For the second year in a row, the Democratic Rep. Marie Woodson leads a Haitian Independence Day celebration in Broward County.
The free, public event will take place on Boulevard Heights Community Center in Hollywood, complete with food, historical presentations, art, live music DJ Nickymix and more from 12pm to 4pm on January 1st.
Attendees can expect to learn about Haiti’s history declared independence from French colonial rule on January 1, 1804 to become the first independent nation led by a black majority in postcolonial era and Latin America.
Accordingly, Haitian Independence Day is celebrated on New Year’s Day.
“Celebrating my culture and honoring that of others is imperative and continues to be one of my favorite ways to stay connected with my community,” Woodson said in a statement.
Woodson, the won a second term in the Florida House with 69% of the vote last month, she became the only Haitian-American to represent Broward County in the chamber when she won her seat two years earlier.
She is also the past Chair of the Miami-Dade County Commission for Women.
“I feel privileged to live in South Florida, a melting pot where our diversity unites us,” she said.
The upcoming celebration follows years of turmoil and tragedy in Haiti, including numerous high-magnitude earthquakes that reduced much of the island to rubble, deadly cyclones that killed hundreds of people and the assassination of the Haitian president in July 2021 Jovenel Moïse
This and other crises – including an explosion of armed violence on the island by gangs blocking access to essential resources, drinking water, food and medicines – were spearheaded by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk to explain that in November Haiti is experiencing its worst humanitarian situation in decades and call on neighboring countries for help.
“It is clear that the systematic abuses in Haiti at this time are not allowing for a safe, dignified and sustainable return of Haitians to the country,” he said. “Haiti stands on the brink of an abyss… While urgently addressing the violence is a priority, Haiti’s future and sustainable recovery requires urgent and sustained action to address the root causes of this multi-faceted crisis, and the government’s firm commitment to accountability and the rule of law.”
The dire situation in Haiti will no doubt add a touch of bittersweet to the celebration in Broward next month.
In addition to rejoicing at the island nation’s freedom from colonial rule for more than two centuries, Broward’s Haitian-American residents will also rejoice at being able to celebrate this special day more intimately than they did the year before.
A staffer from Woodson’s office shared with Florida Politics the opening event, which took place on January 1, 2022 in the Miramar multi-service complexwas a drive-through affair, with attendees in cars collecting food and other goods before celebrating remotely due to COVID concerns.
That won’t be the case this time. Residents can celebrate together.
There is no entry fee; However, participants must register in order to be admitted.
Further information and registration can be found at Eventbrite page.
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https://floridapolitics.com/archives/577692-marie-woodson-to-host-haitian-independence-day-in-hollywood-for-second-consecutive-year/ Marie Woodson is hosting Haitian Independence Day in Hollywood for the second year running