Saturday, October 17, 2015

FANM Executive Director Marleine Bastien Receives the Lifetime Achievement Award October 16, 2015

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has unanimously chosen Marleine Bastien to be awarded the "Lifetime Achievement Award". As Charles Fischer, Board Member of the Miami-Dade Chapter of the ACLU expressed, this award is "for the body of activism you've accomplished representing the rights of women, Haitian-Americans, people affected with HIV/AIDS, and all the other communities which have benefited from your work.|"
  Two days after arriving in the U.S. in 1981, Marleine Bastien started volunteering at the Haitian Refugee Center.  She was then trained and hired as a paralegal a few months later to assist Haitian Refugees who were coming in by the thousands and being detained at the Krome Detention Center. Marleine's experience at the Krome Detention Center marked the beginning of years of social services, advocacy and organizing on behalf of Haitian immigrants in South Florida.  

After leaving the Haitian Refugee Center, Marleine spent 13 years at Jackson Memorial Hospital working as medical social worker for HIV/AIDS, Sickle Cell Anemia, and cancer patients. There, she left her mark as a staunch advocate for patients' rights. In 2000, she left Jackson to lead FANM, a social advocacy group she co-founded with a group of women and her ex-husband in 1991. Her work, which combines social services with strong advocacy and organizing efforts on issues such as immigration, workers' rights, affordable housing, women's rights, access to health care and economic empowerment, has gained national and international recognition and accolades from Amnesty International, The U.S. Human Rights Network, Ford Foundation, The Gay and Lesbian Task Force,  The Association of University Women,  NAACP, and Essence Magazine who named her  "One of the 35 Most Powerful Women in the World" in 2005 among others.   

"I'm thankful and humbled by this recognition said Marleine.  I accept it in the name of Clemencia Charles, a 59 year old client fighting eviction from her mobile home, and so many others like her who struggle daily to live a dignified life despite repeated challenges and disappointments. They give me the strength to press on, in the path for justice, equality and peace"    __________________________________________

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