There have been several events planned to mark the assassination in Haiti include: A Haitian Times held virtual community health check and solidarity memorial on July 14; and prayer vigils for Martine Moïse and peace on July 16.
One week after President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination, Haitian Americans across the U.S. have begun holding events to mark the slaying and help community members cope, diaspora leaders say.
In New York, the local Haitian consulate planned to honor Moïse’s accomplishments on July 14. Officials there said they are waiting until after the president’s funeral to hold more events.
Eudson Tyson-Francois, a Spring Valley, New York village trustee, said based on his conversations with Haitian Ambassador Bocchit Edmond, the funeral will likely occur soon after the two-week national period of mourning that began July 7. Tyson-Francois said he became close to Moïse about six years ago, when the then-presidential hopeful visited New York.
“I’m telling you, this really hurts,” said Tyson-Francois, who held a July 12 press conference with other Rockland County elected officials. Tyson-Francois also said in an interview that he was planning a July 18 vigil, with local faith leaders.
He also criticized the assassination as a power play, apparently carried out by foreign actors. “We were disrespected as Black people, as the first Black republic ever,” said Tyson-Francois.
In Florida, where First Lady Martine Moïse is being treated for injuries from the early morning killing, numerous events are also being announced. At least one is a prayer vigil near the hospital to offer comfort.
Mixed emotions, plans to unite community
On a cloudy, overcast Tuesday on the streets of Nostrand Avenue, in Brooklyn’s Little Haiti, Jackson Bosse said he has not seen any public efforts by community members to honor Moïse. Speaking cynically of Moïse’s tenure, he recalled the widespread protests this year, demanding that the president step down.
“Some people, but not too many people [were] sad, because they know what he was about,” said Bosse, 54, of East Flatbush. “This guy [Moïse] doesn’t listen. They tell him to leave the country.”
Haitian American Alliance (HAA) President Yolette Williams acknowledged that some community members were indifferent. But others, whether they supported the president or not, were traumatized by the assassination, which she said highlighted a culmination of violent events in Haiti.
“People are in a state of shock,” Williams said. “It’s beyond Jovenel, it’s what has been going on in the country since 2018, since peyi lok.”
While HAA was planning a Facebook Live event to offer emotional support, a date was not determined as of July 13. Williams said she had expected to see more public efforts to honor Moïse, since his death.
“No matter one’s political views, he was still the head of state,” Williams said.
Memorial events around the diaspora
Following is a list of confirmed events around the diaspora to memorialize Moïse or support his wife Martine Moïse, who is still being treated at a Miami hospital. The list will be updated as more events are announced.
Consulate General of Haiti in New York––Wednesday, July 14, 10 a.m. Film screening displaying the achievements of Haiti’s late president. 815 2nd Ave 6th floor, New York, NY 10017
Community Health Check (virtual)––Wednesday July 14, 7 p.m., via Facebook Live and Zoom, organized by The Haitian Times. Register for free to participate.
Hope 4 Haiti Solidarity Memorial––Wednesday, July 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Julius Littman Performing Arts Center, 17011 NE 19th Ave., North Miami Beach, Florida, 33162
Circle of Prayer for Martine Moïse–– Friday, July 16, 5:30 p.m., Alamo Building at Jackson Memorial Hospital, 1611 NW 12th Ave, Miami, Florida, 33136
Peace Vigil Memorial––Friday, July 16, 7-10 p.m., Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami, Florida, 33137
Please submit events to firstname.lastname@example.org.