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Statement by Haitian Lawyers Association

Haitian Lawyers Association

Press Release

May 27, 2009

We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Father Gerard Jean-Juste, a man of integrity and courage, who by his grace, his generosity, his compassion, and his love has touched the lives of millions, regardless of color, class, race, and national origin. Indeed, he was a staunch advocate for civil rights, equality, racial and economic justice. His clarion call for freedom, democracy, justice, and equality in our mother land— Haiti has reverberated in all corners of the Haitian diaspora.

He was so much more than those images that are emblazoned in our minds. By his example, he has brightened our lives and has reinforced our unflinching commitment to promote the common good, cherish our common humanity, and protect the universal values of mankind.

This man has devoted all his life to the cause of the poor, the powerless, and the voiceless. He strived to do good, seek justice, and foster change in a world where injustice, poverty, racial discrimination, and inequality dominate many governments and institutions around the globe. Now that he is no longer with us, may his legacy serve as a moral compass to us all as we continue our journey in this world. Although his passing will inevitably cause deep sadness and anguish, it is somewhat comforting to know that his legacy will endure for generations to come.

The Haitian Lawyers Association including its members, staff, and affiliates express their deepest sympathy to his family and friends. We urge you to keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers in this time of sorrow. As much as we lament his passing, it helps to remember that his journey in this world has been one of great accomplishments and success. Certainly, he earned the right to be in the pantheon of reverential men. Thus, his passing, though heartbreaking, is also a celebration of the life of a “great one”. His passing affords us an opportunity to reflect as a community about the socioeconomic problems that have plagued our communities and mother land for decades. Let’s follow his foot-steps to meet our true destiny as a people, the Haitian People. Let’s embrace his legacy as our moral compass when dealing with one another. Let’s open our hearts to his teachings of brotherhood and fraternity. Finally, let’s us work together and reject division and discord to fulfill his vision.