Enough is Enough: Fellow Raymond Richard Calls for Peace After Senseless Murder

In the wake of the senseless murder of 9-year old Janari Ricks, Global Goldin Fellow Raymond Richard joined peace builders from across the city to host a call for an end to the violence that is on the rise in Chicago. 

The Founder of Brothers Standing Together, Raymond is also a resident of the near north side community where the murder of Janari Ricks took place. The murder hit home for Raymond in a personal way, as Janari is part of his extended family.

This is my community. I came back home to help as many people as I can help and save as many lives as I can save.  Unfortunately, his life wasn't saved. So that means we dropped the ball. The men dropped the ball.

In his impassioned plea for the murders to stop, Raymond continued:

But we are here to say today, "Enough is Enough" and it's over with. We will no longer stand by idle while our children are being slaughtered at an alarming rate.

After calling for the shooter to turn himself in, Raymond continued:

To the children: I pledge to do all I can do to make your lives safe, even if it means laying down my own life... We as a people must get involved to stop the bloodshed of our people. It doesn't matter the color. We're dying at an alarming rate and we must take a stand now.

Raymond Richard is an Alumnus of the inaugural class of Global Goldin Fellows in 2018, a cohort of 20 passionate grassroots leaders from 16 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America. 

Click here to read the watch the video on WGN9 News.


2019 Chicago Peace Fellows Report

For nearly two decades, the Chicago-based Goldin Institute has worked to build the capacity and amplify the voices of grassroots organizers in communities contending with the most challenging circumstances on Earth. In late 2018, the Goldin Institute was asked to design a course for grassroots organizers by the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities, a coalition of 40 Chicago-based foundations who are aligning their investments to support proven and promising approaches to reducing gun violence. The Goldin Institute relied on its extensive global experience to create the Chicago Peace Fellows.

The Peace Fellows is a curriculum and fellowship designed to support individual organizers who are prior grantees of the Partnership’s Chicago Fund and are working to stop violence and create opportunities for their neighbors to collaborate in promoting more peaceful communities across the city. The inaugural class of 18 Peace Fellows graduated in November 2019 after more than six months of collaborative learning and joint projects.

The Goldin Institute designed the Peace Fellows course in collaboration with previous Chicago Fund grantees and input from a wide range of civic stakeholders. Based on the advice they received, staff adapted GATHER, the Goldin Institute’s tablet-based curriculum that teaches a series of core social change concepts and tools for authentic community engagement for grassroots leaders across the globe, to fit the newly formed group of local neighborhood changemakers, enhancing the online course with in-person workshops and meetings with a wide range of civic leaders in Chicago.

The 18 Chicago Peace Fellows were selected from a pool of over 50 applicants who all live and work in community areas on the city’s South and West sides that are disproportionately affected by crime and violence. Each Peace Fellow received a stipend and an iPad pre-loaded with the GATHER software and curriculum. Connecting Chicago leaders through GATHER allowed Fellows to explore key concepts around social change and leadership development digitally while they continued playing key roles in their community organizations as they completed the course.

On March 8, 2019, the Peace Fellows convened at DePaul University for the launch of the program where they discussed their leadership styles and got to know their peers. Over the following several weeks, the Chicago Peace Fellows developed deep bonds and determined together the principles and practices that would enable them to learn and work together as a community of practice.

The experience continued through the exercises in the curriculum and a wide variety of in-person workshops highlighting key violence prevention skills and introductions to other organizations doing important violence prevention work in the city. Fellows also had access to elected officials and institutional leaders in Chicago and beyond.

Throughout the program, Fellows participated in over 50 events and workshops hosted by partner organizations, including:

These face-to-face meetings augmented the curriculum Fellows explored together using the GATHER digital platform specifically designed to enact the course’s pedagogy of learning as a community. Rather than a traditional teacher-to-student course, GATHER is made up of highly interactive chapters that guided Fellows through key concepts for social change. It then provided them space for shared reflection after they put those techniques into practice in low-stakes exercises with peers and assignments.

