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Founding Member

Joe is the co-founder of the Society for Haitian Research. During his 30 year career with the organization, he has played a pivotal role in its success. He held several positions including: Executive Director, Chairperson, Senior Producer among others. In 1985, he launched with other colleagues the popular Haitian Creole speaking radio program"PERSPECTIVES  HAITIENNES" that broadcasts live every Tuesday night from 8:00 to 10:00 PM on 91.5FM WNYE, the radio station of New York City department of education. The show that is listened to in most of the tri-state area: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and on the internet, features segments in the area of Health, Education, Culture, Language arts, Youth segments, Immigration laws and Civic education . Mr Chery was very instrumental in the creation by the SHR of a variety of community services such as GEDclasses in French for young Haitians who arrived here without a high school diploma; Parents/students counseling services in order to help the Haitian parents, especially the newly arrived to navigate the US school system. During his leadership, Mr. Chery main focus has been the creation of a community center where the immigrants can receive the support they need as they try to assimilate to the American culture. He recently spearheaded the: SHR Scholarship Fund to enable the students from families of modest financial means to receive a decent education. As a community organizer, Mr Chery has collaborated with other constituents and city officials to advocate for the rights of his fellow Haitians here and in Haiti. After the devastating earthquake of January, 2010, he joined the New York Haitian Leadership Fellowship now known as the New York Haitian Leadership Coalition to examine how they can make a difference in the Haitian diaspora and in their homeland. As a result of his natural sense of collaborative community, Mr Chery partnered with leaders of many professional, civic and community-based organizations such as: HABNET, HAUP, Haitian Community Coalition, NYHLC, HELP, and HALEC among others to promote the spirit of cooperation among divers groups working in the community. Despite his civic engagement, Mr. Chery maintained a high level of competency both as an entrepreneur and as an employee of John Hancock where he earned several recognitions. He recently published a book titled “When I see America” in which he examines several current social issues.



Monalisa Ferrari is currently employed by the New York City Department of Education has worked in variety of positions including Professional Development Coordinator, Dean, Middle School Director, Lead Teacher, and Mentor among others. She has served as President of the Haitian Educators League for Progress from 2011-2013 Inc., a not for-profit community-based organization serving Haitian educators in New York City and Haiti since the earthquake 2010. During her presidency she travelled to a variety of regions in Haiti with a delegation to provide professional development for teachers and administrators on an array of topics. As a community organizer and activist, she has collaborated with other organization on a wide selection of issues surrounding human rights.  She has served as consultant and volunteer with the Congressional Black Caucus, the National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals (NAAHP), the New York Immigration Coalition, several political campaigns, host committees and mobilize around issues that affect youth as they are the leaders of tomorrow.

As an advocate for bilingual education, she has also served as the 2nd Vice President and Haitian Creole Language Delegate on the New York State Association for Bilingual Education (NYSABE). Her contribution as a writer on the Bilingual Common Core Initiative enhances the teaching and learning process of all bilingual and English Language Learners.   After the earthquake she joined the Haitian Leadership Fellowship now known as the Haitian Leadership Coalition which is a project of CAUSE-NY, the intergroup relations department of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY), and is in partnership with the Brooklyn Community Foundation’s New York City Haitian American Hope and Healing Fund. This experience has stimulated ongoing interactions with all community leaders who have tirelessly worked towards the rebuilding of Haiti.

Some of her credentials include a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Thomas Edison State College; a Foreign Language Advance Certificate from New York University, a certificate from Harvard school of Education Project Zero, a Master’s degree in General Education from Cambridge College, a Dual-Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from Touro College, Advance Certificate in TESOL from St. John’s University.  Her other credentials include Certified Social Worker (CSW) and the following licenses from the New York State Department of Education: French Teacher Grade 7-12, School Building Leader (SBL) and School District Leader (SDL). In addition she is the recipient of several awards and certificates. She is a PhD Candidate with Concordia University.

Monalisa’s vision is to build sustainable relationships with all constituents locally that will have global impacts. To uphold and achieve her vision, she believes that she must remain focused despite all challenges. The persistent and consistent communication between supporters and community leaders will reinforce the need to achieve the goals of the community at large. Her interpersonal interaction with other leaders within the Diaspora is overwhelmingly and intrinsically rewarding. She currently serves as Vice President of the United Front of the Haitian Diaspora as well as Chairperson of the Society for Haitian Research. She is also the Host of a variety of segments on Haiti News Network (HNN) Perspectives Haitiennes 91.5 FM and Radio Tele Solidarité (RTS-TV) Her educational and professional background in educational leadership and administration could be highly appropriate for the long term goal of informing, educating and empowering others.

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