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Racism is the major scourge of the environment in Haiti

President/Founder Greg Cronin presented the paper “Racism is the Major Scourge of the Environment in Haiti” at the International Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment in Montreal. During his presentation, he argues that past racism led to the state of Haiti’s ecosystems and economy. Ongoing racism hinders his scholarly and education efforts in Haiti and Haiti’s unfair treatment internationally.
The abstract follows:
Racism is the Major Scourge of the Environment in Haiti

Greg Cronin

President/Founder, Yon Sel Lanmou 501(c)3, NGO operating in Haiti

Applied Ecologist, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Colorado Denver

Racism occurs when one group of people is oppressed at the benefit of another group with power, based on race, skin color, or ethnicity. Racism ranges from individual actions to institutional structures.

Haiti is the world’s first black republic and has the most impoverished economy and ecosystems. These facts are related by racism. Racist colonizers eliminated the indigenous Taino (i.e., nearly total genocide). Needing labor to work the land, the racist colonizers imported kidnapped Africans under brutal, inhuman conditions. Revolutionaries such as Mackandal, Louverture, and Dessalines led a slave revolt, culminating in the Haitian Revolution. Haiti declared independence on January 1, 1804.

Racism continued to harm Haiti after her independence, resulting in international debt, invasion and occupation, exploitation, political meddling, poor infrastructure, poor public health, poverty, and environmental degradation. These hardships also resulted in tough, resilient people who are proud of their country’s African roots, historical importance, cultural richness, and natural beauty.

Racism at CU Denver is the major scourge of my scholarly pursuits in Haiti. The day after the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake, CU Denver banned faculty, staff, and students from traveling to Haiti to assist victims. After I started restoring ecosystems in Haiti, my department stopped rewarding accomplishments in Applied Ecology. My research was ‘below expectations’ for the first time in my career. I first failed to meet teaching expectations the year I co-taught a course with a Haitian presidential candidate and advised the first Haitian to earn an MS in Marine Conservation. My supervisor refuses to discuss racism, even after being informed that silence about racism is racist.

Racism must end for Haiti to reach her full potential.

Colorado Music Association Recognizes YSL President

Major talent in the Yon Sel Lanmou studio.
Major talent in the Yon Sel Lanmou studio.

Colorado musicians have supported the efforts of Yon Sel Lanmou from the beginning. Now the Colorado Music Association is recognizing YSL President Greg Cronin with a “Pay the Band” Award. We look forward to growing the relationship between musicians in Colorado, Haiti, and beyond.

NEWS: Sedalia Musician Greg Cronin Sends News Re: Building a Recording Studio in Haiti

2017 Jean Wiener Environmental Scholarship

Josué Céliscar wins Jean Wiener Environmental Scholarship

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Mr. Josué Céliscar won the second Jean Wiener Environmental Scholarship in July 2016. Mr. Céliscar is majoring in Resource Management, and wants to study how tropical dry forests can be sustainably managed in ways that provides income while improving the condition of the forest. We believe that natural resources should must benefit people today and far into the future. Congratulations to Josué and best wishes for a prosperous career as a resource manager.

Alexandra Pierre is finishing her MS!

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Here are some photographs of Ms. Pierre conducting field work for her Master’s degree. Yon Sel Lanmou couldn’t be more proud Ms. Pierre, who is using our 1st “Jean Wiener Environmental Scholarship” to become the 1st Haitian in history to earn an MS in Marine Conservation from a Haitian University.
Applications for the 2nd “Jean Wiener Environmental Scholarship” are currently being accepted. This scholarship is sponsored by the Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine (FoProBiM) and Yon Sel Lanmou. Application instructions can be found HERE.

Alexandra Pierre is awarded YSL’s Jean Wiener Environmental Scholarship

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Yon Sel Lanmou created an Environmental Scholarship in Jean Wiener’s name to encourage bright young Haitians to consider environmental careers. We congratulate Alexandra Pierre for receiving the 1st Jean Wiener Environmental Scholarship, that she will use to finish her Masters degree in Water and Environment from Haiti State University. She posted on her Facebook page “I hope one day I will become a female “Jean Wiener” in the marine field, as the ocean has always been my passion as a young scientist.”

You can support future scholarships by clicking the donate button below.

Click here to view our website translated into Kreyol.





YSL Founder/President presents at International Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment

Jean Wiener, 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize winner,  and Greg Cronin
Jean Wiener, Director of FoProBiM, and Greg Cronin
Greg presented a paper titled “Will the Caracol Industrial Park bring progress or environmental disaster?” during the 21st IICE in Puerto Rico June 10-13. The talk included the research that he conducted with Jean Wiener in 2013, the challenges faced by the growing population of Caracol, and encouraging possibilities that economic development and environmental protection can occur simultaneously. Education and wise planning will be crucial to avert grave environmental damage.
During the conference, participants visited Casa Pueblo, a 35-year old organization that uses science, community, and culture to protect Puerto Rico’s environment while improving the livelihood of people. We were greeted with a live performance by students of the Casa Pueblo music school. Alexis Massol-González, founding Director of Casa Pueblo and recipient of the 2002 Goldman Environmental Prize, began his talk by playing “Imagine” by John Lennon. In his talk, Alexis Massol emphasized that they experienced limited success with science alone, attracting 1 participant to their first activity. By adding culture and community to the equation, they had 35,000 people participate in efforts to stop a gas pipeline through sensitive habitats. He proudly shared a photograph of himself being handcuffed at a White House protest, which reminded participants of their colleague Adam Briggle’s arrest in Denton, TX two weeks ago. The parallels between Casa Pueblo and Yon Sel Lanmou are many, and gives us encouragement for what we can accomplish over the decades for Haiti and the world, using science to generate knowledge and culture to activate the community.

See what decades of dedication has accomplished for Jean Wiener here: http://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/jean-wiener/

The Prezi for the talk can be viewed here: https://prezi.com/f60sfjxfdwlh/will-the-caracol-industrial-park-bring-progress-or-environme/

Yon Sel Lanmou

Yon Sel Lanmou Welcomes Bondemen Haiti

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Bondemen Haiti and Yon Sel Lanmou are neighbors! We partnered in Kanaval 2015 Port au Prince and with YSL’s Royalty Free Haiti school held on the Bondemen campus in Port au Prince. We have been friends before YSL or BDH were formed. Yesterday, Bondemen Haiti acquired land next door to YSL land in Croix des Bouquets thanks to Dr. Brutus and H.E.L.P., Inc. BDH and YSL will build a studio together at the new site, and help each other grow food, plant trees, up-cycle trash, teach children, and create economic opportunity in our new community. Yon Sel Lanmou.