• Post category:News

On March 3rd, the University of the Aristide Foundation [UNIFA] held its sixth graduation ceremony, a profound accomplishment in a nation which is undergoing extreme poverty, social dislocation and violence stemming from the 2004 US-instigated overthrow of Haiti’s democratic government and subsequent 20 years of US/foreign occupation.

Watch Dr. Aristide’s speech to the audience of 389 graduates together with their families, invited guests and faculty. Appreciate the significance of this democratic educational institution that lifts up the Haitian people, that struggles courageously and resolutely to thrive amidst the tide of destruction, violence and social chaos brought about by US occupation. The graduates include doctors, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists, lawyers, engineers, architects, economists, managers, accountants and the first graduating class of agronomists from the School of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.

UNIFA’s student body includes 4,372 students from the Faculties of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Rehabilitation Sciences, Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Legal and Political Sciences, Engineering and Architecture, Economic and Administrative Sciences, Agricultural and Natural Sciences, and Continuing Education.

Here are some excerpts from Dr. Aristide’s March 3rd, 2024 graduation speech [delivered in French and Kreyol, with English translation provided below]:

  • When doctors, dentists, nurses, physiotherapists contribute to promoting the health of patients; when lawyers fight against injustice and social inequality; when economists open the path to the solidarity economy; when agronomists boost national production; so then our collective genius will bring this earth back to life. We worthy sons and daughters of Haiti must be bridge builders of love and architects of the new Haiti.
  • For approximately four centuries the colonists imposed the slave system characterized by monstrous atrocities and the exploitation of more than 13 million Africans. The indigenous peoples of the Americas and the Caribbean were decimated by colonization. Thirsty for wealth and power, the colonists used barbarity to deprive the citizens of their fundamental rights and their dignity.
  • These four shattered centuries of our history have left deep and indelible scars. Unfortunately, by using domestic slaves, neocolonialism maintains these structures of exploitation which inevitably affect the future of Haiti and the experience of oppressed peoples throughout the world. So many dreams shattered by modern slavery. How many human lives have been sacrificed here or in Gaza and in Africa.