An extended celebration of Haitian flag day on the 18th of May, Haitian heritage month celebrates the culture, history, and accomplishments of the Haitian diaspora. While Haiti made it’s mark as the first Black republic to seize its independence, the Haitian diaspora has since made an impression in every facet of society. From art to politics, descendants of Haiti demonstrate the spirit of innovation and success that Haitian Heritage month is all about.
Recently selected to serve as Secretary of Press Karine Jean-Pierre makes history as the first Black and openly gay person elected into the role. Born to Haitian immigrants, Karine’s illustrious career in politics includes her work under the Obama administration as Regional Director of Political Affairs and deputy campaign manager on Martin O’Malley’s 2016 presidential campaign.
“Karine not only brings the experience, talent, and integrity needed for this difficult job, but she will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of the American people,” President Biden said in a statement.
Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, the newest member of the House of Representatives and the first Haitian from Florida to join Congress, is another Haitian woman making a difference in politics today.
“I am here to bring that voice and understanding and cultural competency of being a Caribbean woman, being a Black woman and being a district full of minorities and being a district that suffers the same,” Sheila stated, “So it’s a huge responsibility, and I’m excited for the challenge because now we get to tell our story.”
In the realm of business, Managing Partner of Harlem Capital Henri Pierre-Jacques has earned many accolades, like Forbes 30 Under 30, Inc 30 Under 30, EBONY Power 100, Root 100, Crain’s New York Rising Star, and Business Insider Rising Star. In his role as Managing partner, the Harvard educated Henri focuses on fund strategy, partnerships, value-add opportunities and financial analysis.
Award-winning media maven Wanda Tima is the founder of L’union Suite, a personal project aimed to help other Haitian-Diasporas who wanted to gain more knowledge about Haiti and its culture, deepening the connection within the diaspora. With blogs and posts going viral on a daily basis, L’union Suite is the number one digital platform for Haitian Diasporas with over 380,000 subscribers and reaches an average of 3-5 million people weekly.
Former Miss Haiti International winner and civil engineer Hermanie Pierre was recently awarded her own day, May 26th, by the city of Miami. In addition to being a pageant winner and civil engineer, she currently reigns as Executive State/Country Director for a multiple beauty pageant franchise.
Success St. Fleur Jr. has been making audiences laugh since the age of 6 when he first got his start in comedy. Renown for poking fun at his strict religious Haitian upbringing, this comedian, producer, actor, and writer is also the co-founder and CEO of Culture Chips, featuring his mother’s Pikliz recipe. Success has had the opportunity to work alongside notable figures like former President of Haiti Michel Martelly and Wyclef Jean, and is currently working on a Netflix Stand-Up Special.
A partner at Holland and Knight, Pedro Gassant is a Miami governmental advocacy and development attorney who focuses his practice on land use, zoning, and procurement matters in the community. Gassant made his mark throughout his education earning the title of Humanitarian of the Year by Florida State University. He recently was awarded The Best Lawyers in America guide, Miami Land Use, and Zoning Law Ones to Watch, 2022.
Comedienne, media personality and singer Jessie Woo has taken main stage in the media. Her comedic alter-ego Cadouskha Jean-Francois made her a popular name, leading to a stint as a host on the red carpet for BET. Jessie has been a part of the cast of Love and Hip Hop Miami since 2019, chronicling her journey in the music industry, and more recently can be seen as a regular on Nick Canon’s Wild-‘N-Out.
Miami native and Atlanta Braves pitcher Touki Toussaint helped lead the Braves to victory as the winners of the 2021 World Series. As one of few Blacks let alone Haitians in a historically white dominated sport, Touissant joined the national effort of the Players Alliance, an organization of Black professional baseball players coming together to tackle issues facing the Black community.
103.5 The Beat’s Stichiz is a renaissance woman, to say the least, blessed with diverse talents ranging from on-air radio personality to artist, and community champion. As seen recently on BET’s “One Shot,” she has been characterized as a trilingual, tongue-twisting, international award-winning entertainer and artist on the rise by publications across the world. Stichiz has graced the stages with and performed as the opening act for internationally acclaimed artists such as Wyclef Jean, Nas, Gucci Mane, Lil Kim, Fred Hammond, Shawn Mendes, Capleton, Damian Marley, R.City, and more.