State Violence Against Dominicans of Haitian Descent, A Dialogue
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The Dominican Republic and Haiti share an island and a tense history. From its inception, the Dominican government has promoted anti-Haitian rhetoric and action rooted in racism and colorism. The latest government-backed discrimination is the denationalization of Dominicans of Haitian descent, made official by a 2013 court ruling that stripped citizenship from anyone born after 1929 lacking at least one parent of Dominican ancestry. More than 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent are thus stateless.
Join the American Jewish World Service for a presentation of the denationalization crisis followed by a facilitated conversation between Haitian American Ben Quaye and Dominican American Elaine Vilorio. The audience will then have a chance to ask questions and comment on the content with each other and the presenters and speakers.
About the folks in conversation:
Ben Quaye is a first generation Haitian American raised in New Jersey and currently living in Oakland. Growing up in a Haitian household had a lasting impact on shaping how he views what it means to be an American. He has traveled to Haiti many times to work on projects related to economic development, education & healthcare and to wind down with family and friends. Ben aims to leverage fintech as a tool to make upward mobility, wealth creation and wealth preservation available to everyone. He has a bachelor’s degree in History from Rutgers University and works at Synapse, a San Francisco based fintech start-up building back end banking infrastructure that allows developers to offer banking products in their mobile apps.
Elaine Vilorio is a Dominican American raised in Bonao (DR) and New Jersey who currently lives in San Francisco. She is committed to justice for Black and Brown people everywhere, including and especially in Hispaniola. Elaine has a Bachelor’s in Black Studies and Latin American and LatinX Studies from Amherst College. She works as a Data Analysis Coordinator for Community Solutions, a non-profit that helps communities around the U.S. and abroad end homelessness and the conditions that create it.
Inspired by the Jewish commitment to justice, American Jewish World Service (AJWS) works to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world.
AJWS was founded in 1985 by American Jews who wanted to join together as global citizens to help some of the poorest and most oppressed people around the globe. Today, AJWS is the only Jewish organization dedicated solely to ending poverty and promoting human rights in the developing world.
You will hear from Larissa Solomon, a Bay Area native with deep roots in both the Jewish and San Francisco Bay Area non-profit communities. Since 2014, she has worked as the Associate Director of the American Jewish World Service’s Western Region office and traveled to the Dominican Republic with AJWS’ Global Justice Fellowship in 2015. She holds a B.S. in Communication Studies from Northwestern and a M.S. in Psychology from The Catholic University of America.
Check out the AJWS site for more information on their human rights advocacy in the Dominican Republic.
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