|To the University of Miami Community:|
News of devastation in the wake of a massive earthquake in Haiti this weekend brings heartache and concern—both for those on the island nation and for the diaspora community here in South Florida. The University of Miami has a long history of engagement with the Haitian people, and we are resolute in our commitment to assisting with their needs at this crucial time.
To that end, Haitian-born surgeon and Miller School Dean Henri Ford and Executive Dean for Global Health and Community Service Dr. Barth Green are in communication with Haitian officials to support in a response. As the tragic figures on loss of life mount and teams navigate logistical challenges, the humanitarian and health care needs are vast. We will learn more in the coming days as they and others at the University continue to work with our partners on the island.
We are also grateful that School of Education and Human Development Professor Guerda Nicolas—who was on site at the time of the quake conducting research and working for Miami-based Ayiti, a community foundation she helped establish in her native Haiti—is safe. We will support our active Haitian student organization, Planet Kreyol, in its efforts as well. Our ties to Haiti are broad and deep and we are determined to help.
That is where you come in. Resources are essential to meet needs. The growing list of necessities so far includes not only medical personnel and supplies, but commodities and materials to provide shelter, water, food, and fuel to both rescue teams and survivors. To assist, we have activated “The U Responds” to gather support for Haiti relief efforts as they unfold. You can donate online here.
As I shared yesterday when I learned of the news, our hearts are with the people of Haiti and their loved ones in the face of these devastating circumstances. We will draw on the experience of the hundreds of faculty members, students, staff, and alumni who have spent time in Haiti—many assisting in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake—to be of service.
Our mission beckons us to provide hope, especially in times of despair. In that endeavor, which is so central to who we are, we truly live out our shared values. Thank you, in advance, for standing with us to support Haiti.