Communities of Light was formed by several Phillips Neighborhood residents, and in 2010 they began their Solar Lanterns and Solar Generators project/workshops due to great interest in helping to build healthier neighborhoods. The workshops and training began and continue with a mission of building strong and trusting neighborhoods. The organization’s goal is to positively enhance the mental and physical health of those in the neighborhood by providing services that would help them meet some of their daily life challenges. As a result of several earthquakes and other catastrophes, including the 2010 Haiti earthquake that destroyed entire towns and villages, taking approximately 22,000 lives, member of Communities of Light felt that a community group could grow strong while assisting others to heal and restore themselves to healthy living. Continue Reading →

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Haiti’s LGBTQ-accepting Vodou societies

 

As I celebrate Black History Month, I’d like to recognize one of my indigenous West African ancestral religions that’s not homophobic — even if some of the practitioners are. To the disbelief of many — it’s Vodun. Haitian Vodou is an ancestral folk religion whose tenets have always been queer-friendly, accepting people of all sexual orientations and gender expressions. It’s just one of the religions brought to the New World by the African Diaspora, but there is no religion that frightens and fascinates the world over as much as Vodou. Misconstrued by racist images of zombies rising from graves, jungle drums, cannibalism, orgiastic ceremonies ritualizing malevolent powers of black magic, and by today’s popular culture images courtesy of Hollywood’s and New Orleans’ tourism industry, Vodou is a persecuted and misunderstood religion. Continue Reading →

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Minnesotans converge in celebration of Black History Month Expo to feature Black products, services, and fun for all ages

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

Black History Month matters. What’s being lauded as the biggest Black History Month Celebration in Minnesota — the 2013 Midwest Black History Month Expo (MBHE) — is happening at the Saint Paul RiverCentre in St. Paul on February 23, from 10 am to 7 pm. The MBHE is a ticketed event that is open to the public. All are encouraged to attend. Continue Reading →

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Local couple gives back to their Haitian homeland

 

By Maya Beecham

Contributing Writer

A journey of 2,186 miles from Minnesota to southern Haiti is a regular trip for Nick and Madeleine Avignon. Throughout the year, they travel to their native country to plant seeds in lives and harvest leaders. In 2001, with the help of friends, they founded Christian Operation for Health Education and Development (COFHED). The organization’s mission is to engage in long-term community-led development in southern Haiti. Nick said, “I always had a desire to go back to my home country and do community development work. Continue Reading →

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