Karine Jean-Pierre Recounts Her Haitian-American Experience

Karine Jean-Pierre’s mother worried about her career choice until she landed a job in the White House. Reflecting on the concerns of Haitian parents about their kids having a “good job” was just one of the highlights of Jean-Pierre’s delightful conversation with CBS correspondent Vladimir Duthiers on Nov. 6.

The evening discussion and book signing was sponsored by NYU’s McSilver Institute and the Haitian Roundtable. Jean-Pierre and Duthiers both shared experiences of growing up as Haitians in the U.S. that had heads nodding in agreement in the capacity crowd. She detailed how her experiences as an immigrant led her to a decision to work in politics—despite her family’s misgivings.

Jean-Pierre, a political analyst for NBC and MSNBC, is the Chief Public Affairs Officer for MoveOn.org. She served as Regional Political Director for the White House Office of Political Affairs before becoming Deputy Battleground States Director for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

The book, Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work, and the Promise of America (Hanover Square Press), is s an inspiring memoir and call to action which chronicles her experiences—from growing up in New York’s Haitian community to working in the Obama White House and charting a path for others to help change the face of politics. She was inducted into the 1804 List of Haitian-American Changemakers by The Haitian Roundtable in 2015.

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The 1804 List: Recognizing Haitian Excellence

In November, the Haitian Roundtable (HRT) hosted the 1804 List of Haitian-American Changemakers and Ones To Watch in the United States at the New York Academy of Medicine in Manhattan. The event was co-hosted by Mona Scott-Young, CEO of Monami Entertainment and America's Psychologist, Dr. Jeff Gardere. Our Red Carpet host was Lionel Moïse, an Emmy-Award winning TV anchor and host.

The 1804 List, named in honor of Haiti’s year of independence, recognizes 25 Haitian-American Changemakers in the U.S. who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and success in their professions and have proven to be forces for change in their communities. They are unsung heroes who, through their deeds and accomplishments, help create a better understanding of Haiti and the Haitian community.

The 1804 List also recognizes five outstanding Haitian-Americans as our Ones To Watch, who represent our community’s innovators and rising stars from a wide range of industries. To date, the 1804 List has inducted over 160 leaders and created visual history of Haitians who are the embodiment of excellence in this country. They will be a source of pride for our community for generations to come.

A special thanks to our Honorary Event Co-Chairs Karen Andre, attorney and political strategist; Pascal Desroches, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Warnermedia Inc. and Joel Vilmenay, President and General Manager, WDSU-TV (New Orleans).

Click here for our video interviews with our 1804 List inductees. Our event program and sponsors can be found here.

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The 1804 List of Haitian-American Changemakers and Ones to Watch

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Civic Engagement

HRT provides opportunities for its members and the community at large to learn and engage on numerous civic issues, by hosting public forums on local elections, organizing dialogues on challenges women face in Haiti, and recognizing local leaders who support the community at the annual Haitian Independence Day Awards.
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Haiti Dialogue Series

HRT hosts the Haiti Dialogue Series, which serves as a forum to discuss current and relevant topics that impact the Haitian community. The Dialogue Series brings together distinguished thought leaders and accomplished practitioners for candid conversation on a variety of important issues.

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Kreyol Connection

HRT frequently sponsors Kreyol Connection. These networking receptions offer opportunities for professionals to celebrate Haitian culture after work, as they build lasting social bonds. The events are held at elegant venues throughout New York City and co-hosted by various high profile Haitian-Americans.
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