Towards the end of the curriculum, the Fellows planned and implemented community projects within their neighborhoods. The Goldin Institute assembled $30,000 in special funds for the Peace Fellows to execute these collaborative projects between July and September with the goal of involving community residents, creating peace, and promoting healing.

The planning process for the summer projects was likewise collaborative, beginning with the establishment of principles based on the key concepts explored during the GATHER course. The Fellows generated a wide variety of ideas together which they took back to their communities and organizations, and went through several more levels of review before they proceeded on the allocation of the funds. Moving in concert, the Fellows settled on eight summer projects, deciding how to fund each project with the $30,000 pool, acting as grant-maker as well as grantee.

Innovative, enlightening, powerful, sometimes spiritual and deeply emotional, the summer projects included an outdoor youth retreat that brought young people from different neighborhoods to an activity camp in the Wisconsin forest, a family and youth peace day in Bronzeville, a healing fair for senior citizens with yoga, tai chi and peace circles, and Passport to Peace events in parks and public spaces on the city’s South and West sides.

The 18 Peace Fellows graduated from the course on November 14, 2019, in a ceremony that they designed collaboratively, of course. Approximately 100 family, friends and supporters came out to celebrate the Fellows’ accomplishments.

The Goldin Institute’s Founders, Board Chair Diane Goldin and Executive Director Travis Rejman, welcomed the Peace Fellows to the Institute’s global community of practice, adding that the program brought home to Chicago everything they had learned around the globe.

“Over the past 17 years working in over 50 countries, we’ve seen that real and sustainable change is always rooted in the power of communities building on their assets and inviting voices people on the front lines to make decisions,” Travis said.

The Fellows took the opportunity to share “What they did,” “What they learned,” and “Where they are going.” In groups of 4-5, the Fellows relayed the most meaningful moments of their time together and inspired all those in attendance with their passion as well as the kinship and respect they had come to feel for each other.

We all come from different points in life and we got to hear from people using resources and what they know in their communities to make a difference,” said Peace Fellow Frank Latin, founder and executive director of the Westside Media Project. “We all come together regardless of our backgrounds and what we’ve been through to try and make a better place to live.”

A 12’ long graphic timeline hung in the graduation space displaying all the events the Fellows had attended and all the workshops in which they had participated, illustrated with pictures from their highly successful summer projects.

Upon their graduation, the Peace Fellows officially joined a growing network of Global Gather Fellows currently representing 14 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America. They have access to an international network for mutual support, ongoing learning and global cooperation.

Systemic and adaptive challenges facing our communities will require new approaches to see and change the system by building on our local assets and unlocking the potential of emerging leaders. To address these dynamic issues, the GATHER Global Alumni network meets online each month for workshops and discussions on themes selected by the alumni themselves. Recent workshops have included trainings on metrics and evaluation; children and armed conflict; and preventing violent extremism.

The overwhelmingly positive response from the inaugural cohort of Chicago Peace Fellows has inspired the Goldin Institute and the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities to expand the Peace Fellows program in 2020.

The Goldin Institute thanks the Conant Family Foundation, the Polk Bros. FoundationChase Bank, the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communitiesand our generous network of champions for community-driven social change for their support of the Chicago Peace Fellows.

The Goldin Institute extends its deepest appreciation to the following organizations and groups who provided critical assistance, hosted workshops, collaborated on peace building projects and shared insights to make the Chicago Peace Fellows an inspiring and productive experience:

