Projects and Activities

Haiti Projects

• UCSB Haiti Relief Committee: In response to the Haiti earthquake, the Center for Black Studies Research established the UCSB Haiti Relief Committee, comprised of student groups, faculty, staff, and community members who will address emergency relief and develop long-term sustainable projects in Haiti. As its first project, using the "adopt a neighborhood" model, the committee is working closely with the Bibliothèque du Soleil, a neighborhood library and community center in the Carrefour-Feuilles section of devastated Port au Prince. The Center's long-term involvement with the Bibliothèque—which will need to be completely rebuilt—will help target areas of greatest need for greatest impact in the community, as identified by members of the Haiti Relief Committee. Since the January earthquake, the Haiti Relief Committee has organized a number of panels, activities, and fundraisers, including several panel discussions at not only UCSB, but also nearby Santa Barbara City College and Westmont College. On January 21st the committee organized a forum at UCSB's MultiCultural Center Theater, which included talks by Dr. Claudine Michel and Dr. Nadège Clitandre—both professors affiliated with the Center—as well as by Direct Relief International (DPI) representative, Paul Thompson, and Black Studies and Feminist Studies double-major, Eziaku Nwokocha, who had traveled the previous summer to Haiti to conduct research. On February 28th, the committee organized an event to benefit Haiti Soleil: Poetry Reading for Haitian Relief. The poetry reading was co-sponsored by SBCC's Creative Writing Program and Black Student Union, as well as by UCSB's English Department and Center for Black Studies Research. Along with committee members Chryss Yost (JOHS Managing Editor) and Nicolas Pascal (UCSB graduate student), Dr. Michel attended Haitians Building Haiti: Towards Transparent and Accountable Development, a two-day conference in March at UMASS-Boston. The conference included a town hall meeting on March 26 and a gathering on March 27 of members of the Haitian Diaspora in the U.S. and Canada, friends of Haiti, representatives of non-governmental organizations, and representatives from Haitian civil society organizations. Meeting for over ten hours, attendees worked to build a common vision for building Haiti and to articulate key principles to move the Haitian state and society forward. The group's recommendations were presented among other venues at the United Nations International Donors' Conference (Towards a New Future for Haiti) in New York on March 31, 2010.

University of California Haiti Initiative (UCHI): Founded by Tu Tran (UCB), Will Smelko (UCB), and Nicolas Pascal (UCSB), the UCHI evolved out of the student-driven UC-Haiti Summit held at UC San Francisco on April 24, 2010 in response to the earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12. The UC-Haiti Summit was attended by more than two hundred students, faculty, and staff from all UC campuses. Several faculty members associated with the Center have lent their expertise to UCHI: Former Center Director Dr. Claudine Michel serves as UCHI's Executive Director and current Center Director Dr. Clyde Woods as Co-Director of the UCHI Arts and Culture Sector. Dr. Nadège Clitandre, a Center associate and UC Office of the President (UCOP) postdoctoral fellow, serves as an advisor and as a liaison to the UCSB Haiti Relief Committee. Several Center staff members have also contributed their time to UCHI: JOHS Managing Editor Chryss Yost serves as Media Coordinator and Center Business Officer Mahsheed Ayoub provides administrative support. UCSB graduate student Nicolas Pascal serves as Student Executive Director of UCHI. The UCHI aims to use the University's "Power of Ten"—involving all ten University campuses—to facilitate the collaboration and communication among UC students, faculty, staff, alumni, and researchers involved in research and relief and reconstruction efforts. UCHI supports partnerships with other governmental organizations, NGOs, or universities. Headquartered at the UCSB Center for Black Studies Research since July, UCHI is comprised of multi-campus research/project teams focused on six major sectors: economic development & law; agriculture; healthcare; education and psychosocial needs; engineering, architecture, and city planning; and arts, history, and culture. Working with on-site groups and with input from local communities, teams in each sector will identify areas of greatest need and opportunity. Teams will develop project and partnership proposals with the support of the UCHI board, which includes undergraduate and graduate students. On August 14th, twenty-one representatives of UCHI, including thirteen students, to Haiti for a ten-day, coordinated assessment trip. The group visited Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, Mirebalais, and Leogane, the epicenter of the 7.0 earthquake.

Direct Relief International: Direct Relief International, a Santa Barbara-based aid organization, sought the involvement of UCSB's Center for Black Studies Research to assist in developing their Community Grants Program in Haiti. The Program has created a $500,000 Community Grant Fund for local Haitian organizations that have suffered tremendous losses, undertaken extraordinary efforts, and will play an essential role in the ongoing efforts to recover, rebuild, and serve affected people. Funds are awarded to existing organizations that provide immediate relief in the form of food, shelter, education, and medical assistance. To facilitate the dispersal of funds, the Center has consulted with Direct Relief to identify local groups in need of aid; provided translation assistance to the Program; and assisted in developing, reviewing, and selecting grant applications. The Center also participated in site visits of over twenty-five projects this past May and again during the UCHI coordinated assessment trip to Haiti in August.

• Bibliothèque du Soleil: This community library in Port-au-Prince, Haiti was co-founded by Dr. Clitandre, a Center associate and UCOP postdoctoral fellow; the library is a project of the nonprofit organization Haiti Soleil. Bibliothèque du Soleil was one of the many structures affected by the earthquake in Haiti last January. Direct Relief International contributed $50,000 towards the rebuilding of the library, which will allow for the construction of a modern, safe, and spacious building. More than just a library, Bibliothèque du Soleil will house a computer lab and a community center as well. The grant will also be used to develop and facilitate educational programs for Haitians of all ages. With the support of the Haiti Relief Committee and the Center, the staff of Bibliothèque du Soleil created an emergency group, Biwo Doleans Sosyal (BDS), to offer support and assistance to the families of Carrefour-Feuilles, Port-au-Prince. These efforts include a census-like accounting of households, the missing or dead, survivors, and damage to property. More importantly, interviews and personal narratives of the survivors are being recorded and archived. The group is creating jobs for youth in the community who will be gathering the necessary information to document the story of Carrefour-Feuilles following the earthquake.

• Haitian Studies Association (HSA): Following the January earthquake, the Haitian Studies Association, for which the Center publishes the Journal of Haitian Studies, formed a task force on higher educa¬tion and surveyed the membership about their expertise and interests in assisting with providing sup¬port to higher education institutions in Haiti. HSA partnered with the Trotter Institute for a panel on higher education at the Haitians Building Haiti conference at UMASS-Boston, which took place March 26-27th. Dr. Michel remained in Boston through April 2nd, when she attended the annual HSA board meeting.

• Haiti Flag Week: The Center hosted several events in observance of Haiti Flag Week: a panel presentation at the MultiCultural Center Theatre on the current conjecture in Haiti after the quake; a forum on reconstruction in Haiti geared in particular toward student groups; Poets for Haiti, a fundraiser for the UCSB Haiti Relief Fund; and Because When God Is Too Busy: Haiti, Me & the World, a spoken word performance by Dr. Gina Athena Ulysse. Dr. Ulysse, a professor of Anthropology and African American Studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, is author of Downtown Ladies, recently published by the University of Chicago Press. As part of Flag Week, the Center also co-sponsored with the Women's Center a presentation on the status of women in Haiti after the quake, again with the participation of Dr. Gina Ulysse, as well as a brown bag discussion with Anne-Christine d'Adesky, a world-renowned AIDS advocate, author, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and public intellectual. D'Adesky has written on a wide range of topics including NGOs and the impact of HIV on women and children. She has also proposed a book on the Haiti earthquake, to be published in association with the Center.

• Seminar on the Reconstruction of Haiti (Black Studies 193HA): Team-taught by Center associates, Clyde Woods, Claudine Michel, and Nadège Clitandre, this seminar will critically explore several enduring lessons resulting from the recent earthquake in Haiti. The course is organized around a series of lectures and workshops on several aspects of Haitian society and the disaster: history, culture, and development challenges; environmental, health, and engineering challenges; the politics of aid and humanitarian relief; US policy; and the reconstruction effort. We will also examine the efforts of local organizations to rebuild their country. The specific works of the UC Haiti Initiative and Direct Relief International will be highlighted. Faculty, students, artists, survivors, and various professionals will lead the workshops. Students are expected to produce written, video, and web-based projects. This course will be offered during the fall quarter, 2010. • Journal of Haitian Studies: JOHS continues to be extremely well received in the academic community in the United States and abroad as the only peer-reviewed journal on Haiti. Volume 15, no.1 & 2, the Haitian Studies Association twentieth anniversary issue of the journal, was released this academic year, as was Volume 16.1, which was a special issue on Re-Conceiving Hispaniola, guest edited by Robert H. McCormick, Jr., Sally Barbour, and Sara Steinert-Borella. Submissions this year were primarily generated within North America, with additional submissions coming from the United Kingdom. New subscriptions and subscription renewals continue to provide financial support for this journal, which is currently self-published.

• KOSANBA: The Congress of Santa Barbara (KOSANBA) is a scholarly association for the study of Haitian Vodou housed at the Center for Black Studies Research. The group's ninth international colloquium, Sak Pase? N Ap Koute! Dites Donc, Nous Sommes a l'Ecoute [Tell Us, We're All Ears], was held in Mirebalais, Haiti from July 13th-17th to coincide with the Saut-d'Eau pilgrimage. KOSANBA'S tenth colloquium, which was to be held in Montreal, was rescheduled as a result of the January earthquake in Haiti (new date to be announced). KOSANBA continues to work on various new publications and translations of existing work. Faculty and Student Research Seminar (FSRS)

