Raising awareness and inspiration

To generate awareness, funds and inspiration, the student-run movement “Be Haiti” will be hosting a “Be Haiti” week beginning March 5.

“Be Haiti” was formed by Haiti native and fourth year physician assistant major Ketura Isidor and 2008 Butler graduate Michael Hole.  The organization is now led by Isidor, senior biology and Spanish major Tori Morken and senior political science and international studies major Marcus Hagberg.

The immediate goal of the campaign is to raise money to expand a health clinic for women and children in Isidor’s home town, Les Caynes, Haiti, and to raise awareness. The hope is to inspire students to become involved with the campaign.

The week will kick off on Monday with a cultural event that will educate attendees on all aspects of the culture of Haiti, from food to traditions.  The event will feature Haitian food, salsa dancing, games and a fashion show of everyday Haitian clothing.

Tuesday will follow with an open panel.

“With the panel, we hope to generate conversation about the current crisis in Haiti so we can discuss how it can be fixed, and also to raise awareness of the situation,” Morken said.

Morken and Hagberg explained that most people understand the state of Haiti is not good right now. This will provide an opportunity for students to bounce ideas off of each other, not only about the current state of Haiti, but where Haiti can go from here.

Providing immediate help to Haiti will not be the only topic, but ideas for preventing crises like these from happening in the first place will also be discussed.

The panel discussion has also been approved as a cultural requirement event.

On Thursday, a poverty banquet will be held.  People will get a ticket, and based on their ticket they will either receive a large meal, or a scarce meal. The banquet will provide a visual of the amount of people in the world who have more than enough to eat, versus those who are starving.

“The poverty banquet will be a really great capstone event of the week,” Hagberg said.

For the entire week, and possibly the entire month of March, pieces of artwork that Isidor brought back from Haiti will be available for viewing and auction in Irwin Library.

While the main audience of the week will be Butler students, “Be Haiti” is also reaching out to the Indianapolis community.

“Be Haiti” is working with Provocate, a website that “connects community initiatives,” according to their website, to get the Indianapolis community involved.

“The overall goal of the week is to generate interest, fundraising, educate and inspire people to join the cause,” Morken said.

After spring break, “Be Haiti” is planning on holding a social giveback event in Broad Ripple, along with other activities to get students involved.

“After the week is over, I hope students continue thinking about what they learned at the events, and talk about their experiences with others so they’ll be inspired to help out as much as possible,” Hagberg said.