Rep. Charles B. Rangel was honored by the James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation with its Humanitarian Award for his decades of work to encourage development in Haiti. The award was presented to Rep. Rangel at the sold-out Second Annual Black Tie Gala hosted by the foundation in conjunction with the United Nations SRC Aux Antilles Club at Bohemian National Hall on Manhattan’s Upper East Side last week.
Following the devastating Haitian earthquake of 2010, the Luce Foundation began in order to lay the groundwork for the first international English-speaking university campus in Haiti known as the International University Center Haiti to serve a wide range of foreign efforts at building or rebuilding higher-education institutions and programs to serve Haiti.
The gala was co-sponsored by the United Nations Missions of Haiti, Cape Verde and the Czech Republic. Funds were raised in support of Phase I of the International University Center Haiti as guests danced to the beat of Haiti’s renowned orchestra Tabou Combo.
In his remarks presenting the Foundation’s 2012 Humanitarian Award to Rangel, Jim Luce stated: “Following my first trip to Haiti in 1999, I met Congressman Charlie Rangel and was inspired by his charisma and can-do attitude. Charlie cares deeply about the people of New York City and the world–particularly Haiti. Charlie is quite simply Haiti’s number-one supporter in the U.S. Congress.
The International University Center Haiti is a non-sectarian institution formed by the foundation Jan. 12, 2011–the first anniversary of the catastrophic 2010 earthquake with its epicenter near the town of Leogne. The first program of Uni Haiti was its Leadership Training Program in English held for 50 students in partnership with Ecole de la Redemption. The first development stage will be building a computer center and retrofitting the water and sanitation facilities of its partner institution, Ecole de la Redemption, a 750-student school for grades 1 through 10.
Among his many contributions, Rangel created the Haiti Economic Lift Program Act of 2010, which provides additional trade preferences to Haitian textile and apparel imports, which is currently helping Haiti recover from the devastation of the earthquake.
Rangel also brought the Ways and Means Committee together to extend the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act and the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act through Sept. 30, 2020.