Promoting Justice through Education along the Dominican Republic-Haiti Border
In May and June 2017, Mary Breen conducted research in the northern border area between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, primarily in the Dominican city of Dajabón, as part of an ongoing initiative of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service at Georgetown University. The open border dividing these two countries presents unique social, labor, human rights, and security challenges, as well as opportunities for commercialization and binational collaboration. Mary received support from her host institution, Border Solidarity (Solidaridad Fronteriza), which accompanies, trains, and facilitates the organization of marginalized people in the region—both Haitians and Dominicans. During her three weeks in the region, Breen learned about the complex border dynamic through her experiences and interviews with Jesuits, non-profit workers, school administrators, students, teachers, migrants, and community leaders. The comprehensive and interconnected nature of Jesuit education effectively fits the needs and circumstances of border populations with a formation in values through formal education, radio schools, and shelters for young Haitian migrants.