Download the companion study guide for the film Poto Mitan: Women Pillars of the Global Economy.
For more information and analysis of earthquake relief efforts people can visit co-director Mark Schuller's blog on Huffington Post. For a more updated site listing other news stories, visit partner Center for Economic and Policy Research “Reconstruction Watch” blog.
Groups in Film
The following is a list of groups that you have seen in the film, offering their expertise. They are doing a range of work in Haiti that deserve your support. Visit their websites to find out more about them.
The Campaign Against Violence is a multi-sectoral coalition regrouping 15 organizations both in Haiti’s government and NGOs, in development, health, and communication. Founded in 2005 in response to alarming rates of kidnapping, this group sponsors direct action and policy analysis aimed at the multiple roots of violence, including media and the economy.
Chandèl (Kreyòl for “candle”) is a popular organization that organizes adult women and men to reflect upon their problems as people and Haiti’s impoverished majority in general. It's a space to question the way society functions and for the poor majority to struggle to build a new kind of society. Chandël particularly works to combat the dominant form of disempowering education and promote a “popular education” in poor neighborhoods, to give the poor majority a means for consciousness raising about the bad situation they’re living and a means to work together to change these conditions.
Fonkoze is Haiti's Alternative Bank for the Organized Poor. We are the largest micro-finance institution offering a full range of financial services to the rural-based poor in Haiti. Fonkoze is committed to the economic and social improvement of the people and communities of Haiti and to the reduction of poverty in the country.
The Hospital is the only one in Citè Soleil, operating continuously despite recent waves of violence. Founded as a Catholic hospital, it operates as a branch of Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health.
The political and social instability that followed President Aristide’s removal sparked a new wave of political violence, lawlessness, and related gender-based crimes. Few services exist for survivors of rape in Port-au-Prince. As an organization established by survivors, for survivors, KOFAVIV combines support for individual survivors of rape with grassroots women’s organizing and advocacy, to transform the social and political conditions that give rise to sexual violence against poor women.
Founded jointly in 1994 by Haitians and Americans, the Lambi Fund of Haiti is a unique grassroots organization whose mission is to assist the popular, democratic movement in Haiti. Its goal is to help strengthen civil society in Haiti as a necessary foundation for democracy and development.
Created in November 1994, following demands of women and the engagement of the Haitian state regarding international conventions relating to women’s rights and living in a state that guarantees gender inequality, the Minister of Women’s Condition and Rights (le Ministère a la Condition Fèminine et aux Droits des Femmes, MCFDF)’s mission is to formulate and apply public policies that need action to change women’s condition in Haiti.
The Haitian Platform to Advocate for an Alternative Development is a network of social movements and organizations in Haitian civil society who works on the public policies for information, training, critical analysis and elaborating alternative propositions. Our network especially focuses on reinforcing the capacities of social movements in our country, especially by proposing well-documented, viable, and coherent solutions that work in the interests of Haiti’s poor majority.
The State University of Haiti (L’Universitè d’etat d’Haïti) is the largest institution of higher education and research in the country. Across the country it includes more than 20,000 students, 1,500 faculty and 800 administrative staff. The University’s structure reflects the diversity of its origins. The founding text of the University of Haiti, UEH’s ancestor, assembles independent institutions of higher education, those created to train staff of certain ministries, and others of private origin, integrated into the system of higher education.
Partners and Endorsers
Following are a list of groups who have supported the film. Our partners are planning on working together with us to promote discussion and to inspire grassroots change.
- Center for Economic and Policy Research - Promoting democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives.
- Dwa Fanm - Committed to the Rights of Haitian Women and Girls
- FANM - Fanm Ayisyen nan Miyami -Working for the “social, political and economic empowerment” of Haitian women and their families.
- Fonkoze - Haiti’s Alternative Bank for the Organized Poor
- Haiti Reborn - a Program of the Quixote Center
- Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees - Since 1992, meeting the needs of Haitian refugees arriving in New York as a result of the overthrow of President Aristide.
- Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti - Working with the people of Haiti in their non-violent struggle for the return and consolidation of constitutional democracy, justice and human rights.
- Jubilee USA Network - Joining Hands to Break the Chains of Debt
- KOFAVIV - Women Victim’s Collective - As an organization established by survivors, for survivors.
- Lambi Fund of Haiti - Supporting economic justice, democracy and sustainable development in Haiti
- Partners in Health - Providing a preferential option for the poor in health care.
- Trans Africa Forum - Justice for the African World
- Bibliotheque du Soleil (Port-au-Prince) - Building libraries and museums for a just society.
- Center for Research on Women and Social Justice
- For My People Productions - Bridging the Town-Gown Divide
- Haitian Connection - Koneksyon Ayiti - a compassionate response to the poverty and misery that so many Haitians face.
- Haitian Studies Program - U-Mass Boston - Research, dissemination on Haiti and Haitians, conferences, discussions on Haitian policy, newsletter, Haitian Language Institute.
- KOSANBA - a Scholarly Association for the Study of Haitian Vodou
- The Leocardie and Alexandre Kenscoff Cultural Center (Mirebalais) - Promoting education, education, education..
- Multicultural Women’s Presence, Inc. (Miami)
- Madre - Demanding Rights, Resources and Results for Women Worldwide
- UCSB Black Studies Department - bringing together scholars from an array of disciplines that are concerned with the Diaspora and Africa.
