Rachel's 2016 Blog

December 4, 2016
Annual Haitian Ladies Brunch at the Haitian Embassy in Washington, DC.

November 23, 2016
Back to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. This time, I lead a groupe of 20 GW students. I visited the Civil Rights section which includes Emmett Till's casket. Sobering.

November 19, 2016
I entered the Pitch George Competition at GW. I won 3rd prize!

November 16, 2016
The school publication has an article about the Haiti Teach-in I helped organize.

October 22, 2016
2016_utah (467K) Hiking in the mountains of Southern Utah: the scenery, the high altitude, the magic of Zion National Park. An experience to remember! Thanks to GW TRAiLS!

October 18, 2016
After I visited the new African American Museum, I shared my thoughts with the school newspaper.

October 15, 2016
Tour of the Monuments with the Director of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Administration. I am impressed with the thought that went into these monuments and how they include women and minorities. I don't think I've ever seen this many people of colour commemorated in statues in the whole of Canada. It's like we were erased from the record. Kudos to the USA!

October 14, 2016
For 2 weeks in a row, students at GW put immigration/diversity related discussions which are as powerful as they are enlightening. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we had a convo about Latin Immigrants put on by OLAS. This week, it was the students minoring in Chinese-languages discussing race in China and Chinese culture. It is important to have those conversations which aren't centered on the dominant culture.

October 10, 2016
2016.whgtour_fall (221K) The last White House Garden Tour with Obama as president. The weather was wonderful. Going to the White House never gets old!

October 9, 2016
As a Frederic Bastiat fellow, I am privileged to spend the weekend discussing political economy with esteemed scholars from Oxford, Harvard U, and other American Universities.

September 30, 2016
2016.reception.embassy (52K) Following yesterday's lovely reception on Capitol Hill to launch the 5th annual conference by National Association for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals, we have a reception at the newly revamped Embassy of Haiti. Fab!

September 28, 2016
I went to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture for the first time today. It is a fantastic museum. I went to see my favourite singer's dress (Whitney Houston) and I also made a stop at the bottom floor, where a statue of Toussaint Louverture adorns the post-slavery exhibit hall. I am happy to see the Haitian Revolution acknowledged in this museum, as it influenced the Americas, including the USA.

September 24, 2016
The National Museum of African-American History and Culture opened this weekend. Though I do not have tickets, I went to the free concert on the grounds -- Public Enemy, The Roots and Living Colour serenaded an enthusiastic crowd!

September 23, 2016
Another Immigration event, this time at the Urban Institute. They just published a comprehensive 500-page report on all facets of immigration. Great information!

September 14, 2016
Congressional Black Caucus conference. Amazing speakers including Trayvon Martin's father and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke.

September 3, 2016
Morning hike at Great Falls National Park. Beautiful! Then I tried paddle boarding at Georgetown's waterfront. I am just happy I didn't fall into the Potomac!

September 1, 2016
I went to an Immigration Economics conference at the CATO institute. Lots of hard numbers showing the impact of immigration in the U.S. economy. Not just fluff, but facts. Interesting tidbit: immigrants are more likely to start businesses than native-born.

August 29, 2016
Second year of Graduate school starts now!

August 13, 2016
I did a hike at the Woodlawn Cultural Park in rural Maryland. It is a Quaker area where they were abolitionnists but they still owned slaves. Fascinating combination of hiking under the hot sun and a glimpse into American history. Thanks, Outdoor Afro!

August 12, 2016
I spent the day at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC, as part of the Youth Summit. It is impressive to see 'woke' youth academics who have a hunger for chainging the status quo.

August 9, 2016
It's Whitney's birthday! I am so glad to see her trending on Facebook news. I guess I'm not the only one who hasn't forgotten her!

