FANM celebrates 21 years of empowering women

Bastien is the founder and current Executive Director of Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami

Gigi Tinsley | 3/6/2014, 9 a.m.
“When it comes to Haitians, Marleine Bastien is one of the most passionate and articulate spokespersons in Miami,” Leroy Jones, ...
FANM Board of Directors

“When it comes to Haitians, Marleine Bastien is one of the most passionate and articulate spokespersons in Miami,” Leroy Jones, Executive Director of NANA and Tools for Change said. “From the early 90s until now, if a

Haitian boat filled with Haitians came to our shores, Ms. Bastien was there. After ‘wet-foot dry-foot’ started, she yelled even louder about the injustices. ”

Bastien is the founder, former president and current Executive Director of Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami, Inc. (Haitian Women of Miami). She is considered a true leader in the Haitian community of South Florida. She formed Justice Coalition for the Haitian Children of Guantanamo to advocate for Haitian children incarcerated there in the early 1990s and appeared on the Opah Winfrey Show “to lend expertise to a discussion of the devastating effect that prolonged detention at Guantanamo had on Haitian children.”

For the last 30 years, Bastien has championed many causes including: Immigration workers and women’s and gay rights. She continuously fight, passionately for affordable housing, access to health care, fair wages and immigration practices.

Bastien leads her people well

Bastien, along with others founded the Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition, Inc., an umbrella of organizations that advocate for the rights of Haitian refugees, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Haitian Neighborhood Center, Sant La and The Center for Haitian Studies.

She has worked on the boards of many organizations, including HRS now DCF, Kristi’s House, FIAC now Americans for Immigrants’ Justice, Human Service Coalition now Cata Miami, Jobs with Justice, The Haitian-American Historical Society and the Haitian-American Professional Coalition.

Bastien has received numerous awards, including being named in the Miami Herald in 1999 as one of the “Forty Special People to Watch in the next Millennium; “The Human Rights Award from Amnesty International, in 2000, The “Woman of the Year Award” from Ms. Magazine in 2001, the “Leadership for a Changing World Award from Ford Foundation in 2002, and in 2005, she was chosen as “One of the 35 Most Remarkable Women in the World” by Essence Magazine.

Bastien says she “will continue to dedicate herself to the betterment and the benefit of others in health, education, economic survival and social justice.”

She received the inaugural U.S. Human Rights Movement Builders Awards 2013. This award is given from the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) and is in recognition of her visionary and long-standing leadership in building and strengthening the human rights movement in the United States, in particular at the grassroots level.

FANM’s mission for the last 21 years is to empower Haitian women and their families socially, economically, politically and facilitate their adjustments to south Florida.

To celebrate FANM’s 21st Anniversary they are inviting the public to attend their White Ball on Sat., March 8 beginning at 7 p.m. The event will be held at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, 260 NE 59th Terr. All attendees are asked to dress in white. For more information call 305-756-8050.