What a weekend! I had the opportunity to be part of the Haitian Ladies Network weekend which was from Friday, October 11 to Saturday, October 13, 2019, in Washington DC.
Before August, I never even heard of the Haitian Ladies Network until my sister-in-law forward an email and asked if I was interested in attending their event. I checked out the agenda on the website briefly and said yes. Then I was invited to the Facebook group page by another friend. Was someone trying to tell me something? 🤔 By the way, I didn’t make the connection between the email invitation and FB page until several weeks later. What else is new lol!
Once I made the connection, you would think I would do some research. Nope! I wanted to attend with an open mind without any expectations. Basically, go with the flow. I am so glad I did so! As the date was approaching, I became impressed with this organization because of the communications and updates regarding the events via email. We all know communication can make or break an event. 😏
Anywho, the Haitian Ladies Network did a phenomenal job putting this three-day weekend event starting with a tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and welcome reception at the Embassy of Haiti. Below are some moments that were captured.
We were welcomed by Dr. Joanne Hyppolite who is the first Haitian American curator of Cultural Expression at the museum’s Oprah Winfrey Theater.
If you haven’t been to the museum, I strongly recommend you attend. It is free.
Embassy of Haiti
When I saw the agenda, I was so excited about the embassy. I’ve never been inside an embassy and to have Haiti be my first, the country of my ancestors, was monumental. The evening was electric from the music to the art to the Haitian ladies.
The Ambassador of Haiti – Hervé H. Denis
Day two was the symposium at American University with the focus on Igniting Our Power. It was a jam-packed day of panels focusing on engaging with Haiti, building wealth, the next generation and self-care.
I was able to connect with friends I haven’t seen in ages.
After the symposium, was the after-party at Pure Lounge. All I have to say we had a great time. I think I sweated out my hairstyle.😉
Day three and final day is a catered brunch at the National Housing Center. The brunch included a market place of vendors from the diaspora and overseas businesses all owned by Haitian women. There were networking, reunions, learning, exchanges and so much more! Below are more highlights from the event.
The brunch also included keynote speakers, Karine Jean-Pierre, a political analyst on MSNBC/NBC and Edwidge Danticat, a well-renowned novelist. Their speeches were empowering and inspirational.
Now the Haitian Ladies did not disappoint with food. The brunch consisted of our traditional meal such as:
- Mori ak banann bouyi Salted codfish and boiled plantains
- Mayi Moulin – Cornmeal Dish
- Joumou – Yellow Pumpkin Soup
We were in heaven. Now if they had Kremas (eggnog), the ladies would have lost their mind lol.
Overall, this was a great three-day event. I met some amazing women where we bonded over shared culture and experiences. My heart was filled and I’m filled with gratitude. Thank you to the nine ladies (above) who created Haitian Ladies Network!