The Voice of America and University of Miami School of Communication present “Haiti: One Year Later,” a free conference open to the public focusing on rebuilding Haiti.
The keynote speakers are Kenneth Merten, United States Ambassador to Haiti, and Haitian Ambassador Louis Harold Joseph. The conference takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Jan. 22, 2011, in Studio C at the School of Communication, 5100 Brunson Drive, Coral Gables.
Panel discussions with University of Miami professors and Haitian community leaders will include topics such as reconstruction, elections, and the media. UM School of Communication professors will also discuss the findings of a new study examining how Haitian-Americans use media in South Florida and the role of media in rebuilding Haiti.
“The Voice of America is pleased to welcome keynote speakers U.S. Ambassador Kenneth H. Merten and Haitian Ambassador Louis Harold Joseph,” said Alberto F. Mascaró, director of the Latin America Division at the Voice of America. “We hope the discussion will shed more light on the current situation in Haiti and explore solutions to its problems.”
After the earthquake, VOA's Creole Service disseminated vital news and information to Haitians through direct broadcasts from Commando Solo, a military C-130 aircraft, and through its strong network of radio affiliates. VOA Creole also increased its programming to more than 10 hours daily, which helped provide aid to those in need and helped reunite families separated by the devastating earthquake.
“This conference is going to be a great exercise in looking toward Haiti’s future and the possibilities,” said Yves Colon, a Haitian-born journalism lecturer at the UM School of Communication and a former reporter and editor at The Miami Herald who was among the first to provide news and information to Haitian citizens through radio reports after the earthquake. Colon with UM Communication Professors Sallie Hughes and Tsitsi Wakhisi authored the communication study about Haitian-Americans and media.
“It is important to have this conference here in Miami because of our location. We have the right people and are in the right area to lead that conversation,” Colon said.
**Admission and parking to “Haiti: One Year Later” are free. Find detailed directions to the School at http://com.miami.edu/directions. For more information, call 305-284-6748.
Oscar Barcelo / Voice of America
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UM School of Communication