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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

President of Haitian American Society, Daniel Jean Philip

 

As president of the Haitian American Society at UMass Boston, Daniel Jean Philip works every day to “expose and advocate for Haitian culture” on the UMass Boston campus. Born in the United States, Daniel was sent to Haiti as a child to live with his grandparents while his parents continued their studies here in Boston, his mother at UMass Boston and his father at the Wentworth Institute of Technology. In 1994, his mother and father joined him in Haiti where they lived together until Daniel returned to Boston for college. 

Here at UMass, Daniel has been President of the HAS since the beginning of this semester. He has been involved with the club ever since he organized fundraising for and participated in a trip to Haiti during spring break of 2009. The purpose of this trip was to spread ecological education and sustainability awareness to Haitian communities. Due to financial obstacles, the trip did not occur this past spring, but Daniel hopes to continue it in the spring of 2011. Even after the recent earthquake, the focus of the trip will remain centered around environmental sustainability as Daniel and the members of HAS feel that this is Haiti’s largest problem and one that involves the country’s future as a whole.  

Upcoming events orchestrated by the Haitian American Society include a clothes and food drive that is in the process of being organized as well as a lecture by Professor Waters of the anthropology department about Haiti’s history and the tradition of Voodoo on Tuesday, November 9th. Recently, the club showed a documentary in the library on the Haitian revolutionary, Toussaint L’Ouverture.  

The future of HAS, according to Daniel, relies on “bringing a lot of focus on cultural values,” which he feels is an aspect of the club that has not received enough attention. Along with Haitian culture, the HAS also seeks to diversify its members because, as Daniel realized after his trip to Haiti in 2009, “if we really want to have a sizable impact, it shouldn’t just stay between Haitians and Haitian Americans, but have a diverse group being interested in what is going on as well.” As a result, Daniel is invested in spreading the mission of the HAS to students of all backgrounds at UMass Boston. Through his efforts and those of his fellow board members, the cultures and traditions of Haiti are now becoming a recognized and celebrated addition to the campus and community.