Human Rights Day Panel: Sonia Pierre and the Struggle for Citizenship in the Dominican Republic
Miriam Neptune, Manuela Pierre, Ninaj Raoul, and Monisha Bajaj
Dec 6, 2012 | 6:30 PM
James Room, 4th Floor Barnard Hall
Sonia Pierre (1963-2011), mobilized communities in the Dominican Republic to advocate for citizenship and human rights for Dominicans of Haitian descent. At age 13, Pierre led strike to improve working conditions for sugar cane cutters in the batey where she was born. As the director of Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitiana (MUDHA), she used legal challenges in domestic and international courts to defend the citizenship rights of first and second generation children born on Dominican soil. This panel will highlight the activism of young women who are moving forward with Sonia Pierre’s work on behalf of Dominicans of Haitian descent, and address the question of how international pressure impacts efforts by marginalized groups to demand recognition.
Manuela (Solange) Pierre is Sonia Pierre’s eldest daughter and founder of Grupo Afrodescientes, a cultural group dedicated to raising awareness about the experience of Black Dominicans.
Ninaj Raoul is the Executive Director of Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees, a Brooklyn-based group that collaborated closely with MUDHA for 15 years to organize disaster relief efforts in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Monisha Bajaj is Associate Professor of International and Comparative Education at Teachers College. A longtime friend of Sonia Pierre, she is the editor of the Encyclopedia of Peace Education and the author of a teachertraining manual on human rights education written while she was a Fulbright scholar in the Dominican Republic.
Miriam Neptune (moderator) is a video producer who documented collaborations between Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees and the Movement of Haitian Dominican Women from 2004 to 2010. Her video Birthright Crisis is an award-winning documentary depicting the cycle of deportation and violence faced by Dominicans of Haitian descent. She is currently an Instructional Media Specialist at Barnard College.
Co-sponsored by Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees.