New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0687-2015    Version: Name: Establishing October 9th annually as NYC Haitian Day, in recognition of the historic contributions of the Haitian diaspora to the City of NY.
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Committee: Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations
On agenda: 5/14/2015
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution establishing October 9th annually as New York City Haitian Day, in recognition of the historic contributions of the Haitian diaspora to the City of New York
Sponsors: Mathieu Eugene, Laurie A. Cumbo, Inez E. Dickens, Rafael L. Espinal, Jr., Vanessa L. Gibson, Peter A. Koo, Rosie Mendez, Barry S. Grodenchik, Donovan J. Richards, Stephen T. Levin, Carlos Menchaca
Council Member Sponsors: 11
Attachments: 1. Res. No. 687 - 5/14/15, 2. May 14, 2015 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 3. Proposed Res. No. 687-A - 6/17/16, 4. Committee Report 6/21/16, 5. Hearing Testimony 6/21/16, 6. Hearing Transcript 6/21/16, 7. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 6-21-16, 8. Minutes of the Recessed Meeting of June 14, 2016 held on June 21, 2016, 9. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - June 21, 2016

Res. No. 687-A

 

Resolution establishing October 9th annually as New York City Haitian Day, in recognition of the historic contributions of the Haitian diaspora to the City of New York

 

By Council Members Eugene, Cumbo, Dickens, Espinal, Gibson, Koo, Mendez, Grodenchik, Richards, Levin and Menchaca

                     Whereas, Haitians have made great contributions to the City of New York and to the United States throughout its history, from major achievements in athletics, art, music and culture, to social advancement for persons of African descent, to leadership in elected offices from the local to the national level; and

                     Whereas, On October 9, 1779 more than 500 recruits from Saint-Domingue, a French colony which later became Haiti, fought alongside American colonial troops against the British Army during the siege of Savannah, one of the most significant foreign contributions to the Revolutionary War; and

                     Whereas, In the early 19th Century, Haitian philanthropist and freed slave, Pierre Toussaint, started an orphanage on Franklin Street in New York City for poor girls and boys, paying for their education and setting them up with jobs; and

                     Whereas, Toussaint also started a credit bureau, an employment agency and a refuge for priests and destitute travelers and became a resource for Haitian immigrants moving to New York City due to his ability to speak French and English; and

                     Whereas, Toussaint raised funds and donated much of his own money to build Old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Mulberry Street in Manhattan, where he was the first lay person to be buried and for which he was eventually venerated by the Catholic Church in 1996 by Pope John Paul II; and

                     Whereas, Activist, civil rights leader and famed writer of Haitian descent, W.E.B. Du Bois became the editor of the magazine The Crisis in 1910 in New York City, aimed at exposing the widespread prejudice against persons of color, and which became a major publication critiquing segregation and advocating for civil rights, women’s rights and labor rights; and

                     Whereas, New York City native and famed artist of Haitian descent, Jean-Michel Basquiat was a leader of the neo-expressionist movement in New York City, working with other major artists including Andy Warhol, with major exhibits at the Whitney Museum of American Art; and

Whereas, Brooklyn born architects of Haitian descent,  Nicole Hollant-Denis and Rodney Leon, have designed several buildings in New York City, including significant sites such as the African Burial Ground Memorial in lower Manhattan and Leon’s “Arc of Return,” a permanent memorial at the United Nations dedicated to the victims of slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade; and

                     Whereas, According to the 2009 United States Census, there are over 140,000 persons of Haitian descent living in the City of New York today; now, therefore, be it

                     Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York establishes October 9th annually as New York City Haitian Day, in recognition of the historic contributions of Haitians to the City of New York.

RM/ACK

LS#4692

5/11/2016