Haitians in Brooklyn celebrate heritage with parade and festival

Members of Brooklyn’s Haitian community marched down Nostrand Avenue adorned in red and blue for a Haitian Flag Day parade. Community members proudly celebrated their Haitian Heritage with a parade, followed by a celebration at the Life of Hope Center, in anticipation of Haitian Flag Day on May 18.

As part of its 10th annual Haitian-American Heritage and Flag Day celebration, the nonprofit Life of Hope Center sought to increase vaccination rates among Brooklyn’s Haitian community.

To coincide with a daylong celebration featuring food and live music, Life of Hope partnered with the New York City Test & Trace Corps to host a mobile vaccine clinic. Vaccines are available by walk-in only from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. or until supplies last.

To encourage vaccination, Creole- and English speaking volunteers shared educational information about the vaccine with attendees, Life of Hope staff confirmed.

“There’s a lot of propaganda in our community,” Luxama said. “That’s why we have to do a counterpunch, educating people about the vaccine.”

Due to the one-time nature of the event, Life of Hope offered the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, staff confirmed.

The parade to the campus started at Nostrand Avenue and Clarendon Road, at 11 a.m.

Following the parade, there was a performing arts showcase from noon to 6 p.m, Life of Hope announced in a press release. Multiple musical artists, including Alan Cave, Jess Lamarre, Monvelyno and Mikaelle Cartwright are performed at the event.

Events for Haitian Heritage Month continue May 18 with The Haitian Times’ Unity in the Community forum.

Haitian-led organizations have planned other events to celebrate Haitian heritage during the month of May. New York City events include a concert series by Haiti Cultural Exchange and a Haitian Flag Day salute hosted by the Haitian American Law Enforcement Fraternal Organization (HALEFO) on May 18.