Now, the city that boasts the second highest Haitian-American population north of Miami, is set to become the global epicenter for Caribbean scholarship, research and policy.
The inaugural Haitian Studies Institute at Brooklyn College was announced on Wednesday by Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte, State Senator Kevin Parker, Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, and Brooklyn College President Michelle J. Anderson.
The Institute’s research projects and outreach programs will focus on the Haitian and Caribbean diaspora, collaborating with scholars, students and public agencies to shape policies and programs that impact the Haitian and Haitian-American communities.
“My commitment is to work to establish a leading research center with national and international recognition,” said Dr. Jean Eddy Saint Paul, scholar, author and the new HSI director, reports the New York Daily Eagle.
Brooklyn is home to 62,500 foreign-born Haitians, said Brooklyn College President Michelle J. Anderson at Wednesday’s press conference, and Brooklyn represents the largest number of Haitian-owned businesses and community-based organizations in New York state, according to the Eagle.
“This is such a momentous and historical occasion that the Haitian community has been waiting for. As the only Haitian-American state legislator in the City of New York, it was heartfelt to see a true partnership from the beginning and throughout the entire process to make this dream a reality,” said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte.
Council Member Jumaane Williams, a Brooklyn College alumn, gave a shout out to his alma mater, reports the Eagle. “[There is] no better place to house the institute other than Brooklyn College, which is so close our borough’s very own ‘Little Haiti.’”