Interviewer and Author
Rosie Alexander went to Jeremie, Haiti for six weeks to interview Haitians and prepare this book. When she got back to the states she started writing short stories based on the audio of those interviews.
Rosie has a passion for giving every person the opportunity to tell their story.
Rosie enjoys making lists, quilting, baking her feelings, play with her cats, and watching her husband play video games.
Message from Rosie:
“With this project, I wanted to fade into the background and give voices to Haitian storytellers in their native language. I saw a need while visiting Haiti to help elevate Haitian Creole, an official language of Haiti, and together we can work to impact future generations. With two official languages, French is perceived as the upper-class language while Haitian Creole is treated as lowbrow. In fact, French is still usually the only language taught in public and private schools while students speak only Creole in their homes. Haitian Creole is an underrepresented and beautiful language, and there is not a lot of literature available in Creole. This book will give a platform to Creole as an official and respected language in Haiti and can be a language learning resource for Haitians to learn English, and for English speakers to learn Creole.
The goal of this project was to honor the Haitian storytellers, collecting their stories in person and then verifying the stories along the way in both languages using friends who live in Jérémie, Haiti.”
Marie Lily Cerat has a Ph.D. in Urban Education along with a Certificate in Africana Studies from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Through the theoretical lenses of post-colonialism and culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy, her work examines the effects of the exclusion of Haitian language and culture in the education of Haitian learners.
Cerat has been working in the K-16 New York public education system as a classroom teacher, a staff developer and a college teacher for over 20 years. Her academic writings have appeared in Rethinking Schools, the Journal of Haitian Studies, and the International Journal of the Sociology of Language. In addition to her scholarly activities, Cerat has a long history of organizing within the Haitian community in New York. She is the co-founder of Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees (HWHR), a group that was established in 1992, to provide ESL and adult literacy programs to Haitian immigrants and refugees in the Brooklyn area. Today, HWHR continues to provide educational services, as well as organizes leadership training to help members advocate on their own behalf for civil, educational, social, labor/economic and immigration justice.
Editor / Illustrator
Amanda Orozco graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physiology and a minor in English Literature. She just completed her Master’s of Science in Publishing at NYU. Though originally pursuing a career in healthcare, she has since redirected her passions and gifts towards a career in publishing. She now lives in New York, working at Little, Brown and pursuing her dream of working in publishing.
Amanda is excited to work with the team on this project; she hopes it gives each Haitian a voice that rings loud and true.
Her passions include reading, oil painting, dancing, and ice cream.
Founded in 2013, The Haitian Creole Language Institute of New York is an educational space dedicated to the study of the Haitian Creole language. Our mission is to center the language of a revolutionary people who changed the entire course of history in the Americas. Using a cultural lens to teach Kreyòl Ayisyen, HCLI provides many opportunities for anyone interested in learning, from full-length courses both online and offline to cultural workshops like the Haitian Tea Party and Pawòl Bileng. HCLI has also recently launched a language immersion program for children ages 0 – 12 called Jaden Timoun. In addition, HCLI is a full-service firm that offers access to all types of language needs such as translation, interpretation, voice-overs, dialect coaching, and more!
Ted McFarland is a classically trained Graphic Designer with a love for team sports, quiet sunsets, good pipe tobacco, loud music, and unusually sturdy furniture.