"As you almost certainly know, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday. Tens of thousands of people or more are likely dead, and a third of the country's residents may need emergency aid.
"As we watch images from the region, it's hard not to think of the shock and helplessness we felt after Hurricane Katrina when we watched the lives of large numbers of people, largely Black, torn apart by natural disaster, and in another poverty-stricken and neglected part of the world.
"In response to Katrina, ColorOfChange members stood up by the thousands to help. Today, we're asking you to consider doing so again. Partners in Health is one of several organizations doing good work, and we're confident that dollars contributed to them will go far in providing direct, immediate aid. Click here to help.
"Haiti was the world's first independent Black republic, and many of us feel a special pride in the country's origins. Haiti's former slaves took on Napoleon and declared their independence from France in 1804, decades before the U.S. and the rest of the Western Hemisphere would end slavery. In those years, the small island nation was seen as a thorn in the side of its neighbors in the Americas and Europe. With their act of defiance, Haitians proved that Black people could govern themselves at a time when leaders of the world's most powerful countries considered Africans and African descendants less than human.
"Since that revolutionary moment, the country's residents have often suffered. Haiti is the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation, with four out of five people living in poverty even before disaster struck. More than 3,000 people died because of hurricanes and tropical storms in the last decade, and thousands more were left homeless.
"Tuesday's earthquake dealt the latest and most devastating blow for Haiti. The recovery will be long and hard. And like the Gulf, it will take a long-term commitment. The financial support we give today needs to be just the beginning, but it is a crucial start. Please consider giving what you can, either to Partners in Health or another organization that is providing critically-needed services.
"To give, click here."
Thanks and Peace,
James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Milton and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team