2009-10 FSRS Events

The Center sponsored and hosted several events in support of this new seminar series. In February, UCSB undergraduate Eziaku Nwokocha presented a talk, "Ezili Danto: Transgressing Sex and Gender in Haitian Vodou," focusing on the role and representation of the Haitian vodou lwa (deity) of strength and motherhood. In April, visiting lecturer and UCB doctoral student Roberto Hernández presented his talk, "Citizens and Felons Race, Immigration, and Felony Disenfranchisement." Finally, in May, Associate Professor and UCSB alumna H. L. T. Quan of Arizona State University delivered a lecture, "What Are Friends For? China's New Adventures in Africa & the Trope of Solidarity." took place in May. In support of Prof. Quan's lecture, the Center co-sponsored the screening of Mountains That Take Wing, a feature length documentary co-produced and co-directed by Quan and C. A. Griffith. Urban Studies Initiative

• Black California Studies: The Center sponsored several events in support of this project, including: "An Evening of Jazz with Sacred Urban Echoes," with Los Angeles jazz and poetry legends Kamau Daaood and Dwight Trible; the presentation of Los Angeles Community Action Network's "Jails Are Not Homes: Transforming Skid Row"; the Shirley Kennedy Memorial Lecture, "From Watts to Dakar," with poetry legend Jayne Cortez; and a discussion panel, "The Compton Cookout and More: Race in the College Party Scene," chaired, organized, and presented by Center Director Clyde Woods. The Black California Studies Initiative received a $5000 grant from the UCSB Center for New Racial Studies. This grant will fund the Black California Dreamin': Social Vision and the Crisis of California's African Americans book and conference project. On the project's editorial board are two prominent academics from throughout the state. New Orleans after Katrina: Focusing on New Orleans, the American Studies panel, "The New Orleans Blues Epistemology after Katrina," featured musician Kid Jordan, Professor George Lipsitz (UCSB), and poet Sunni Patterson. Additionally, Center Director Clyde Woods chaired and co-organized "Poetic Visions in the Wake of Katrina," a panel for the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association. The panel featured Brenda Osbey, Sunni Patterson, Shawn Griffin, and Kalamu Salaam. Port-au-Prince after the Earthquake: The initiative's efforts in Port-au-Prince include providing assistance for the rebuilding of Bibliothèque du Soleil, a community library sponsored in part by the Center and one of the many structures affected by the earthquake last January. Environmental Justice, Sustainable Development, and Green Economy Curriculum Collaborative

• During 2009-10 a series of discussions were held to create an institutional network for an ongoing dialogue on environmental justice and the green economy at UCSB. One of the goals of this initiative was to encourage research and develop career paths in both areas. In January of 2009, Center Director Clyde Woods co-organized the "UCSB Multi-Unit Collaborative on Environmental justice and the Emerging Green Economy," with the Center for Black Studies Research, the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, and the Department of Black Studies.

• Mini-Conference: In June 2010, Center Director Clyde Woods co-organized and chaired the mini-conference, "Environmental Justice, the Green Economy and the Transformation of the University Curriculum." Panelists included Carolyn Finney (Department of Environmental Science and Policy Management, UC Berkeley), Sarah Anderson (Bren School, UCSB), Inés Talamantez (Religious Studies, UCSB); Tiffany Mayville (student, EAB, Environmental Justice, UCSB), and Maricela Morales (Coastal Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy). • Collaborative Research Grant (C-RIG): In September 2010, the Environmental Justice, Sustainable Development, and Green Economy Curriculum Collaborative will receive a $4000 Collaborative Research Grant (C-RIG) from UCSB's Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Studies, to be used to hold grant writing workshops for a university-wide curriculum project. Community and Student Outreach • Project Excel: Project Excel is in its fifth year. Based at the Franklin Community Center and the Center for Black Studies Research, it is an outreach and academic preparation program that seeks to increase the number of academically prepared African-American and American Indian students in Santa Barbara and Goleta middle and high schools (grades 5-12) for possible eligibility and enrollment at UCSB or other colleges and universities. This project is a clear success with a number of significant accomplishments. (See Public Service Activities, page 12.) • Community Programming: In 2009-10, we have continued our program of collaboration with various community groups to maintain a Center presence in the community. (See Community Outreach Report, pages 13 -14.)

• Student Outreach: Dr. Nadège Clitandre, Center associate and UC Office of the President (UCOP) postdoctoral fellow, continues to lead a number of initiatives to forge stronger connections between the Center and students. These have included research-oriented as well as social events to introduce undergraduates and graduate students to the Center and its mission. Dr. Clitandre also continues to lend her support to AHEAD (Aiding Haitian Education and Development), a student group raising funds` and awareness for Haiti. Other Projects KALFOU, A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies: Contract negotiations between the University of Minnesota Press and the journal continue, with the finalization of the contract expected by the end of the fall quarter. The inaugural issue of the journal was self-published by the Center, to great success. Work continues on the next few issues. As previously reported, Professor Jeffrey Stewart, chair of the Department of Black Studies, and Professor Devin Fergus of Vanderbilt University are each editing special issues set to be published during the next year. Inquiries as to subscriptions to the journal seem to indicate continued interest in the journal by both an academic and lay audience.

 

Annual Report 2009

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Director's Statement

Advisory Committee
& Staff

Organization Chart

Other Projects and Activities

Awards Administered

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