Relief in Haiti | The Humanitarian Action Initiative


A teach-in for NYU students, faculty, and the general public to provide context to the challenges of helping Haiti in the aftermath of this month’s devastating earthquake.


Greg Beckett, University of ChicagoGreg Beckett is Collegiate Assistant Professor and Harper Fellow in the Social Sciences Division at the University of Chicago. He studies environmental, urban, and political crises in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He received his Ph.D. from the Anthropology Department at the University of Chicago. His dissertation, "The End of Haiti: History Under Conditions of Impossibility," explores the cultural, historical, and political meanings of crisis in contemporary Haiti. Beckett is currently working on a book manuscript based on his dissertation and on a series of articles exploring local responses to the US occupation of Haiti (1915-1934), the discourse on state failure and the use of international peacekeeping missions as a mode of emergency powers, and humanitarian crises and disaster response.

J. Michael Dash, NYUJ. Michael Dash, born in Trinidad, has worked extensively on Haitian literature and French Caribbean writers, especially Edouard Glissant, whose works, The Ripening (1985), Caribbean Discourse (1989) and Monsieur Toussaint (2005) he has translated into English. After 21 years at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica where he was Professor of Francophone Literature and Chair of Modern Languages, he is now Professor of French at New York University after having been Director of the Africana Studies Program. His publications include Literature and Ideology in Haiti (1981), Haiti and the United States (1988), Edouard Glissant (1995), The Other America: Caribbean Literature in a New World Context (1998). His most recent books are, Libeté: A Haiti Anthology (1999) with Charles Arthur and Culture and Customs of Haiti (2001). He has represented CARICOM and the Caribbean Conference of Churches on official missions to Haiti.

Lesley King, Partners in HealthLesley King worked at JP Morgan for 15 years and retired as a Managing Director in Fixed Income Sales management in order to focus on non-profit work. She served as Interim Executive Director of Trinity Church in Greenwich, CT where she was also co-head of the Rwanda Council. Lesley is on the Board of Directors for Partners In Health and is a Regional Representative for PIH where for the past few years she has led a "community of concern" to open and support the PIH Rukira Health Center in southwest Rwanda.

William O’Neill, Social Science Research CouncilWilliam O’Neill is a lawyer specializing in humanitarian, human rights and refugee law. He was Senior Advisor on Human Rights in the UN Mission in Kosovo, Chief of the UN Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda and led the Legal Department of the UN/OAS Mission in Haiti. He has worked on judicial, police and prison reform in Burundi, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Timor Leste, Nepal and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He investigated mass killings in Afghanistan for the High Commissioner for Human Rights. He also conducted an assessment of the human rights situation in Darfur and trained the UN’s human rights monitors stationed there.

At the request of the UN’s Executive Committee on Peace and Security, he chaired a Task Force on Developing Rule of Law Strategies in Peace Operations. He has created and delivered courses on human rights, rule of law and peacekeeping for several peacekeeping training centers whose participants have included senior military, police and humanitarian officials from dozens of countries.

He has published widely on rule of law, human rights and peacekeeping, including, “Kosovo: An Unfinished Peace” and “Protecting Two Million Displaced: The Successes and Shortcomings of the African Union in Darfur.” In the spring of 2008, O’Neill was visiting professor of law and international relations at the Scuola Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy. He is currently the Director of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum located in New York City.

Michael Ralph, NYUMichael Ralph earned his Ph.D. in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago and taught briefly in the Cornell University Department of Anthropology before joining the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. Michael is a historical anthropologist who works on crime, citizenship, and sovereignty in Senegal and the Atlantic world, more broadly. Michael is now completing a book manuscript based on several years of archival research and ethnographic fieldwork in Dakar entitled, “The Forensics of Capital: Debt, Sacrifice, and Democracy in Senegal.” Michael is a member of the Editorial Boards of Sport in Society and Transforming Anthropology, the Souls Editorial Working Group and the Social Text Editorial Collective.

Archive type: Past Event
Year: 2010
Working Group: Humanitarian Action Initiative
Format: Event Audio

Relief In Haiti

Relief In Haiti

Humanitarian Action Initiative

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