Saybrook University Statement of Solidarity and Action in Response to the Crisis in Haiti

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In response to the earthquake disaster in Haiti, the students, staff, and faculty of Saybrook University, in accordance with our mission of seeking a humane, just, and sustainable world, are taking the following actions:

  1. The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM), which is a collaborator in Saybrook University's College of Mind-Body Medicine, is planning to undertake a trauma project in Haiti. CMBM will train hundreds of local Haitian health, mental health, and education professionals in how to use their innovative educational and psychosocial trauma model for helping the population to heal from the devastation and trauma from the earthquake and its aftermath. This CMBM model is being used effectively in Kosovo, Israel, Gaza, New Orleans, and with US military returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.
  2. The Saybrook College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies will open its course, “Refugee Trauma and Resiliency” (STR 7115), to non-matriculated students during the Spring Semester, 2010 This course is designed for the beginning student in Refugee Mental Health or Human Rights, or for the experienced student who would like to develop an independent project based on one of the areas in the syllabus. It is preferable that individuals taking this course are interning in a mental health center that services refugees and immigrants, or working in the field with refugees or internally displaced people in areas such as in Haiti, Afghanistan or Iraq, or with an NGO such as Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, or UNICEF. For more information, please contact Annie McGeady, Saybrook’s Associate Vice President Enrollment Management and Admissions at amcgeady@saybrook.edu.
  3. The Saybrook Alumni Association is raising funds to send Saybrook alumna and immigrant from Haiti, Marie Fonrose (Ph.D. ’03) to Haiti to provide therapy and counseling services. Marie has experience as a therapist, has worked with Haitian immigrants in the DC area, and knows the language and culture of Haiti, having immigrated to the US at the age of 12. She is also experiencing this current devastation from a personal perspective; 11 of her relatives died in the earthquake, including a half-brother, aunts, uncles, and cousins. For further information, or to provide support for Marie’s intervention work, please contact George Aiken, Ph.D., Saybrook’s Director of Alumni Affairs, at gaiken@saybrook.edu.
  4. The Saybrook community is committed to addressing, through scholarly inquiry and action, the underlying structural social and economic inequities that are exacerbating the Haiti earthquake crisis. Saybrook offers courses that focus on such global social inequities, such as “Globalism and Power,” and “The Human Right to Adequate Food,” and many members of the Saybrook community have signed the “ONE Campaign” petition supporting provision of debt relief to Haiti by international creditors, including foreign governments, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank.