Dispatches from the Brown Community


Physician Sachita Shah from Brown’s Alpert Medical School spoke on campus in late February. She and other Brown doctors went to Haiti after the earthquake to perform surgeries and provide intensive care to victims.

Credit: Frank Mullin

About Haiti ...

Announcements, messages, and commentary from the week of March 1, 2010:

By TAB Staff  |  March 2, 2010  |  Email to a friend

At Brown: Campus groups raise $25K for Haiti relief

From bake sales to basketball, a cappella to yoga, Brown student organizations have held fundraisers for Haiti earthquake relief, raising $25,000 so far. The next event is a brown-bag concert March 5, noon to 2 p.m., in Sayles Hall – and donations will be accepted.

Milan Satcher ’10, ’14 MD has become a liaison between students, the Haiti Crisis Response Committee, faculty and staff interested in Haiti, and Providence community contacts. “The amount of my involvement varies based upon how developed the vision is,” she says. “Some students have just come to me with general ideas that I've helped to develop and plan, connecting them with faculty, other student groups, community contacts, or resources.” One such effort was an Open Mic Night that raised $2,614. Other groups have come to Satcher seeking advertising or volunteers, such as Brown A Capella Stands with Haiti ($3,210), Zeta Delta Xi ($1,289), and Delta Tau ($1,034), which sponsored Haiti relief parties, and the Party for Haiti organized by the late Avi Schaefer ’13 ($2,418).

Undergraduate S. Hollis Mickey, who teaches free weekly yoga classes through the Brown student group Yoga and Mindfulness (YAM), says that giving back to the community is a tenet of yoga. “We also look to offer ourselves to others who need our support – whether through money, contemplative prayer, or spirit.

Students view Haitian artwork displayed on campus as part of a Haiti Teach-In.: Students view Haitian artwork displayed on campus as part of a Haiti Teach-In. “Hearing of the crisis in Haiti … as a citizen of this world community, I personally felt compelled to urge my students and fellow yoga practioners to consciously and intentionally live our yoga practice to give towards this important cause,” Mickey says. So far, YAM’s two benefit classes have raised about $300.

“After learning about the earthquake devastation in Haiti, I wondered: How can I help?” says Christie Kilgus, a project assistant in the Watson Institute for International Studies who, as a recent member of the President's Staff Advisory Council (SAC), was appointed to the fundraising coordination committee. “For the short term, since money is what is needed, the first wave of our response has been on fundraising,” Kilgus says. “‘Dollars for Haiti’ were collected at BEAR Day [$487], and SAC is planning a lunchtime benefit talent concert on March 5.” Some departments are hosting potlucks and movies to raise money, she adds.

“The students have been at the center of these efforts, planning several of their own fundraising benefits with amazing success,” Kilgus says. “I'm also working with José Torrealba of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Max Clermont, Kona Shen, Victoria Giordani, and Janet Isserlis of the Swearer Center to create a biweekly newsletter,” says Satcher, “to keep the Brown/Providence community informed of Brown’s response to the crisis. All of us are planning the Ayiti Cheri Haitian Film Festival for March 12 to 14.”

“This committee has resolved to maintain a level of campus focus on Haiti relief efforts and to be there for the long term when this is no longer the hot topic,” Kilgus says. “Personally, I previously had no connection to Haiti. Now I do.”

Patrick Moynihan ’87: Redoubling an educational commitment

Patrick Moynihan is a Catholic deacon and head of the Louverture-Cleary School in Port-au-Prince sponsored by the Haitian Project. He will speak about his work at the 10:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Masses this Sunday, March 7, at Manning Chapel on the Brown campus. All are welcome.

Moynihan, left, with school maintenance head Patrick Faustin and manager of donated resources Madame Deshomme.: Moynihan, left, with school maintenance head Patrick Faustin and manager of donated resources Madame Deshomme. Our mission continues. Louverture-Cleary School has been left standing in a country where many institutions have tumbled, literally. We know this means that we must put even more energy and sacrifice into the mission of creating leadership for Haiti.

We have adjusted to the immediate need by serving all over the city. As students, staff, and U.S. volunteers, we have worked in hospitals, ad hoc clinics, community organizing, child advocacy, direct food relief, rubble removal, and now housing construction. We have taken our light to groups who have nearly succumbed to darkness. We will continue. It is a privilege, not a burden.

But we also know that the long-term contribution of well-educated, civic-minded servants for Haiti is what the country and God expects from us. It is our responsibility to help lead out of chaos all those interested in a stronger country. This means producing leaders. We have never stopped in our mission, not on account of government failure or natural disaster.