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Episode 05

The Real Narrative of Haiti & Haitians


Meet Rosemonde Pierre-Louis. Rose is a highly recognized public sector leader known for driving social and economic change. Ms. Pierre-Louis is the Executive Director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University. She is also the host of season two of the podcast Black Boys and Men: Changing The Narrative. From 2014-2016, Ms. Pierre-Louis served as Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV). Ms. Pierre-Louis  also served as Manhattan Deputy Borough President from 2006-2013 and led several of the Office's key initiatives. Ms. Pierre-Louis, an attorney by profession, has served in leadership positions at several public interest law organizations and taught for six years as an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law. Rose is the Founder of the Haitian Roundtable and the Frederick Douglass Boulevard Alliance and serves on the Board of the New American Leaders Action Fund. Ms. Pierre-Louis is the recipient of numerous awards and most recently was recognized as the Public Servant of the Year by the Metropolitan Black Bar Association. Ms. Pierre-Louis received her undergraduate degree in political science from Tufts University and her juris doctorate from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. 

In this episode, we connect on the power of the immigrant story. Rose speaks about the importance of redefining the narrative about Haiti and Haitians. We discuss why Rose has dedicated her career in service of vulnerable populations in New York who lack access to the legal justice system and have experienced intimate partner violence. And finally, speak about how inspired Rose is by the work that capracare does and why she continues to support its important initiatives.


Episode Highlights:

  • How Rose and JPL met (03:06)

  • Rose’s upbringing and early days (06:50)

  • What is the “Brain Drain”? (09:26)

  • The importance of the immigrant story (13:29)

  • Being the Executive Director of the McSilver Institute of Poverty Policy at NYU and the journey getting there (16:10)

  • What made Rose so passionate about representing survivors of intimate partner violence (19:55)

  • The Haitian Roundtable. What it is and what sparked the idea (24:00)

  • How HRT redefines the narrative of Haiti and Haitians (33:05)

  • How capracare continues to inspire Rose (38:40)

  • Courage is… (42:43)

  • Rose’s one act of courage (44:28)

  • How to get in touch with Rose and get involved with HRT (49:13)


Quote Summarizing episode 

“I always find a way to be involved in institutions or philanthropic endeavors that really advance women, whether it is to get elected to office or to leverage support for women and girls to address issues of empowerment.”

- Rose

Courageous Quotes:

“You will often find Haitians in spaces where there are large medical networks” - Rose


“How incredibly lucky am I to have parents that were able to make these sacrifices? Understand that, as a young black girl born in 1964, in the middle of the civil rights movement, to have the intention, the courage, the capacity to ensure that this black girl, myself, had the tools that she needed to compete in society.” - Rose


“HRT moves from the usual one line narrative and provide texture and depth as to who we are and to be that organization that if you do step out of line and say something crazy about our community, we will be there along with our colleagues, sister organizations to let them know, that it is unacceptable to speak about our community in such a manner.” - Rose


“In terms of sustainability, just think about what capracare’s had to deal with… just over the last 3 years. When I think about how capracare, even in the most stressful times that would’ve broken most organizations, that this is when the organization excelled and deepened its impact” - Rose


“If you aren’t doing the work, you aren’t going to get the support” - Rose


“Courage is capracare” - Rose

Where to Donate & Learn more

Connect with the Haitian Roundtable


Learn More About NYU McSilver Institute of Poverty Policy


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Connect with Rosemonde Pierre-Louis

LinkedIn Twitter  Instagram 

Connect with Hetal Baman

Email  LinkedIn

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