Building Back Haiti Better: Reaching Hearts and Minds Through Video

Posted by Suzanne Hall
April 7, 2010

About the Author: Suzanne Hall serves as New Media Advisor in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

In the lead up to the Department of State co-sponsored Haiti Donors' Conference at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters on March 31, we knew we had to capture hearts and minds on the critical needs facing the Haitian people following the devastating earthquake on January 12. Our goal -- along with the Haitian government and the conference co-sponsors -- was to draw the world's attention back to Haiti. We sought to remind people that while the emergency phase may be behind us, we must all remain steadfast in our commitment to stand by the people and Government of Haiti as they build back better.

In diplomacy, we seek to build personal relationships that engage governments and peoples around the world. Today, people increasingly use connection technologies -- including digital tools like video -- to educate, listen and connect with one another. Citizens are watching and uploading hundreds of millions of videos a day online where they share stories, react to news, and voice their opinions. This reality has effectively provided us with a new digital means to reach diverse, cross-cutting populations around the globe. Using video, we knew we could visually portray the calamitous impact of the earthquake and the pressing need to build back Haiti better. We could also share this call to action beyond the walls of the UN headquarters in New York, reaching a global audience and asking them to be part of the effort to rebuild Haiti.

Led by Dan Taylor, a public affairs specialist in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, we conceived of, produced and edited this video, which ran on reel in the hallway before the UN General Assembly room throughout the day of the Haiti Donors' Conference on March 31. As delegates to the Haiti Donors' Conference approached the hall, they were confronted with images of the reality the Haitian people face following January 12. We captured the calm before the quake, the 35 devastating seconds that brought the population of Port-au-Prince to its knees, the international emergency relief response, and finally the ongoing challenges. After seeing the video, you come away with a sense of the strength and resilience of the Haitian people in spite of the serious hurdles that remain, specifically in the areas of housing, education and restoring commercial activity.

The Haiti Donors' Conference was a one day event at the UN on March 31. But through this video, we are able to scale the message about the need to work together to rebuild Haiti into the future and across geographic boundaries. We encourage you to check out the video, share it and provide your feedback.

Related Entry:Building Back Haiti Better: Donors' Conference Delivers

Comments

Comments

Manoj
April 7, 2010

Manoj writes:

Dear DOS,

Thank you for opening a blog. I would like to highlight the troubles faced by legal Employment Based Visa applicants. The wait for someone from India/China on EB2 is about 5 years, and EB3 is about 10-12 years.

During this time, we cannot take any promotions as that will require us to restart the Green Card Process, which costs the company around 10,000$ including attorney fees.

Please see if you can
a) Clear the backlogs by making Priority Dates Current.
b) Issue EAD for people who have a cleared I 140.

Thanks.

aravindaan
|
California, USA
April 7, 2010

Aravindaan in California writes:

While we respect the initiative taken towards helping Haiti, we think we need to remind you that there are people (long waiting immigrants) in this country waiting for the permanent residency for years and decades (LEGALLY). With all respect, please release the visa bulletin and make it current so we can all file for EAD and at least get a temporary relief from the severe backlog and release us from single-tied employers for years with same pay and same job title

My wife she done masters she is not able to work or contribute to the economy, because of the backlog and visa retrogression.

Kaushal
|
Illinois, USA
April 7, 2010

Kaushal in Illinois writes:

"While we respect the initiative taken towards helping Haiti, we think we need to remind you that there are people (long waiting immigrants) in this country waiting for the permanent residency for years and decades (LEGALLY). With all respect, please release the visa bulletin and make it current so we can all file for EAD and at least get a temporary relief from the severe backlog and release us from single-tied employers for years with same pay and same job title.".

Shankar
|
United States
April 7, 2010

Shankar in U.S.A. writes:

Can you create a Blog for Employment based backlogs?

Srikanth
|
Virginia, USA
April 7, 2010

Srikanth in Virginia writes:

While we respect the initiative taken towards helping Haiti, we think we need to remind you that there are people (long waiting immigrants) in this country waiting for the permanent residency for years and decades (LEGALLY). With all respect, please release the visa bulletin and make it current so we can all file for EAD and at least get a temporary relief from the severe backlog and release us from single-tied employers for years with same pay and same job title.

Thanks...!!