August 1st, 2016
Lots of Caribbean countries are celebrating Jouvert or Emancipation Day today. They erroneously cite August 1 1834 as the first day of freedom. British law forced 'emancipated' slaves to work for 45 hours a week for 4 to 6 years AFTER they were 'emancipated' so that slave owners' businesses could adjust to the new economic situation of having to pay their workers. You can hear more about this on a fascinating pod cast: The St. Kitts Slave Revolt of 1834.

July 26, 2016
Philadelphia! What a fantastic city! So much history, art, and great food.

July 20, 2016
One month from now, I will be sharing the secrets of my HuffPo blogging success at the Blogger Week unConference in Washington, DC.

June 4, 2016
It looks like I will spend the Fourth of July weekend in Boston.

May 28, 2016
I was an intern at the French Book Fair in DC (Salon du Livre de DC). There was an amazing array of artist, writers, poets and performers at Howard U's campus!

May 13, 2016
I finished my first year of graduate school! I attended the Commencement ceremony on Capitol Mall to see what awaits me next year. Senator Cory Booker's emotional speech inspired us all.

May 15, 2016
The American television game show "Jeopardy!" filmed a special "Power Players" series this in Washington. I attended the recording of two shows, including one with Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart and Minnesota senator Al Franken.

April 22, 2016
Senator Elizabeth Warren(45K) I met Senator Elizabeth Warren today. She is a passionate speaker and advocate for regulating wall street and corporate corruption.

April 17, 2016
2016_wh_spring_garden (438K) I visited the gardens on the White House grounds, including the "kitchen garden" created by Michelle Obama in 2009. Photos.

April 10, 2016
Small detour to New York City to see the "Broadway Tribute To Whitney Houston". Young performers reinterpret Whitney's classic tunes. It was a fantastic tribute to a fantastic legend!

April 9, 2016
Alex Tebek in in town to film a series of Jeopardy! episodes featuring celebrities and public personalities. I got a front row seat to comedian Louis C.K. and Minnesota senator Al Franken's performances. Tune in in mid-May to watch the special episodes of "Power Players".

March 27, 2016
2016_cherry_blossoms (219K) Cherry blossom trees are a big deal here. I thought I would go for a long walk to the tidal basin at 7am to avoid the crowds. Foolish! Thousands of people were there right along with me!

March 20, 2016
I spent Spring Break on the beaches of the Guadeloupe Islands (French Antillies). I really needed the rest. The first and only museum in French territory dedicated to the history of slavery, "Le Mémorial ACTe," was an incredible dissappointment. It was clearly done to shield slaver descendents of guilt or shame. I would recommend the Afro-Brazilian museum in Sao Paolo or the Afro-Panama Museum in Panama City as far better alternatives. Other than that, the jungle trek to the waterfalls and the boukit meals in Guadeloupe were excellent.

Feb 28, 2016
There is a plethora of Black History Month events in DC and on campus. I've never seen this depth of variety that is not centered on singing and dancing. Wow!

Feb 1, 2016
It's been 20 years since the federal government of Canada officially named Black History Month. Yet Canadians are still, generally speaking, quite ignorant on Black Canadian history. Is it because the curriculum has not changed? Because schools still use BHM has an excuse to have ethnic dances on display? Is it time to re-examine the purpose of this month?

January 28, 2016
It is appalling that blackface is still a thing in my native country. I have and will continue to denounce the practice on the public broadcaster's airwaves.

January 18, 2016
Today is Martin Luther King holiday in the USA. I am organizing a talk about the LGBT activists in his civil rights movement at GW this week.

January 6, 2016
I got to visit the White House today. Yes, the Obama White House. It was awesome!

January 1st, 2016
Happy New Year to all! I just learned, via the Embassy of Haiti in Washington, why we serve joumon soup on New Year's Day. When the freedom troops declaired independence from their French enslavers in 1804, the emancipation leader served the pumpkin soup to the countrymen. The soup was previously forbidden to enslaved Africans in Haiti, reserved only for white colonizers. Drink up!