Last Tuesday the tiny Caribbean island of Haiti was torn asunder by a 7.0 earthquake. Since then we have seen images of a landscape in ruins and a nation dealing with unfathomable homelessness, hunger and death. Indeed the enormity of devastation that has been witnessed can no doubt be compared to the tragedy that happened in 2005 when the levies broke in New Orleans. What makes the images and reports more tragic is that Haiti is the most impoverished nation in the Western Hemisphere. Our Caribbean neighbors have had to combat poverty and subpar living conditions for decades and have been overlooked by all its neighbors, including the U.S. How much can one small country endure?
News stations have dedicated countless time to report on the aftermath of the earthquake and the relief efforts that have been initiated to help aid the people of Haiti. CNN has become “earthquake central” with constant updates regarding the conditions of Haiti and its people following the earthquake as well as the stream of support both nationally and internationally. It is shameful to believe that it took a catastrophe of this magnitude to shine a spotlight on Haiti, but now that Haiti has the world’s attention, it is imperative that we do what we can to ensure that this nation can finally rise from the deplorable conditions that Haitians have been living in even before the earthquake.
We have read and seen countless celebrities donate their time and money to help in the relief effort. On Friday George Clooney, Anderson Cooper and Wyclef Jean, Grammy award winning diplomat and Haiti’s biggest champion, will team up to host the “Hope for Haiti” telethon, which is set to air commercial-free on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, the CW, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT on at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The telethon will be hosted by Clooney in Los Angeles, Jean in New York and Cooper in Haiti. All donations will directly benefit Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF and Wyclef’s Yele Haiti Foundation. Yele Haiti has already raised $2M in text donations. I urge all FAMERs to watch and donate whatever they can, even a donation as small as $5 can collectively make a huge difference if we all contribute.
New York City is known as a Mecca for Fashion, Art, Music and Entertainment, but I say it is also a microcosm for our global community and an epicenter for the most creative, resilient citizens on the planet. In an effort to help in the relief effort, there are plenty of events going on in the Big Apple that are donating proceeds to various charities such as Yele Haiti, the Red Cross, etc.
On Wednesday, Soulgasm, one of NYC’s most successful underground parties, is having their weekly party at Sin Sin, located on 2nd Avenue. They will be taking up a cash collection with the proceeds going to Americares. On Saturday, S.O.Bs will host AYITI DEPLOGE: Special Earthquake Benefit Show with proceeds from ticket sales going to UNICEF and the Red Cross. On the 28th Libation, held at the Sullivan Room, will open its doors to Urban Sanctuary to help raise money and supplies for the earthquake relief, I urge everyone to attend at least one event in the city that is donating proceeds to help aid the people of Haiti.
As I learn and attend events like these, I will continue to share them with you. Now more than ever we are becoming one global village. It is up to each of us to ensure that as citizens of the world we do all we can to assist each other as we move forward into the next decade of this millennium.
Photos of Haiti courtesy of AP and Getty Images