Task Forces for Haitian Earthquake Relief Created

Posted January 21st, 2010 at 4:43 pm.

Bryn Mawr students have created four task forces to direct campus responses to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, says Civic Engagment Office (CEO) Co-director Ellie Esmond. Members of the faculty and staff are joining the task forces as well.

About 60 students and four members of the faculty and staff attended an organizational meeting hosted by the CEO and the Office of Intercultural Affairs on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

The meeting began with a brainstorming session in which community members proposed and discussed ways to respond to the crisis. The group reached a consensus that its overall emphasis should be on raising funds for relief organizations that are already at work in Haiti.

As broad themes began to emerge from the suggestions offered, the meeting identified four areas of focus:

  • A large-scale benefit event
  • Organizing in the surrounding community
  • Reaching out to alumnae
  • Educational efforts focused on context: the situation in Haiti before the earthquake, the implications of rebuilding, and issues associated with a large international presence in Haiti

The group then split into four task forces, each organized around one of these areas. Each task force selected a convenor or duo of co-convenors who will coordinate that group’s efforts.

At a second open meeting on Feb. 3, the task force convenors will report on the groups’ efforts, and participants will decide what organization or organizations should receive funds raised by the task forces. All members of the campus community are invited to attend.

Esmond, who has received e-mails and phone calls from a number of community members who were unable to attend but still wish to participate in relief efforts, says that she will be happy to refer volunteers. To join the effort, e-mail her at eesmond@brynmawr.edu and indicate which group you prefer to join.

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