- UCSB Feminist Studies Dept.
- UCSB Film and Media Studies
- UCSB Women’s Center - The Women’s Center uses a feminist approach to provide support, advocacy, resources and education to the UCSB community.
Groups Making a Difference
After seeing the film you may want to get involved in one of many groups doing great work to make a difference on women’s issues, Haiti, labor issues, or global justice. Here is a list of a couple, to get you on your way.
Justice For Women Worldwide
- Feminist Majority Foundation
- Global Fund for Women
- National Organization for Women
Justice for Women In the Haitian Diaspora
Justice for Women In Haiti
Justice for Workers Worldwide
- Clean Clothes Campaign
- Jobs with Justice
- No Sweat
- United Students against Sweatshops
Justice for Workers In Haiti
- Coordination Europe-Haïti
- Haiti Action Committee
- Haiti Analysis
- Haiti Reborn/Quixote Center
- Haiti Support Group
- Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
- Let Haiti Live
- RFK Memorial Center for Human Rights
- Zanmi Lasante/Partners in Health
- Bretton Woods Project
- Council on Hemispheric Affairs
- Debt Week
- Focus on the Global South
- Foreign Policy In Focus
- Global Exchange
- Jubliee - South
- Jubilee - U.K.
- Jubilee - U.S.A
Economic Justice and Economic Development
- Broederlijk Delen
- Lambi Fund
- Oxfam - Canada
- Oxfam - Great Britain
- Oxfam - Quebec
- Oxfam - U.S.
You can also download this additional database. It was current as of February, 2005. If you are a group working in Haiti and do not see your name on this list, you should contact the government Minister of Planning and Foreign Cooperation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is a list of printed resources - mostly books but some articles - that give further context and analysis about issues raised in the film.
- Beverly Bell (2001). Walking on Fire: Haitian Women’s Stories of Survival and Resistance. Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell University Press.
- Edwidge Danticat (2007). Brother, I’m Dying. New York, Alfred A. Knopf.
- Paul Farmer (2003). The Uses of Haiti. Monroe, Me., Common Courage Press.
- M. Catherine Maternowska (2006). Reproducing Inequities: Poverty and the Politics of Population in Haiti. New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press.
- Marie Racine (1999). Like the Dew that Waters the Grass: Words from Haitian Women. Washington, EPICA.
- Mark Schuller (2007). Haiti’s 200-Year Ménage-à-Trois: Globalization, the State, and Civil Society. Caribbean Studies 35(2): 141-179.
- Mark Schuller (2007). Invasion or Infusion? Understanding the Roles of NGOs in Contemporary Haiti. Journal of Haitian Studies, Volume 13, Number 2. Pages 96-119.
- Michel-Rolph Trouillot (1990). Haiti, State Against Nation: the Origins and Legacy of Duvalierism. New York, Monthly Review Press.
- Peggy Antrobus (2004). The Global Women’s Movement: Origins, Issues and Strategies. London, Zed Books.
- Kimberle Crenshaw (2001). “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics and Violence against Women of Color. World Conference Against Racism”. Durban, South Africa.
- Angela Y. Davis (1983). Women, Race & Class. New York, Vintage Books.
- Cynthia Enloe (2000). Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. Berkeley, University of California Press.
- Nandini Gunewardena and Ann Kingsolver (2008). The Gender of Globalization: Women Navigating Cultural and Economic Marginalities. Santa Fe School of American Research Press.
- Valentine Moghadam (2005). Globalizing Women: Transnational Feminist Networks. Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Chandra Talpade Mohanty (2003). Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Durham, N.C., Duke University Press.
- Richard Appelbaum (2005). Fighting Sweatshops: Problems of Enforcing Global Labor Standards. Critical Globalization Studies. Richard. Appelbaum and W. I. Robinson. New York, Routledge: 369-378.
- Piya Chatterjee (2008). “Hungering for Power: Borders and Contradictions in Indian Tea Plantation Women's Organizing.”. Signs 33(3): 497-505.
- Nancy Churchill (2004). “Maquiladoras, migration, and daily life”, “Women and Globalization”. D. D. Aguilar and A. E. Lascamana. Amherst, NY, Humanity Books: 120-153.
- Jane L. Collins (2003). Threads: Gender, Labor and Power in the Global Apparel Industry. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
- Mary Beth Mills. (2003). “Gender and Inequality in the Global Labor Force”. Annual Review of Anthropology 32: 41-62.
- Kevin Danaher (2001). Democratizing the Global Economy: the Battle Against the World Bank and the IMF. Monroe, ME, Common Courage Press.
- Susan George (1992). The Debt Boomerang. Washington, Institute for Policy Studies.
- Nandini Gunewardena and Mark Schuller, Eds. (2008). Capitalizing on Catastrophe: Neoliberal Strategies in Disaster Reconstruction. Lanham, Md. , Alta Mira Press.
- Naomi Klein (2007). The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism. New York, Metropolitan Books.
- Robert Schaeffer (2005). Debt Crisis and Globalization. Globalization. Lanham, Md., Rowman and Littlefield: 79-102.
- Amory Starr (2005). Global Revolt: a guide to the movements against globalization. London, Zed Books.
- Joseph Stiglitz (2002). Globalization and its Discontents. New York, W.W. Norton.