MDPS Recognizes Haitian Heroes for Haitian Heritage Month
Story & fotos by José Pérez
In honor of Haitian Cultural Heritage Month, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Board member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall recognized activist Jean-Robert LaFortune and Florida State Representative Phillip Brutus for their efforts "to champion causes important to the Haitian-American community." The event was held in the auditorium of the Dade School Board's Administration Building at 1450 N.E. 2nd Avenue as part of a larger programme honoring residents and students alike for outstanding achievements.
LaFortune was gracious as he accepted the honor. "Great spirits communicate," said LaFortune who enjoyed sharing the spotlight with the two former colleagues in Florida's State House, Brutus and Bendross-Mindingall. Calling the recognition from Bendross-Mindingall "a privilege," Brutus told those gathered at the event earlier this month that he “learned a lot from her.” For her part, Bendross-Mindingall said that “our community is quite fortunate” to have people like the honorees.
In a written statement released prior to the ceremony, Dr. Bendross-Mindingall applauded the efforts of LaFortune and Brutus (as well as outgoing North Miami mayor Andre Pierre, who was not able to attend) to employ "utilized democratic principles to advance issues that largely impact Haitian-Americans, while enhancing the quality of life for all citizens.'