2016 Ma’at, Academy for Global Citizenship, Alliance for the South East, Agape Werks, Asset Based Community Development Institute, Atonement Church, Automotive Mentoring Group, Be Different, Black Star Project, Blocks Together, Breakthrough Urban Ministries, Bright Star Church, Brothers Standing Together, Chase Bank, Chicago Alternatives to Incarceration Collaborative, Chicago Cares, Chicago Community Trust, Chicago CRED, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago Foundation for Women, Chicago Knights Robotics Team, Chicago Park District, Chicago Police Department, Chicago Public Libraries, Chicago Women’s AIDS Project, Chicago Youth Programs, CIGNA, City Bureau, City Club of Chicago, City Colleges of Chicago, Chopin Theater, Churchview Senior Living Facility, Community Builder, Conant Family Foundation, Crossroads Fund, Cure Violence, CNI Group, Crown Family Foundation, CWAP, Darren B. Easterling Center for Restorative Practices, David Lynch Foundation, DePaul University, DePaul University Egan Office of Urban Education, DePaul University Steans Center, GodTess, Graphics 2020, Grow Greater Englewood, Healing Home, Heartland Alliance READI Program , I Am My Brothers Keeper, Imago Dei, Imani Community Development Corporation, Institute for Nonviolence Chicago, Kids Off the Block, King of Glory Tabernacle, Ladies of Virtue , MacArthur Foundation, Maple Park Community Association, Maple Park UMC, Marion Nzinga Stamps Youth Center, McCormick Foundation, Metropolitan Family Services, Metropolitan Peace Academy, Metropolitan Planning Council, Mikva Challenge, Missionary Baptist Church , M.I.T. School of Urban Planning, NeighborSpace, New America Foundation, New Eclipse Community Alliance, Northeastern Illinois University, OperaMatic, Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities, Phoenix Life Solutions, PNC Bank, Polk Bros. Foundation, Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, Project, R.A.G.E., Rebuild Foundation, Resurrection Project, Restore Justice Illinois, Stony Island Arts Bank, Studio Gang, Taylor Investment Partners, Teamwork Englewood, Technology for Social Good Lab, Ten Point Coalition, Indianapolis, Telpochcalli Community Education Project, ThinkInc., TREAD, UCLA Department of Black Studies, United Way, University of Chicago Crime Lab, University of Chicago Law School, University of Chicago Trauma Center, University of Illinois, Urban Labs, US Bank, Veterans for Peace, Westside Justice Center, Westside Media Project, Woods Fund, Young Chicago Authors.

Special acknowledgment to those partners, mentors, consultants, friends and colleagues whose ideas and expertise made the Chicago Peace Fellows possible:

Marshan Allen, Michael Aguhar, Daniel Ash, Shannon Barr, Abraham Bendheim, Chris Bennett, Deborah Bennett, Esteban Bey, Mecca Bey, Gia Biagi, Garenne Bigby, Quincy Bingham, Eddie Bocanegra, Vaughn Bryant, Mary Scott-Boria, Bliss Brown, Walter Burnett, Asiaha Butler, Elena Calzada, Jacob Campbell, Annmarie Chereso, Linc Cohen, Daniel Cooper, Kevin Coval , Tara Dabney, Vanessa Dereef, Katherine Elmer-Dewitt, Stacy Erenberg, Jessa Dickinson, Alejandro DiPrizio, David Doig, Anders Donskov, Lisa Dush, Leif Elsmo, Kahil El’Zabar, Sheena Erete, Derrick Faulkner, Gary Feinerman, Ghian Foreman, Christian Forman, Craig Futterman , Theaster Gates, Joseph Genslak, Teny Gross, Janet Hanley, Troy Harden, John Hardy, Nekenya Hardy, Charles Harrison, Damion Heron, Jeffrey Hodges, Khari Humphries, Shruti Jayaraman, Frankie Johnson, Tonika Johnson, Terence Keel, Jody Kretzmann, Teddy Krolik, Rebekah Levin, Keith Lewis, Eric Ljung, Dan Lurie, Kristen Mack, Mallory McClaire, Cecil McDonald, Ceasar McDowell, Delano McIntyre, Tawa Mitchell, Michelle Morales, Sheelah Muhammad, Amalia Nieto-Gomez, Mark Orthman, Ashley Perkins, Jobi Peterson, Christy Prahl, Julian Posada, Tony Raggs, Leslie Ramyk, Kim Redding, Robert Rejman, Raymond Richard, Art Richardson, Jose Rico, Robin Robinson, Jane Saks, Anton Seals, Kimberly Smith, Alexis Smyser, Rahmaan Statik, Justice Stamps, Arny Steiber, Ole Qvist-Sorensen, Arloa Sutter, Bruce Taylor, Tess Torziata, Susana Vasquez, Edgar Villanueva, Cortez Watson, Alaka Wali, Artimmeo Williamson, John Wolf, Lora York, John Zeigler.


