MIAMI – Marleine Bastien is the founder, former president, and current Executive Director of Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami, Inc. (Haitian Women of Miami). A passionate and articulate spokesperson for Haitians, she formed the “Justice Coalition for the Haitian Children of Guantanamo” to advocate for Haitian children incarcerated there in the early 1990s, and also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to lend her expertise to a discussion of the devastating effect that prolonged detention at Guantanamo had on Haitian children. She is one of the founders of the Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition, an umbrella of 15 organizations that advocate for the rights of Haitian refugees. She has been recognized with several honorable awards. She was also named in the Miami Herald in 1999 as one of the “Forty Special People to Watch in the next Millennium.”
Marleine continues to dedicate herself to the betterment and the benefit of others – in health, education, economic survival and social justice. She consistently stands tall in the face of challenges always seeking fairness for the common good of our community – especially the women among us. Bastien serves as not only the voice of Haitian women, but as the unofficial spokesperson for the Haitian community in large rallying for its causes in the Nations capital and in speaking engagements. She is often quoted in local, national and international media such as CNN, the BBC and others.
On Thursday, December 1, 2011, FANM will celebrate 20 years with a tribute to Marleine, titled “Still Standing,” at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 N.E. 188th Street, Aventura, Florida. For more information or to make a contribution, go to www.fanm.org or call 305-756-8050. For her fearless advocacy on behalf of Haitian refugees and immigrants at large, Marleine Bastien is our CHANGEmaker of the month.
Each month, D’ Peoples Politics segment of Caribbean Riddims on WZAB 880AM selects a member of the community who has demonstrated purposeful use of their personal power for the greater good in the South Florida Caribbean community and community at large and who has leveraged their partnerships for advocacy and the upliftment of the Caribbean-American diaspora community.
D’ Peoples Politics with attorney Marlon Hill can be heard every Saturday, 4pm on Caribbean Riddims with Eddy Edwards, 3-6pm on WZAB 880AM or live online at http://www.880thebiz.com.
Past CHANGEmakers have include Stephanie Sylvestre, former honorary Consul of Belize; attorney and community activist Karen Andre (Haiti); Student advocate and Miami Dade College campus leader, Miguel Murphy (Dominica); Make A Wish Foundation CEO, Norman Wedderburn (Jamaica); and Radio DJ and mas band leader, Giselle ‘D’ Wassi One’ Blanche (Trinidad & Tobago).