For Immediate Release • July 19, 2010

Multi-campus University of California Haiti Initiative selects UCSB Center for Black Studies Research as Headquarters  

Santa Barbara, CA: The Center for Black Studies Research at UC Santa Barbara is honored to have been selected as the headquarters for the UC Haiti Initiative (UCHI), a system-wide collaboration of students, faculty, staff, researchers, and alumni contributing their skills and experience towards Haiti’s post-earthquake reconstruction. The UCHI board of directors includes medical doctors, engineers, educators, agronomists, and other skilled professionals who will assist in developing resources in Haiti. The UCHI will offer UC students the opportunity to learn outside the classroom as well as providing researchers with a chance to study the unique conditions that are influencing the recovery process.  

"The UCHI represents what is best about the University of California,” says Professor Claudine Michel, director of the Center for Black Studies Research. “Being selected as the home for this important program gives us an opportunity to apply the Center’s expertise at a time when it is critically needed.”  

"Many people are surprised to learn that UC Santa Barbara is so involved in Haiti,” says Professor Clyde Woods, acting director of the Center. “Professor Michel has been a major force for developing the field of Haitian Studies, and the Center has been fortunate to have her build programs here. Outside of Boston and Miami—cities with large Haitian populations—the Center is the primary site of scholarship on Haiti in the United States.”  

Being selected as headquarters for the UC Haiti Initiative adds to the Center’s many accomplishments in Haitian Studies, which include:  

• Publishing the Journal of Haitian Studies, the only peer-reviewed journal on Haiti and Haitian culture
• Establishing KOSANBA, a scholarly association for the study of Vodou, Haiti’s indigenous religion.
• Hosting international conferences on Haiti
• Supporting research on Haiti through fellowships and residencies
• Long-term partnership with Haiti Soleil to establish a library and community center in Port-au-Prince
• Development of Haiti Flag Week, an annual celebration at UCSB

ABOUT THE UC HAITI INITIATIVE: The UC Haiti Initiative developed as a result of the student-driven UC Haiti Summit held at UCSF in April 2010. UCHI is a group of faculty, students, researchers, staff, and alumni dedicated to mobilizing resources in the UC system for Haiti's reconstruction. UCHI aims to form partnerships with Haitian academic institutions, community groups, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to enhance development and reconstruction through education and research. UHCI focuses on six core areas: Agriculture, Arts & Culture, Economics, Education, Engineering & Architecture, and Healthcare. All projects will emphasize initiative and direction from our Haitian partnering institutions and organizations and helping develop self-sustaining, long-term mechanisms for continued development. <>

ABOUT THE CENTER FOR BLACK STUDIES RESEARCH: The UCSB Center for Black Studies Research was founded in 1969. Working under the UCSB Office of Research, the Center provides a forum for the study of people of African descent, conducts research, and hosts colloquia, visiting scholars, and conferences to enrich the conversation about racial issues. The Center’s broad focus includes publication of books, working papers, and the journals The Journal of Haitian Studies, Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies, and Screening Noir.  

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For more information on UCHI or to schedule an interview with Claudine Michel or another UCHI director, please contact Chryss Yost at (805) 893-3914 or visit <> .

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