Goldin Institute grassroots social change

Peace Fellows Advisors Review Progress

With the first cohort of the Chicago Peace Fellows finishing their summer projects and nearing the end of their curriculum, the Goldin Institute convened a dinner meeting of prominent advisers on Thursday, September 12, to discuss strategies for sharing the Fellows’ accomplishments and wisdom during their upcoming graduation.

Advisors Dinner 3

Held at the Erie Café in the city’s River North neighborhood, this was the third advisors dinner, and was attended by Goldin Institute Founder and Board Chair Diane Goldin, GATHER alumnus Raymond Richard, founder of Brothers Standing Together, a Chicago-based non-profit organization; Leslie Ramyk, Executive Director, Conant Family Foundation; Teresa Zeigler and John Zeigler, director of DePaul University’s Egan Office of Urban Education and Community Partnerships; Mimi Frankel, a member of the Frankel Family Foundation’s Board of Directors and the Goldin Institute’s Board of Advisors; Lisa Dush, a DePaul University professor who is conducting an academic evaluation of GATHER; Justice Stamps, who runs the Marion Nzinga Stamps Youth Center mentoring program on the Near North Side; José Rico, a Director of  Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation for Greater Chicago; Rob Rejman, vice president, Ascent; as well as Goldin Institute staff led by Executive Director Travis Rejman, along with Oz Ozburn, Jimmie Briggs and Burrell Poe.

The Goldin Institute team began with an update on the many workshops and events that the Peace Fellows have participated in, including the strategy session with the Crime Lab at the University of Chicago, the exploration of the role of urban planning and design in building safe communities with Studio Gang and the Rebuild Foundation and the meeting with Alderman Burnett on how grassroots leaders can more effectively collaborate with city-wide initaitives.

All the participants framed the Peace Fellows’ work in the context of the continuing unacceptable levels of violence in some Chicago neighborhoods. Jose Rico spoke about the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformational Initiative as well as about regular meetings in the office of Chicago’s newly elected Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and how the Fellows’ work could inform their discussions.

The Conant Foundation’s Leslie Ramyk said Chicago’s philanthropic leaders were mobilizing beyond their daily duties to respond to the crisis, including collaborating to publish a recent Op Ed, Enough With Hate, in Crain’s Chicago Business. Many family foundations are responding to the violence, moreover, by seeking out and listening to community leaders, using their leverage, power and privilege to try and make the social standard more equitable.

[quote]“This is outside of our job descriptions. We do it because of the necessity of this crisis.” -- Leslie Ramyk, Conant Family Foundation[/quote]

Mimi Frankel of the Frankel Family Foundation observed, “We are dealing with a totally different environment than we have had before.”

Goldin Institute Executive Director Travis Rejman talked about the importance of building a movement of connected peace-makers and quoted the maxim, "Great leaders don't inspire movements, movements inspire great leaders."

Senior Adviser Jimmie Briggs suggested building interest from journalists in the Peace Fellows’ efforts through various efforts, including a panel discussion. As a New York-based writer with roots in the Midwest, Jimmie was enthusiastic about the potential for the Fellows’ stories to reach a broad audience.

[quote]“Visiting this city can feel like you're in different countries as you go from neighborhood to neighborhood. Some areas are safe and some aren't and you can live in this city and have fully different experiences.” -- Jimmie Briggs[/quote]

He added that a narrative encompassing all the Peace Fellows’ diverse experiences would be inspirational. "If there is no narrative out there, it didn't happen," Jimmie cautioned.

Program Coordinator Burrell Poe said that when he was interviewing Fellows, one of their most common requests was to meet others doing similar work. Now that the program is up and running, he was proud to have facilitated the Fellows’ early contacts and that they are now working closely together.