Pat
|
Idaho, USA
April 7, 2010

Pat in Idaho writes:

I appreciate and respect the decision to help Haitians. Humanity has to stand with humanity. At the same time humanity should also be extened to the people who are playing by rules and waiting for several years. Yes, I am talking about Employment based categories (EB2/EB3) who are stuck in statu quo for years and god knows we get our green card in this hell like situation of huge backlog. EB people are the highly educated and talented people who are in this great country legally, paying taxes from day one, and contributing to US economy. We are costantly neglected. Looking at the current backlog due to unavailability of vida numbers, we have no hope getting our green card for next 15 years. If that is the case, I will not get my green until before my retirement. When I think about this, my all hopes are fading away and life is like dark tunnel. I feel like I am getting penalized being legally here. Technically thinking, AOS backlog reduction must be the number one priority for DoS and USCIS.

Sam
|
California, USA
April 8, 2010

Sam in California writes:

Thanks for decision to help Haiti. At the same time, please eliminate existing AOS (Adjustment of Status, I-485) backlogs for hundreds of thousands of highly skilled immigrants who have followed the law and who have lived in the US for at least a decade.

Most of these well-educated and highly skilled immigrants want to contribute even more to this country but are forced to delay entrepreneurial plans and becoming homebuyers until the USCIS/DoS red tape and the uncertainty it creates comes to an end. New legal permanent residency approvals would speed up the economy and help inject a lot of fresh capital and new ideas when they are most needed.

The status quo is not helping retain some of the most-talented skilled workers, while it is hampering the economy and the lives of those law-abiding immigrants by penalizing them. It takes leaders like you to act and bring this unfair situation to an end. Recovering those visa numbers that were neglected by USCS will not increase the quota, it would just undo years of mistakes and negligence from the biggest federal agency in the country.

Anil
|
California, USA
April 8, 2010

Anil in California writes:

We have been waiting for years in Employment based EB-3 India/China category maintaining status in this tough economy and paying taxes on time and following all the rules. When will see the light? please let us know

kiran
|
Delaware, USA
April 8, 2010

Kiran in Delaware writes:

If haiti relief is humanity, what about the people living in united states for years legally,paying taxes and contributing to the growth of industies as well country?

Plese do make priority dates current atleast as a temperory relief to tens and thousands of legal immigrants.

Humanity should be unbiased, may god bless america.

kris
|
New York, USA
April 9, 2010

Kris in New York writes:

USCIS and DOS wasted VISA numbers because of their inability to perform. why can’t just recapture the lost visa numbers ? Won't it solve all the priority date problems ?

anurekha
|
California, USA
April 9, 2010

Anurekha in California writes:

Why don't you exclude dependents from the visa count for the employment based visa category? it solves most of the backlog.

Dinesh
|
New Jersey, USA
April 8, 2010

Dinesh in New Jersey writes:

Thanks for decision to help Haiti.I think we EB2/EB3 India/China are the hardest hit category with severe backlogs. We cannot see the light at the end of tunnel. We have been waiting for the greencards since many years at the same time paying taxes on time, following all rules and working in our jobs for long years with dedication and sincerity.

Please eliminate this backlog by making EB2/EB3 India/China current.

Kandy
|
New York, USA
April 9, 2010

Kandy in New York writes:

DOS should help employment based legal immigrants to get their green card. Wait for a green card for 10+ years doesn't make any sense. Is there a way you can pass an administrative memo and recapture wasted visa from prior years. Also more preference should be given to people who are already here paying taxes vs. people waiting in consular process.

Sai
|
California, USA
April 9, 2010

Sai in California writes:

I have been in the USA for 9years and My green card is still pending owing to Visa Number availability. It is unfortunate that only Indian Legal Immigrants dates are currently processed in June 2001. We are in mid of 2010. Please do help us with the backlog and pending issues. We did paid the higher taxes and supported the seniors and social security fund etc. Still we have not been helped in any way. God Bless America.

Steve
|
Virginia, USA
April 8, 2010

Steve in Virginia writes:

Thanks for helping Haitians which is noble, politically, and strategically correct . At the same time, please help eliminate existing AOS (Adjustment of Status, I-485) backlogs for the educated, tax paying EB folks who are stuck in the State Dept's EB Visa Queue, and which is based on unreliable demand data from USCIS. The very quality of the demand date has been causing hundreds of thousands of visa numbers to go waste each fiscal year. It is common knowledge that these highly educated folks are tomorrows employers creating thousands of new jobs that our country desperately needs. It is therefore imperative that the Dept of State address this issue at the earliest without further delay.

travesti
April 26, 2010

T writes:

thanks nic

.

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