Letter from BHI

January 12, 2011

To The Brandeis University Community:

One year ago today, an earthquake devastated Haiti, destroying lives, homes and buildings in one of the poorest countries in the world. But it did not destroy hope.  As death, hunger and homelessness continue to destruct lives, the Haitian people remain resilient.  The dedication this past year - from our university, our country, and our world - to help and serve those in need has been remarkable.

Today, we ask you to extend that commitment.  While Haiti may no longer appear on the nightly news, here at Brandeis we stand together to say that we will never forget what happened on January 12, 2010.  We will never forget the work that awaits our fellow citizens of the world.  At Brandeis, we know that although we have differences of age, race, religion or national origin, we are all human beings. When we see neighbors without shelter, food and medicine, we will never ignore them.

So take time to serve the people of Haiti, and the less fortunate people all around you.  On January 18, we will observe a day in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., a man who dedicated his life to justice and future generations.  Because of Dr. King, this country is true to its ideals.  To honor Dr. King’s call to service, we invite you to join us at a ceremony honoring his life Monday evening in the Shapiro Campus Center.

Please also take a moment, through the Brandeis Haiti Initiative (BHI), to give back to the people of Haiti.  Visit our website at brandeis.edu/haiti, and help us plan events to fundraise for Empowering Through Education (ETE) camp, a program started by Shaina Gilbert ’10 that provides free summer classes and activities for young children, Partners In Health, and Hope For Haiti.  Join us at upcoming events, including an interfaith service, Hoops for Haiti, and A Night for Haiti.  No matter what your skills are, or how little time you have, we appreciate any help you can give.

We all have dreams of a future with endless opportunity, for ourselves, our families and future generations.  The destruction in Haiti is not a Haitian problem.  It is a human problem.

So we ask all of you – whether you are a student, staff member, professor, or administrator – for your help.  With your support, we look forward to further transforming the world in which we all live.


Napoleon Lherisson ’11 and Jon Ostrowsky ‘13
Brandeis Haiti Initiative