“They are really loving it,” Burrell said of the Fellows’ collaborations.

DePaul University’s Lisa Dush, who is conducting an evaluation of the fellowship, said her challenge was to adapt available metrics to accurately measure results. While data is available to indicate the Fellows’ progress through the curriculum, she wants to make sure she documents the true picture of their experience.

John Zeigler discussed changing the prevailing narrative of the city’s communities, and change the focus of philanthropies, who tend to make grants to programs which generate quick results, rather than long-term investments.

John asked, “How do you challenge or disrupt that narrative?”

[quote]“Chicago is a city of neighborhoods but it is also a city priding themselves on growing organizers.” -- John Ziegler, DePaul University[/quote]

In that vein, John was pleased the curriculum had fostered meaningful and productive connections among the Peace Fellows.

“The Chicago Peace Fellows build trust and social capital with each other,” he said. “Social capital is a process, and the Chicago Peace Fellows invests in the process.”

Raymond Richard of Brothers Standing Together spoke about the responsibilities of community leaders, including non-profit executives, to work in concert and demonstrate dignity to younger generations. Philanthropies will have to be involved through determined strategies, he continued.

“These kids are fighting the same fight and they don't even know it,” Brother Ray said.

[quote]“If we're going to break down a barrier, we have to lead by example. We don't want the children to know how much we know. We want them to know how much we care." -- Raymond Richard, Brothers Standing Together[/quote]


Peace Fellows Visit Telpochcalli in Little Village

On Friday, June 14, Chicago Peace Fellow Maria Velazquez invited her peers to the Telpochcalli Elementary School, an institution in the Little Village neighborhood that the community organization she leads, called the Telpochcalli Community Education Project, helped to create.

Maria hosted a street festival for members of the community to enjoy time together to start the weekend. The event featured a youth band and stoneware made by students of the school. The festival featured an all-youth band and food provided by local residents. The tortillas were hand-made and the aguas frescas (juice) were freshly squeezed. Around 100 members of the community sang and danced to enjoy the breezy spring evening.

According to their website, “Telpochcalli (Nahuatl for "house of youth") is a small school dedicated to integrating the Mexican arts and culture into an innovative academic and social experience and development of fully bilingual/biliterate students in English and Spanish. The school is comprised of students, teachers, parents and artists who aspire to nurture an understanding and appreciation of the self, family, community and world.”

Maria, a Chicago Peace Fellow, has been the executive director of the Telpochcalli Community Education Project for over three years. She started out as a volunteer at the school and when the position of executive director opened up, she was reluctant to apply at first. Maria can be shy but she is very loving and compassionate and works really hard to take care of the people she serves. She explained, “I do this work to help people. I really like to see people happy.”

Maria gave other Peace Fellows a tour of the school and their community space. She showed her “living” asset map where she encourages parents and volunteers to add what they see as assets in the community to the map. She noted that it helps people see the value of their community and people really like doing it. Maria talked about her summer program with teens that is completely led by the teens. This summer, they are focusing on health and how they can have an impact.

“It took some time to get them going [in reference to the teen council], but now they are leading it and we are now working to get younger people involved so that they can learn how to lead earlier".

The Telpochcalli Community Education Project’s roots go back to 1998, when a group of parents in the Little Village neighborhood got together to advocate for better educational facilities. Just as it is now, Little Village’s population was growing fast with new immigrants as well as many young families, and the parents were upset by the failure of the Chicago Public Schools to fulfill a promise to build a high school in the neighborhood.

Many parents participated in a sit-in and hunger strike that got public attention and ultimately, a new administration at CPS agreed to build the Little Village/Lawndale High School. Under Maria’s leadership, the Telpochcalli Community Education Project has continued to be a strong advocate for Little Village, recently stopping a merger of the Telpochcalli Elementary School, which is already overcrowded, with a high school in the area.

The Chicago Peace Fellows will be active all summer with events and knowledge sharing. Stay tuned for more articles and opportunities to join us.


Goldin Institute grassroots social change

Peace Fellow Spotlight: Gloria Smith

What are some important updates in your current work?

