Tonight from 7 to 9 p.m., Direct Relief and the UC Haiti Initiative will host “Haiti Today,” a free, public event at UC Santa Barbara’s Campbell Hall. The program includes a panel discussion about health in post-earthquake Haiti and a screening of the 29-minute Tribeca Film Festival “Best Short Documentary” special jury mention winner, “Baseball in the Time of Cholera.”
Panelists will reflect on the two year anniversary of the cholera epidemic in Haiti as well as its effects on the 2010 Haiti earthquake recovery efforts. They will analyze Haiti’s current and future health and development. At the end of the discussion, audience members will be able to ask questions of the panel. Following the film screening, the filmmakers will provide a short commentary on the background of the film, how it was made and what has happened since.
The panel will be moderated by Trevor Neilson, president of Global Philanthropy Group, who has advised Bill Gates, President Bill Clinton, Bono, Sir Richard Branson, and Howard Buffett. Direct Relief President and CEO, Thomas Tighe, will be the master of ceremonies.
- Bryn Mooser – Award-winning filmmaker and director of “Baseball in the Time of Cholera,” he serves as Haiti country director of Artists for Peace and Justice. Mooser lives in Haiti and spends part of his time in country building schools and cholera centers. He recently helped build APJ’s secondary school in Port au Prince—the only free secondary school serving the poorest areas. Before working in Haiti, Mooser served in the Peace Corps in West Africa for three years.
- Brett Williams – Direct Relief’s Director of International Programs and Emergency Preparedness and Response. Over the past six years, Mr. Williams has led emergency response efforts in some of the largest natural disasters in the world, including the Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, and the Haiti earthquake in 2010. He sits on the Business Utilities Operations Center for the California Emergency Management Agency, tasked with coordinating all medical donations for the State of California during a major emergency.
- Andrew MacCalla – Emergency Response Manager at Direct Relief, MacCalla has been the primary coordinator of Direct Relief’s Haiti response, managing on the ground efforts and collaborating with more than 100 Haitian health facilities, as well as the Haitian Ministry of Health. He holds a Master’s in Public Policy and Management from the University of Melbourne.
- David Darg – Filmmaker and Vice President of Operation Blessing International, Darg has spent the last 10 years responding to some of the world’s biggest disasters and wars, serving as a first responder and frontline photographer/writer for Reuters, the BBC, and CNN. His work has taken him to 30 different countries from Sudan to China, and he is currently based in Haiti. As a filmmaker, David has won numerous awards including a prestigious special jury mention at the 2012 Tribeca film festival as co-director of “Baseball in the Time of Cholera.”
- Mario Joseph – Human rights lawyer and co-director of Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, Joseph has practiced human rights and criminal law in Haiti since 1993. He has represented dozens of jailed political prisoners and has testified as n expert on Haitian criminal procedure before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and in U.S. courts, and served on the Haitian government’s Law Reform Commission. He spearheaded the prosecution of the Raboteau Massacre trial in 2000, one of the most significant human rights cases anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. The New York Times has called him Haiti’s most respected human rights lawyer.