Dear Deux Mains Community,
With all that is going on in the world, I am writing this letter to you as a note of hope in a seemingly frightful time. I learned this very important truth from the people of Haiti and therefore I am grateful to share. We must continue to acknowledge the global issues while still sharing positive stories to remind us to carry on and that, indeed, there is a light we can turn to even in the darkest times.
What I know about my journey is that I have been an advocate of the oppressed and disenfranchised long before I even knew what these words truly meant. I suppose you could say, it’s more that I have been a steadfast champion for equality. Even as a small child, I couldn’t bear to see anyone suffer. My mom tells stories of when I was five years old collecting canned food for soldiers and the homeless, peacefully protesting and advocating for marginalized communities, and putting on plays about saving the world from pollution by recycling and cleaning the oceans.
As I’ve grown into a woman I have seen enough injustice to give the strongest amongst us nightmares. I have witnessed, with my own eyes, the inner workings of these deep and intentional systems of poverty and oppression. It’s been a battle in which I have been on the frontlines for nearly 2 decades.
When I first landed in Haiti as a disaster responder, I had no idea the journey I was about to embark on and where my life would take me. The grave amount of suffering was so readily apparent that I decided right then and there that this is where I would put all my beliefs into action and work to understand these systems of injustice...and fight. For me, that meant starting from the ground up and ensuring my work would be circular. As the foundation of education and employment opportunities was heavily lacking, I knew that in order to tackle the suffocating economic equality, education and job creation was the catalyst that would enact real lasting change in Haïti. So I created REBUILD globally and deux mains as the tools to educate and provide employment.
Each generation has their own battles. Currently,there are many things happening that at their root, are working to tear communities apart, but there are also efforts that I believe can change the course of history. Being alive during this time in history is such an eye-opening experience for most of us that we can no longer turn a blind eye to systemic issues in our societies, yielding the potential of enabling long-lasting change. As most of us have our first experience watching the world unravel with COVID and BLM, what we are seeing is actually a reality that has been hidden for as long as we have taken breaths on earth.
So we ask ourselves, what helps during times like this? The actions that actually matter are the movements that I see so thoughtfully penetrating social media. Shopping local and black owned stores. Shopping products and brands that have always been sustainably and thoughtful in their production and in their values. Voting with your dollars. If you want to make a difference, empower a workforce and build economy where oppression has flourished for far too long. At Deux Mains we have seen radical differences over the past 10 years by sticking true to this message. So I encourage you to cast your vote for the world you want to live in with your purchasing power. Find these brands and support them fearlessly! Make your WHY be a part of your long lasting story. Shop thoughtfully and with pride today.
On June 26thDeux Mains opened a boutique in Port Au Prince, Haiti. The store is open weekdays from 7:00am to 3:30pm and is a great place for locals, tourists, and volunteers.