The Black Star Project is a multifaceted initiative known for its actions with programs on education, culture, economic and workforce development, mentoring, tutoring and youth development, public policy and advocacy and violence prevention. Our programs encourage a holistic, intergenerational approach to community building.

Peace Fellows Gloria Smith (from left), Jeanette Coleman, coordinator Burrell Poe, Pamela Phoenix, Jacquelyn Moore and Robert Biekman pose for photo after meeting with Veterans for Peace.

Phillip Jackson, our founding director, passed away in November 2018. Phillip was a great inspiration to many and we have been challenged to determine how best to continue cultivating and sharing his wisdom with the world. While many of our supporters keep up with our work through the Black Star Project website and Facebook page, we also have a radio program on WVON on Saturdays at 6 p.m. and a periodic newsletter that is shared with a national and international audience.

Some of our recent projects include economic empowerment and non-profit management workshops, Saturday university academic programs, and Becoming Chicago’s Next CEO, a summer program for interns interested in learning investment skills. Most recently, we participated, along with our Young Black Men of Honor, in the Chicago Community Trust’s On the Table event by sending a letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot sharing their thoughts on addressing violence in the community.

Peace Fellows Gloria Smith (left) and Jacquelyn Moore practice Appreciative Inquiry during a workshop at Breakthrough Ministries.

As Phillip's sister, I along with my staff and a host of organizations and supporters remain very much engaged in “the good work” that Phillip left for us to do and to share with as wide a community as possible.

How has GATHER informed the work that you do? Have you made any meaningful connections between GATHER and your work?

“Gathering” is at the heart of our work at The Black Star Project. We know this: What has always strengthened and encouraged Black and Brown people is our histories of struggle, our creativity, our humanity in the face of trauma, our connection to elders and ancestors, and the love and encouragement we must pass along to our young people.

Peace Fellow Gloria Smith shares the Asset Map she created with her neighbors of the Bronzeville community.

We believe that we need to be together. To spend time with each other – in small gatherings and large, sharing the wisdoms we’ve learned from our experiences. Our programs share the resources of history, spirit and culture that have provided strength and renewal to people struggling for the expression of their humanity in Chicago and elsewhere in the world. This is work we’ve done since our founding in 1996, work we remain committed to, and work that is very similar to the peacemaking efforts of GATHER and the Goldin Institute.


Goldin Institute grassroots social change

Video: "Enough"

Community Driven Solutions for Ending Gender-Based Violence

ENOUGH: by the women of Haiti.

Thank you to everyone who tuned in to the December 20 video premiere.

Enough: by the women of Haiti is a documentary highlighting the Security and Sensitization Project in the Place Petion Camp in Port au Prince Haiti. This video was produced by the Goldin Institute in partnership with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and KOFAVIV.


Goldin Institute grassroots social change

New Findings in Gender Violence in Haiti

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has released a new report with findings on how significant gender-based violence hinders development in Haiti. This piece summarizes some of the more significant discoveries made by the report. 

Unfortunately, these findings are not entirely surprising and reinforce to us the importance of supporting women-led community based solutions to addressing violence. Our project work in Haiti allowed us to work with, and be inspired by, women who stood brave and used their own creativity to eradicate the violence they encountered in the aftermath of the 2010 Earthquake.   

Global Associate Malya Villard (right) speaking at Loyola University during her visit to our Chicago offices last spring. Photo Credit: Goldin InstituteToday is the perfect day to commemorate the work of our partners like Malya Villard-Appolon, who was instrumental in bringing her community together to combat sexual violence through her organization KOFAVIV. We salute the accomplishments made and the framework left in place to build on the good work done.  

 

 


Goldin Institute grassroots social change

Community Driven Solutions for Ending Gender-Based Violence

ENOUGH: by the women of Haiti.

Thank you to everyone who tuned into the Dec. 20 video premiere.

Enough: by the women of Haiti is a documentary highlighting the Security and Sensitization Project in the Place Petion Camp in Port au Prince Haiti. This video was produced by the Goldin Institute in partnership with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and KOFAVIV.

