Alderman Lionel Jean-Baptiste, Esq.,
vice Chairman of Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti
First Haitian-American Judge in Illinois
The Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti has the distinct honor of congratulating Ald. Lionel Jean-Baptiste, Esq. vice Chairman of the Haitian Congress on his appointment as Circuit Court Judge of Cook County, Ninth Subcircuit of Illinois.
Ald. Lionel Jean Baptiste, Esq made history in Illinois nine years ago when he became the first Haitian-American to be voted into office as 2nd Alderman of the City of Evanston. Once again, he is making history by being the first Haitian-American appointed judge in Illinois.
Ald. Jean-Baptiste, the co-founder of the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti served as its chairman for four years. In 2010, he became the vice Chairman of the organization. As Chairman, Ald. Jean Baptiste played a key role in the development of the organization. His leadership has taken the Haitian Congress in a positive direction, primary one of advocating for Haiti, the Haitian people and the community at large. He has worked tirelessly to advocate for dual citizenship for Haitians in the Diaspora. As such, after long hours of research with a very competent sub-committee, holding town hall meeting with Haitians in New York, Miami, Boston and Chicago, holding a major conference in Chicago, and a major international conference in Haiti in September 2009, the 48th Legislature voted to recommend to dual citizenship for Haitians. Once the 49th Legislature is seated this year, one of their tasks will be to amend the Haitian cosntitution to grant dual citizenship to Haitians who have taken on a different nationality.
Ald. Jean-Baptiste, also as Chairman of the Haitian Congress has made celebrating all major historical events in Haitian history a priority. As such, with a coalition of local organizations in the Chicago area and the Consulate General of Chicago, the Haitian Congress has celebrated Independence Day, Flag Day, Bwa Kayiman and Bataille de Vertieres for the past five years.
Ald. Jean Baptiste believes by passing our custom, culture and language on to our children we will leave a legacy for them to not only understand our history, custom and culture, but a greater understanding of what it means to be a Haitian, to appreciate the richness of our history and to speak the language of our ancestors. Consequently, the Haitian Congress has been holding Creole classes every first and third Saturday for the past three years.
As Chairman, Ald. Jean-Baptiste guided the organization in the direction of coalition building, because he believes all of us are important to the work and it will take all of us to help Haiti move forward. Our coalition building which includes friends and allies from among others, universities, churches, organizations, elected officials and individuals alike have more awareness of Haiti, the Haitian people and the community because Ald. Jean Baptiste takes time to share the hisotry and frames the context of Haiti in a positive light. He continuously reminds others that Haiti became independent before others could and not only helped pave the way for toher countries to become free, but helped them become free. During the earthquake crisis, he intensiifed the campaign to not only inform others of Haiti’s beautiful history, but to remind everyone that Haiti was once a thriving country.
This is just a short summary of Ald. Jean-Baptiste’s work through the Haitian Congress. His work extends beyond borders and our organization, our community is all the better because of him.
The Haitian Congress to Fortiy Haiti and its Boards of Directors, once again congratulates our vice Chairman, Ald. Lionel Jean- Baptiste, Esq. We are proud to have worked under his leadership and wish him the best in this most prestigious position and are very proud of him. We will countinue to count on his leadership.
Joel Augustin, MD
cc: Aline Lauture, Executive Director
Board of Directors
Reproduced as published