Sonia Pierre and the Struggle for Citizenship in the Dominican Republic

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Sonia Pierre (1963-2011), mobilized communities in the Dominican Republic to advocate for citizenship and human rights for Dominicans of Haitian descent. As the director of Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitiana (MUDHA), she used legal challenges in domestic and international courts to defend the citizenship rights of first and second generation children born on Dominican soil. This panel highlights the activism of young women who are moving forward with Sonia Pierre’s work on behalf of Dominicans of Haitian descent, and addresses the question of how international pressure impacts efforts by marginalized groups to demand recognition. Panelists include Manuela (Solange) Pierre, Sonia Pierre’s oldest daughter, and the founder and coordinator of the Dominican Network of Young African Descendants (Red Dominicana de Jóvenes Afrodescendientes); Ninaj Raoul, the Executive Director of Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees; Monisha Bajaj, Associate Professor of International and Comparative Education at Teachers College; Minerva Leticia Solange, daughter of Sonia Pierre; and Miriam Neptune (moderator), video producer and director of Birthright Crisis, an award-winning documentary depicting the cycle of deportation and violence faced by Dominicans of Haitian descent.

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