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9854: A `Woman of the Year' (fwd)
From: leonie hermantin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A `Woman of the Year'
Ms. magazine honors prominent Haitian-American advocate
BY CHARLES RABIN
Marleine Bastien, one of South Florida's most visible Haitian-American
advocates, will be honored Thursday in New York by Ms. magazine as a ``Woman
of the Year.''
Bastien, the founder and executive director of Haitian Women of Miami, has
spent the past 18 months encouraging her community to vote in the
presidential election, pushing for an accurate count in the U.S. Census, and
matching up local families with Haitian refugees trying to make it to South
``We've been closely watching the twists and turns of the presidential
election,'' said Ms. editor-in-chief Marcia Gillespie. ``Time and again,
when we started making phone calls, Marleine's name kept turning up.
``Here's a person who came to this country and embraced the spirit of what a
democracy should be.''
Bastien, a longtime advocate of women's rights, now can place her name
alongside Jane Fonda, Venus and Serena Williams, and Yoko Ono, all honored
with her this year. The magazine started the award 20 years ago.
Congratulatory notes to Bastien have poured in all week from the Haitian
community. One group of supporters even plans to attend the Thursday event.
Bastien, busy Tuesday trying to help the 185 refugees towed to shore from
Biscayne Bay, was clearly honored, and surprised by her nomination.
``I am still in shock. I am overwhelmed, especially the calls, cheers. I am
trying to process the whole thing, what it means for FANM and the Haitian
women -- all women,'' she said. FANM is Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami Inc., or
Haitian Women of Miami, the group she founded and directs.
``Oh my God, this is like one step further to our work. For every young
Haitian-American woman coming up, it's something to look forward to, to be a
voice,'' said Bastien.
Herald staff writer Jacqueline Charles contributed to this story.
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