Listed below are several programs St. John’s has offered since
the disaster in Haiti and several more which are scheduled. There
will undoubtedly be other efforts and we would ask all members of
the University community to alert us to any new initiatives that we
In the disaster’s ensuing hours, St. John’s reached out to our
Haitian students, offering many hours of support and counseling.
Two mailings were sent by the Office of Alumni Relations (with
support from the Office of Campus Ministry) encouraging prayer,
donations and participation in the efforts of Catholic Relief
Prayer services – sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry in
conjunction with the Department of Student Life, the Office of
Alumni Relations and the Haitian Society – took place on the Queens
and Staten Island campuses on January 21. This remembrance
continues to be a regular part of our campus prayer.
Since the earthquake, the Haitian Society, along with our
Department of Student Life’s Division of Office of Multicultural
Affairs, collected over 10,000 supplies and shipped 128 boxes and
barrels of donations to Haiti.
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, approximately 120
students from Queens and Staten Island organized a donation drive
On January 29, the Office of Global Studies held a concert for
peace where they raised funds for Haiti.
As the University celebrated “Black Heritage Month,” the needs of
Haiti were kept in the forefront:
- The Haitian Society and Student Government, Inc. hosted a
benefit dinner that raised funds for Yele, Wycleaf Jean’s relief
- The Department of Student Life’s Division of Multicultural
Affairs presented the “1,000 Socks and Shoes Drive for Haiti” on
the Staten Island campus, an effort to obtain these vital supplies
for children in Haiti.
- The Haitian Society held a forum entitled “Culture From Below,”
as a prelude fundraiser for the evening Academic Lecture Series
program featuring Wyclef Jean.
- As part of the Academic Lecture Series, St. John’s welcomed
Wyclef Jean to the Queens campus to discuss his relief
organization, “Yele Haiti,” and his ongoing efforts to support the
people of his native Haiti. During the event, sponsored by the
Department of Student Life’s Division of Multicultural Affairs,
students presented him with a $4,000 check for Yele.
- The Praise and Gospel Extravaganza Benefit Concert for Haiti,
including local and tri-state choirs, praise teams, singers and
musicians took place on the Staten Island campus. The St.
John's community and the Borough of Staten Island worked together
to raise money for the people of Haiti, collecting more than
$1,000. The event was sponsored by the Magnificat Gospel Choir, the
Division of Multicultural Affairs, the Office of Campus Ministry,
the Pan-African Caribbean Student Association, Sigma Gamma Rho
Sorority Inc. and the Campus Activities Board.
- Sinai’s Radiant Dance Ministry, Step Ya Game Up, and the NAACP
held a Gospel conference on the Queens campus entitled “The Way We
Praise,” raising funds for Haitian relief.
- The Soul, African, Caribbean Expo Food and Dessert Competition
(SACE) was held on the Staten Island campus to benefit Haiti. This
cooking competition challenged participants to cook the best Soul,
African, or Caribbean food or dessert. All donations were given to
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for Haiti.
- During “Stand with Haiti,” held on the Queens campus, St.
John’s panelists spoke about their experience in Haiti before and
after the earthquake. Information on how to offer financial
assistance was provided.
- The Department of Student Life held two forums: one discussed
the relationship between Haitians and Dominicans and the other
featured lectures discussing best practices for relief efforts in
On the Oakdale Campus, the “Haiti Needs our Help” program
collected a significant number of supplies for infants in the
The Manhattan Campus held a blood drive on behalf of Haiti and
students organized a pot luck supper which also raised funds for
On the Rome campus, Daphné Pierre, a Graduate Assistant and
member of the Global Scholars of St. Vincent de Paul (an outgrowth
of the Vincentian Institute for Social Action), organized a drive
to collect supplies on behalf of Haiti.
The St. John’s Chapter of the Ladies of Charity collected $6,000
for the rebuilding of the Daughters of Charity mission and school
Andi Licari, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing and Management in the
College of Professional Studies, instructed her Introduction to
Marketing students to prepare a marketing campaign targeting the
University and surrounding communities to increase awareness of
Haiti’s plight and to raise funds for the nation. All cash
donations will be sent to Catholic Relief Services. The campaign
will culminate during the annual Walk for the Homeless on April
The following efforts are planned for the near future:
- The needs of the Haitian people continue to have a special
place in our prayers and liturgy.
- Student organizations are currently working on an intermediate
plan of action to drive the University’s relief efforts.
- During this year’s annual Walk for the Homeless, students will
walk in solidarity with the victims of the earthquake and those
left homeless by the devastation. The Haitian Student Association
(HSA) is collaborating with the Office of Campus Ministry on this
event with all proceeds going toward Haitian relief.
- In collaboration with the international Vincentian community,
St. John’s will help rebuild Haiti’s infrastructure by offering ten
one-year scholarships to Haitians who will come to New York for
- St. John’s will sponsor a gathering of the Haitian Diaspora in
New York for the purpose of establishing a microloan program
through Fonkoze. This will take place on April 24 in the
D’Angelo Center and will be supported by the University’s Office of
Mission and the Haitian Society.
- On the Staten Island campus, the Ozanam Film Festival,
sponsored by the “Women in Theology” course, the Office of Academic
Service-Learning and the Ozanam Scholars Program will feature two
films focusing on Haiti. “Women, Water and the Developing World,” a
film featuring student-led presentations on the spiritual dimension
of water and women in Haiti, will be screened on Monday, March 22
at 3:00 p.m. “The Road to Fwonda,” a film about a Haitian community
poised to change the future of their country one university student
at a time, will be shown at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24. Both
films will be shown in the Ganz Conference Room in Flynn Hall.
- On the Staten Island campus, PACSA will host a program inviting
the campus community to attend a discussion about Haiti before and
after the disaster with an eye toward developing concrete
solutions. It will be held in the Rathskellar at 6 p.m. Monday,
The St. John’s community remains committed to our brothers and
sisters in Haiti. Even as media attention wanes, the needs of the
people have not. They remain in our thoughts and prayers every day.
St. John’s University is called through our Vincentian mission to
be of service to those who suffer throughout the world, and we will
continue our efforts on behalf of the Haitian people.