The Daughters of Anacaona Writing Project was launched in 2008 and was awarded a grant in Literature/Writing from the Brooklyn Arts Council and partnered with Dwa Fanm, Inc. (“Women’s Rights” in Kreyol) during the summer of 2009. DAWP is a 6-week intensive creative writing workshop during the summer serving primarily Haitian, Dominican, and Caribbean immigrant or first generation teen girls ages 12-17 residing in Brooklyn. The second summer of DAWP will be a partnership with Haiti Cultural Exchange and will be preceded by a similar 3- day intensive writing workshop in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in collaboration with the local organization, founded by historian and educator Bayyinah Bello, Fondation Marie Claire Heureuse Félicité Bonheur Desssalines or FONDASYON FELICITE named for Jean-Jacques Dessalines’ wife. Please visit www.fondasyonfelicitee.org for more info.
Anacaona was Tayno queen of Kiskeya (what is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic) who defied imperialism, contested European settlers on the island, and managed to avert for over a decade the impending annihilation of her people and her culture. DAWP will instill the legacy of Anacaona onto the new generation of writers so her prowess and vision can manifest in the spirits of the women who’ve come to inhabit her sacred land.
The Daughters of Anacaona Writing Project aims to foster creative expression, self-esteem, sisterhood, community service, cultural awareness, social activism, and leadership all within a “safe space”. By creating two mirroring programs in both Haiti and the U.S., participating girls will gain a deeper understanding of the Haitian Diaspora and the many challenges that teen girls face in either a poverty-stricken country recently ravaged by an earthquake, or a bustling cosmopolitan city oftentimes plagued with crime and violence. Through a pen pal exchange program, a Haitian girl and a Haitian-American, Caribbean, or African-American girl will share their differences and similarities and will hopefully form a bond that will encourage each of them to carry the lessons learned into their adult lives.
In Haiti, 15-20 girls will meet at FONDASYON FELICITE for 3 hours on 3 consecutive days culminating in a reading of their works with their families and community. Participants will be given certificates of completion along with pens, a book, a journal, and t-shirt with the DAWP logo. The final event will be covered by the Haitian media in Port-au-Prince.
In Brooklyn, 12-15 girls will meet twice a week for 2 hours for 6 weeks during the summer. The girls will be given a novel entitled Anacaona: Golden Flower by Edwidge Danticat. Two workshops will be conducted by guest artists who work in a field other than writing. Each participant will have their portrait taken by Haitian photographer Regine Romain to be published in the anthology and displayed at the event. The project will culminate in the publication (100 copies of a journal will be printed), performance, and discussion of their works and the works of the girls in Haiti at the South Oxford Space in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
WHAT YOUR DOLLARS WILL DO:
♦ Donations to FONDASYON FELICITE volunteer staff
-3 to 4 staff members will help in recruiting teen girls from local schools and the surrounding community
-copies for flyers, poster board, markers, notebooks, pens, journals for up to 25 participants (a reservation of these supplies for continued access)
♦ Food for all three workshops and culminating event (there are no pre-packaged snacks so food will have to be prepared)
♦ Travel expenses for workshop coordinator to and from workshop location within
♦ Boarding expenses for workshop coordinator within Port-au-Prince for the duration of the workshops
*Please note: This fundraising effort is to support the DAWP in Haiti and its hosting organization. For more on the workshops taking place in Brooklyn, please visit www.haiticulturalx.org in the coming weeks.
Workshop location: FONDASYON FELICITE, Tabarre, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Dates: Tuesday, June 22. Wednesday, June 23. Thursday, June 24.
Reading will take place on Friday, June 25.
Facilitators : Ibi Zoboi & Regine Roumain, Exec. Dir. of Haiti Cultural Ex.
Site Coordinators: Guetchline Jean-Louis & Jean Cédieu Placide, FF Volunteers
- (6 days)