Journalists Trek to Haiti for Cultural Tour

Group of journalists and other professionals just arrived in Port-au-Prince on Sunday. Photographed here are, L-R: Larry Davis, dean of the School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh; Ervin Dyer, co-trip leader and journalist; Germaine Watkins, photo journalist; Billy Jackson, documentary filmmaker; Allegra Battle, broadcast journalist; B. Denise Hawkins, co-trip leader and journalist; and Kim Davis, a retired banker (two other travelers are missing from the photo)

( – A group of African-American multi-media journalists and other professionals are on a cultural tour in Haiti this week. The nine-member group arrived in Port-au-Prince on Sunday, Oct. 28.

The tour will include Port-au-Prince, which was hit with the catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake which killed more than 100,000 in January 2010 and Gonaives which recently experienced a much smaller earthquake at 3.1 magnitude. The group will also travel to the cities of Jacmel and Cap-Haitian.

“We want people to see Haiti for themselves, connect with those on the ground and share stories and narratives about a complex country that aren’t being told,” says B. Denise Hawkins, spokesperson and co-leader of the group. “Our goal is tell the stories of ordinary Haitian people and if we can show that humanity we can change the narrative of who the people are.”

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), which monitors conditions after disasters around the world, as of one year ago, “authorities had failed to assist many of the nearly 38,000 individuals still living in displacement camps since the 2010 earthquake in resettling or returning to their places of origin. The country’s most vulnerable communities continue to face environmental risks, such as widespread deforestation, pollution from industry, and limited access to safe water and sanitation. Almost one-third of people live with food insecurity due to the ongoing drought affecting much of the country.”

HRW also reported last year that “more than 175,000 individuals remained displaced in the aftermath of October 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, and many more faced food insecurity due to widespread damage to crops and livestock.”

The group is slated to return this weekend.

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