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What if YOU could help tell the story of a forgotten genocide?
What if YOU could help tell the story of a forgotten genocide?
62 backers pledged $4,341 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

$4,341

62

...We are telling the story, using art: photography, music, and theater. 

A painting started during BOL 2012 that we hope to permanently install. (Ouanaminthe, Haiti)
A painting started during BOL 2012 that we hope to permanently install. (Ouanaminthe, Haiti)
We are making this mural by Dominican artists into a permanent installation by adding thousands of glass tiles. (Dajabón, DR)
We are making this mural by Dominican artists into a permanent installation by adding thousands of glass tiles. (Dajabón, DR)

Border of Lights is a collective coming together to commemorate, collaborate and continue the legacy of hope and justice in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. We invite you to join us, and to think about the question:

What did they tell you about the massacre?

Artwork for the postcards asking this very question - used in an interactive art exhibit during BOL 2012 - by Scherezade García.
Artwork for the postcards asking this very question - used in an interactive art exhibit during BOL 2012 - by Scherezade García.

2012

In 1937, Dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo ordered the genocide of 10,000 - 20,000 ethnic Haitians along but not limited to border towns on the Dominican side of Hispañiola. The US Ambassador in Santo Domingo, R. Henry Norweb, described this moment in history as “a systematic campaign of extermination."

October 2012 marked the 75th anniversary of the 1937 Haitian Massacre. Border of Lights (BOL) brought to light this horrific tragedy with the help of generous donors and support from local partner organizations such as Solidaridad Fronteriza, Centro Bono, Mariposa Foundation, and the Dream Project. Collaborating within the U.S., Dominican Republic, Haiti and England, the team was able to commemorate the anniversary of the massacre through a weeklong series of events in Hispañiola. 

The series of events were supported by a global community of students, educators, activists and humanitarians; along with acclaimed authors Julia Alvarez, Michele Wucker, Edwidge Danticat, and Junot Diaz. The commemorative activities were featured on the BBC, Deutsche Welle, NPR’s The Two Way, NPR Latino, Christian Science Monitor, Miami Herald, Caribbean Journal, International Business Times, Miami Times, Alaska Dispatch and Semana. Border of Lights brought together a committed collective that created a tangible yearlong advocacy campaign to commemorate the massacre. 

Below are the fully funded 2012 projects:

• Art Installation (Dajabón, Dominican Republic)

• Borders of Light Monologues (New York, NY) 

• Cross-country Vigils (Dajabón, Dominican Republic and Ouanaminthe, Haiti) 

• Curriculum incorporation of toolkit at University of Redlands

• Park Beautification (Ouanaminthe, Haiti) 

• Youth Education Forum (Dajabón, Dominican Republic) 

• 2 Murals (Dajabón, Dominican Republic and Ouanaminthe, Haiti) 

• 70 boys attending schools - ages 7-14 (Ouanaminthe, Haiti)

• 1,000 Seedling Planting (Ouanaminthe, Haiti)

2013

Our work is not done! From October 4–6, 2013 Border of Lights will commemorate the Haitian Massacre once again, expanding the project’s scope and objective for the 76th Anniversary. The team and its partners will execute a series of cultural and educational events--including the beautification of a park, virtual vigil (stay tuned for more information on this grassroots vigil that allows for any and everyone to commemorate the massacre along with us), several art installations, BOL monologues, and a daylong comprehensive Youth Leadership Conference.

The Youth Leadership Conference will develop knowledge and skills related to self awareness, racial justice and inclusive leadership. This will be an intense, real-world civics program, designed for 150 students between the ages of 13 through 22. The objective of the workshop/break-out-sessions is to create budding advocates of tolerance and understanding through meaningful dialogue and hands-on exercises.

We look forward to having you join us in this transformational journey and creating a NEW CHAPTER of hope and justice in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and abroad. Exito y Prosperidad!

Cover of CD "Le Fre Nene Leve/Rise Up Brothers" that will be given to those who donate upwards of $250 toward BOL 2013
Cover of CD "Le Fre Nene Leve/Rise Up Brothers" that will be given to those who donate upwards of $250 toward BOL 2013
Rio Massacre on the border of Dominican Republic and Haiti
Rio Massacre on the border of Dominican Republic and Haiti
One of our favorite BOL 2012 images: School girls - overlooking the park clean-up - in Ouanaminthe, Haiti.
One of our favorite BOL 2012 images: School girls - overlooking the park clean-up - in Ouanaminthe, Haiti.

Risks and challenges

Borders of Lights seeks to bring awareness to the issue of discrimination and border solidarity and in doing so has the potential to be dangerous as many in the community are challenged by our call to action. This is one of the reasons why we work with other community groups - on the ground in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. We move forward with our work and onto year two with the support of many who are depending on us to elevate their story.

If challenges are raised we are confident that together with community involvement we will find solutions. Last year we were asked if we were afraid of opening old wounds. Our response to this question was: Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. The DR-Haiti relationship is at a tipping point and we believe activities like Border of Lights bring us closer to solidarity and feeling less like two separate countries, and more like one island.

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Altruist - Pledge under $25

    • Personalized BOL thank you note

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    Advocate - Pledge $25 or More
    • Personalized BOL thank you note
    • Commemorative 2013 BOL postcard from our action on the border

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    Change Agent - $75 or More
    • Personalized BOL thank you note
    • Commemorative 2013 BOL postcard from our action on the border
    • 2013 BOL Group Photo

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    Catalyst - Pledge $125 or More
    • Personalized BOL thank you note
    • Commemorative 2013 BOL postcard from our action on the border
    • 2013 BOL Group Photo
    • Signed copy of Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispañiola by Michele Wucker

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Humanitarian - Pledge $175 or more
    • Personalized BOL thank you note
    • Commemorative 2013 BOL postcard from our action on the border
    • Commemorative 2013 BOL bookmark
    • 2013 BOL Group Photo
    • Signed copy of This Is How You Lose her by Junot Diaz

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Philanthropist - $250 or More
    • Personalized BOL thank you note
    • Commemorative 2013 BOL postcard from our action on the border
    • Commemorative 2013 BOL bookmark
    • 2013 BOL Group Photo
    • Deck of photos from the 2013 Border of Lights project
    • Signed copy of A Wedding in Haiti by Julia Alvarez or The Farming of the Bones by Edwidge Danticat
    • Copy of CD, "Rise Up Brothers." In the words of Julia Alvarez, whose husband, Bill, produced the disc, "Songs are mostly gospel songs, focusing on solidarity, brotherhood, respect and love. The music, especially the voices of the singers, have a wonderfully earthy, vocal, chorus-like quality reminiscent of the songs in the countryside of Haiti and the Dominican Republic." One of the main vocalists and guitarists, Piti, is also the subject of Alvarez's A WEDDING IN HAITI.

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Funding period

- (24 days)