Author and professor Yanatha Desouvre is celebrating Father’s Day this year doing what he does best — inspiring people.
He’ll be with his family: wife Amy Desouvre, and their four children, daughters Reanna, 10; Danielle, 6; Jolie, 3; and son Antoine, 18 months.
The girls and their dad will be talking about writing from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Bookstore & Kitchen, 3444 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove. In 2013, Reanna and her dad wrote “Big Sister, Little Sister” together and it has become a top seller on Amazon.
“Reanna, our oldest, co-authored ‘Big Sister, Little Sister’ when she was about 4½. She dictated the words and I jotted them down. Danielle and Reanna co-authored the follow-up to ‘Big Sister, Little Sister,’ called ‘Proud to Be...’ which celebrates our blended Haitian and Jewish cultures,” Yanatha Desouvre said. He was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Amy Desouvre is Jewish and from Massachusetts.
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But writing is not all that Yanatha Desouvre does. He is also an information technology trainer at the University of Miami and a marketing professor at Miami Dade College Kendall Campus.
“I love the teaching side,” he said. “I love the light bulbs that come on in the students’ heads.”
He has written 10 books, some adventurous fiction, others more personal and inspiring. He said he gets his drive, compassion, empathy and work ethic from his parents, who raised him in New York after moving from Haiti.
Desouvre moved to Miami almost three years ago with his wife and children when UM offered him the IT Training job. Amy is an award-winning broadcast journalist known as Cierra on a weekend 102.7 The Beach radio show.
Perhaps his joy of life and energy are the result of learning to cherish every day at a young age.
In 1987, when Desouvre was 9, he and his dad went for haircuts at a Brooklyn barbershop. They were there during a holdup and shots were fired. His poem “Walk Through this Journey” tells the story.
“The barbershop shooting at a young age taught me that every moment of life is precious. Being positive, not ignoring the negative, but growing and choosing to learn from it, gives me a more balanced life. With all the negative things that come our way, I try to encourage others, including myself, to have a positive core.”
His latest book, “Revelations: Roads to Redemption,” has just been published. He taped a copy on his chest when he went skydiving to celebrate his 40th birthday.
“It's a great time to be alive and I am grateful for every moment,” he said. “There is a Haitian proverb that says, ‘Throw your rocks everywhere, they will land somewhere.’ I've been throwing rocks for quite some time. The future is bright.
“To me, as long as you are breathing, know that things can and will be better. We all can tap into the most powerful human force, hope. Through my writing, as a father, husband, friend, colleague, college professor, I commit to honing into that uplifting energy of hope every moment that I can.
“No matter what goes on, from surviving a daytime shooting in a barbershop, or much worse. Being a survivor of a life-threatening situation like that gave me strength,” Desouvre said.
“Right now, all people are survivors of something. Now, go out there and make a difference. Let others know that we are all more than just survivors. We are conquerors because we tapped into that force of hope.”
To learn more about the Father’s Day event and Desouvre’s other projects visit www.yanatha.com.
Latin American blind singers concert
This is an inspiring new event to support. The first Festival of the Blind singing “Melodias del Alma,” or “Melodies of the Soul,” will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 22, and Saturday, June 23, at the Miami Dade College North Campus Lehman Theater, Building 5000, 11380 NW 27th Ave.
The performers are blind people from countries in Latin America. The event is free and open to the public.
There are 450 seats in the auditorium, and organizers hope Miami residents will come out to fill those seats to support the singing representatives from their home countries.
The festival is a contest of singers from Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and Colombia. A Miami singer representing Miami Lighthouse for the Blind also will perform.
After regional contests, the winners are chosen for the final event. This is the first time it is being held in Miami, and it is the fulfillment of a dream, organizers said.
It is being hosted by the Lions Clubs International, and the Lions of District 35N that covers South Florida and the Bahamas. Executive Director of the Committee Eduardo V. Barrera will serve as Master of Ceremonies.
“We appreciate the support to our noble cause of helping the most needed and especially the sight impaired,” Barrera said in email.
At the event, the Latin American Blind Singer of the Year will be announced.
Barrera said there have been many logistical challenges to bring the singers here. But through the kind efforts of volunteers, and the donation by Miami Dade College of the venue and production crew, the show will go on. There will be a raffle at the event to help with the last financial gaps.
“Fortunately, we have found ample support by the Lions and the community in general, and we have been able to rent a house for the one week stay of the group, a van for transportation, an ‘in-house’ cook to take care of all their meals, including special foods that may be required,” said Betty A. Barrera, a native of Chile and the Centennial Governor District 35N, in an email.
“This is a beautiful, humanitarian and unique event,” she said.
If you have questions, call 786-546-0690 or 786-271-9152.