 

 


Rape Accountability and Prevention in Haiti

https://vimeo.com/33941942

Executive Summary of the Project

Since the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, women and girls living in the internally displaced persons camps face alarming rates of rape and other forms of gender-based violence. In many camps, the rate of gender-based violence has exploded to three times pre-earthquake levels. In the year since the earthquake, our partners at KOFAVIV have documented 640 cases of rape in 2010.

This pilot project is designed to provide security in the Place Petion community of Champ de Mars using women-led, community-based security teams to patrol the camp, discourage and disrupt incidents of gender-based violence and provide necessary escort services to vulnerable residents.

The Goldin Institute has partnered with KOFAVIV, FAVILEK, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and its network of partners throughout Haiti to build and support a women-led, community-based pilot security platform in one representative displacement camp. This project builds on the strategy developed and implemented by KOFAVIV and FAVILEK, the GI's experience in creating grassroots partnerships for social change and the BAI / IJDH's capacity for legal advocacy in Haiti.

As part of the Rape Accountability and Prevention Project in Haiti, this security platform aims to prevent gender-based violence through the leadership and strategies of women's networks while the work of prosecution is ongoing. This pilot project is designed to serve as a model for community engagement and the provision of security that can be adopted by NGOs and the Government of Haiti.

Project Rationale

The problem of GBV in post-earthquake Haiti must be understood within the broader context of the humanitarian response. There is a demonstrated lack of governmental response to sexual violence occurring in the camps. This failure to act appears to have two prongs—the Haitian Government lacks both the political will and the capacity to respond. Furthermore, despite billions of dollars being pledged by the international community for recovery, aid efforts have struggled to meet the basic needs of people living in IDP camps. Having no other options, Haitian grassroots women's groups have resorted to taking charge of their own security. Haitian women are both disproportionately impacted by the crisis and key to their country's recovery.

The reality is that grassroots women's groups have been mostly shut out from the process of crafting a response to the real threat of rapes in the camps. Meanwhile, they have mobilized their own solutions, distributing whistles to women living in camps and organizing groups of women to accompany each other to vulnerable locations like latrines, where many attacks have previously taken place. Each of the women engaged in the project brings a deep commitment to the work, and their life stories are a testament to that dedication.

Brief History of the Project

The Haiti Rape Accountability and Prevention Project (RAPP) is designed to respond to the epidemic of rapes against poor women and girls in Haiti in the wake of the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. The program includes four closely integrated components: legal advocacy, healthcare, organizing, and public advocacy. RAPP provides individual victims of sexual assault the legal services they need to obtain justice and compensation, while working with allies in Haiti and abroad to transform the social context that underlies the vulnerability of all poor Haitian women to assault. The Project also aims to deter future rape by punishing the perpetrators and forcing a more effective response by law enforcement and the justice system. In February 2011, the Goldin Institute began its association with RAPP with the Camp Security and Sensitization Project.

Shared Goals of the Project

This project seeks to substantially improve security and bring an end to gender-based violence in the camp where it is piloted in the Place Petion section of Champ de Mars. In addition to the immediate impact of improved security, we hope that it will provide some meaningful work for security providers and highlight the efficacy of partnering with community based groups, especially those led by women. We hope that this project will serve as a model for the Government of Haiti and relevant NGOs that will be able to scale up this important women-led, community-based initiative.

If successful, this project may also serve as a model for similar grassroots partnerships within the Goldin Institute's global network.

Project Outcomes

  • Immediate and sustained reduction in gender-based violence in Champ de Mars.
  • Improved sense of security for vulnerable people in Champ de Mars.
  • Opportunity for women to design, lead and implement an innovative community based initiative.
  • Increased cooperation between women's groups and the network of partners in Haiti.
  • Augmented international profile for local partners through sharing the success of the project broadly.
  • Opportunity to engage relevant parties in NGOs and the Government to educate them on the need and efficacy of working with grassroots groups, especially women's groups.