Given that nearly half of Haiti’s population is under 25 years old and 80 percent of Haitians own a cellphone, Martelly’s affiliations with Haiti’s technorati and his decision to run a nimble campaign that carefully tapped the Haitian youth’s hunger for social media and mobile technology proved to be this election’s deciding factors. As blogger Giovanny Mehu declared in a recent post, “Mr. Martelly is one of the few President[ial] candidate[s] to be taking social media by storm, if not the first in the Caribbean.” While 70-year-old Manigat did conventional radio and TV appearances, Martelly not only matched her presence in these traditional mediums, but he also live streamed presentations and launched online and text-messaging campaigns. For example, in one promotion Martelly supporters on Twitter were encouraged to adorn their profiles with pink Twitter ribbons (or twibbons) bearing the slogan “Vote Tet Kale,” thus turning their pages into virtual billboards for Martelly’s campaign.
New Yorkers explain why they are coming together on January 12, 2011, the one-year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, to march and rally in solidarity with the Haitian people.
Teach In: Haiti
6:00 pm – Wollman Hall
65 West 11th Street, 5th Floor
On January 12, 2010, several cities on the island of Haiti, including its capital Port au Prince, were leveled by an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale. In the aftermath, the world has responded with an outpouring of both financial and emotional support. Media coverage has been round the clock, thus a country that had been long rendered as an afterthought, suddenly became the center of the world. January 12th’s earthquake is as reflective of Haiti’s past as its present, and on February 17th we will gather to explore the earthquake, its aftermath, and the most pressing question of all– how does Haiti recover from a disaster of this magnitude?