Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24) today issued the following statement in recognition of Haitian Heritage Month, celebrated during the month of May:
“Haitian Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the rich culture, history, achievements, and contributions of the global Haitian community. From contributions to art, music, and history, Haitian heritage is an indispensable part of South Florida’s unique identity. I proudly honor the Haitian American community in South Florida and throughout the nation.
“The Republic of Haiti was born out of a spirit of independence and justice – fighting the French empire for their freedom and becoming the first republic founded by formerly enslaved people. This spirit has shone especially bright through the most difficult times.
“Through unimaginable poverty, disaster, and political instability, the Haitian people have persevered and demonstrated the vigor of their will. The last few years have been especially difficult for Haiti, but I am confident in their ability to keep moving forward with our aid and support.
“For the hundreds of thousands of Haitians who have sought out a better life on our shores, this month serves to celebrate their connection to home and to each other. Haitian Americans form integral parts of our local civic, entrepreneurial, and artist landscapes, and I will continue to fight for their rights to be respected.
“As we celebrate Haitian Heritage Month, we must call attention to the multitude of crises facing Haiti. I reiterate my calls on the United States government to provide greater security assistance to Haiti and support Haitian-led solutions to crises.”
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson is a sixth-term lawmaker from Florida, representing parts of Northern Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward counties. A former state legislator and school principal, she is the founder of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, a mentoring and dropout prevention program for boys and young men of color. Congresswoman Wilson also is the founder and chair of the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys and the Florida Ports Caucus, a bipartisan taskforce that coordinates federal action to support Florida’s harbors and waterways. The Florida lawmaker sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; chairs the Education and Labor Committee’s Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee and serves on the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee.