Haiti and the Dominican Republic have a troubled history. However, there are pockets of people who are trying to heal past hurts through community engagement. One person is Clarens Descorias, a brilliant Haitian young man who founded the PEA Foundation in the Dominican Republic. He helps with teaching English to Haitians and Dominicans as well as other service projects.
During my time with him in March 2017, I found out that he loves hip-hop and is a huge Kendrick Lamar fan. At the end of our conversation, we both agreed that we should find a way to use hip-hop to unite people. With guidance from youth in the community, we decided to move forward with building a recording studio. When I returned to the US, I started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to build the community-based recording studio. https://www.gofundme.com/hiphop-heals-hdr
I traveled back to the Dominican Republic in July 2017 to deliver the equipment and have a grand opening for the community-based studio. Clarens has been coordinating all activities for the studio. He directed the acquisition of the property, remodeling of the space, and the construction of the recording booth. He has also been reaching out to the local community to promote the #HipHopHeals Studio.
We will keep you updated on the progress of the project.
Dr. Don C. Sawyer III