Remembering Little Haiti pioneer Yves Savain

social advocate, Yves Savain

Haitians mourn loss of social advocate Yves Savain

Haitian back home and across the Diaspora are mourning the loss of longtime social advocate, Yves Savain, who recently passed away in Baltimore, MD at 65. Savain was a longtime advocate for Haitian and the Diaspora, particularly in South Florida, as the head of numerous organizations.

In the early 1980s, he served as the executive director of Haitian Task Force of Miami, which sought to bring both economic and cultural development for the then rapidly growing community. One landmark project was launching the design contest for what would now be known as the Caribbean Marketplace. Savain also advocated for many social issues then affectin the community, from fighting for the right of undocumented immigrant students to access public education to ending the federal government’s band of blood donations from Haitians, at the height of the AIDS scare.

Following the 2010 earthquake, Savain also served as executive director of Haiti’s CTMO-HOPE, which helped facilitate U.S. investment partnerships and compliance to boost the local economy. Under Savain’s guidance, the agency also launched a design competition to rebuild the Cathedral Notre Dame de l’Assomption in Port-au-Prince, after being severally damaged in the earthquake.

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Savain’s life will be celebrated in a memorial Mass at 10 a.m. Monday at the Cathédrale Notre Dame de l’Assomption in Port-au-Prince by his friend, Port-au-Prince Archbishop Guire Poulard. Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski has also confirmed that a mass will be celebrated in his honor in Miami at a later date.

Savain leaves behind his wife Genevieve Auguste and three sons Harvey, Travis Harvey and Gregory.

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