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Haitian Proud Series - Marleine Bastien

As part of Team Haiti-USA's mission to champion Haitian culture, we are launching a series we call "Haitian Proud" to celebrate Haitians around the globe making a difference. Haitians are visionaries and exemplars of excellence, and our stories deserve to be told. #HaitianProud#HaitianFyè

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Marleine Bastien - Haitian Proud - Team Haiti-USA

First in our series, is Marleine Bastien. Marleine Bastien is a graduate of Florida International University. She obtained a master’s degree in Social Work in August 1987. She became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 1999. A Trained Paralegal, she is founder, former president, and current Executive Director of Family Action Network Movement (FANM), an important group that has provided desperately needed services not only to Haitian women and their families but to the community at large. She is the founding member and former Chair of the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), and Vice-Chair of the Haitian American Grassroots Coalition. She is a lifetime member of the NAACP.


Over the course of 30 years with FANM, Marleine has worked on many important campaigns including; living wage and human rights ordinance (which she co-chaired with Mayor Alex Penelas), small class size, the Children’s Trust (treasurer and spokesperson for the Black Community with Congresswoman Carrie Meek) The Haitian Immigration Refugee Fairness Act of 1998, TPS, the Dream Act, and Comprehensive Immigration Reform to name a few. She co-chaired the “Hard to Reach Population” census campaign with the late Ira Clark in 2000.


An enthusiastic and articulate spokesperson, she formed the "Justice Coalition for the Haitian Children of Guantanamo" and appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to lend her expertise to a discussion of the devastating impact that prolonged detention at Guantanamo had on Haitian children in 1995. She is also a founding member of the Haitian American Grassroots Coalition, the Haitian Neighborhood Center (Sant La), the Center for Haitian Studies, The Florida Immigrant Coalition, The Haitian American Historical Society, Jobs with Justice, The Girl Advocacy Program (GAP) among others. She served on the board of numerous organizations (in most cases as a founding board member) including: HRS now DCF, Catalyst Miami, Americans for Immigrant Justice, Kristi’s House, The Haitian American Historical Society, Haitian American Professional Coalition, and the North Miami Education Board. Over the course of 30 years, Bastien has worked on many important campaigns, including: The Haitian Immigration Refugee Fairness Act of 1998, Temporary Protected Status, The Dream Act, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, The Living Wage (1999), The Human Rights Ordinance (2002), The Children’s Trust campaigns (2002 and 2008). Marleine has been recognized with many honorable awards, we’ll name only a few: The Green Family Leadership Award ( 1996), “In The Company of Women Award “(1998) , She was named in the Miami Herald in 1999 as one of the "Forty Special People To Watch in the Next Millennium, “Social Worker of the Year Award” , Miami-Dade County (2000) , the "Human Rights Award" from Amnesty International (2000) , The Distinguished Service Medallion and Torch Award from FIU (2000), the "Ms. Women of the Year Award" 2001, The Heroine of the Year Award by the Etha, Phi, Beta, Sorority , Inc. (2001), WED Dubois Leadership Award, Haitian Lawyers Association (2002), The Red Cross Community Service Award (2002), The Leadership For a Changing World Award Ford Foundation ( 2002), Women Who Make A Difference Award - Miami Law Women (2003), Immigrants’ Rights Award - NAACP (2018), Women Who Shine - The League of Women Voters of Miami Dade County (2019).


Upon the invitation of Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), Marleine testified in front of Congress in 2007 on the importance of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Additionally, she received Congressional Recognition from Congresswomen Corinne Brown (2008) and Frederica Wilson (2012), Senator Bill Nelson (2005). In 2020, Marleine was a strong voice during Black Lives Matter demonstrations in South Florida. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Marleine worked with the most vulnerable communities providing groceries, hot meals daily, mental health and economic resources. Alongside the FANM staff, Marleine Bastien serves 10,000 families per year through direct services such as mental health, domestic violence intervention, adult education and financial literacy, access to health care, immigration services, after-school, youth leadership programs and community economic development. Marleine has dedicated herself to the betterment and the benefit of others - in health, education, economic survival, and social justice. She consistently stands tall in the face of challenges and is always seeking fairness for the common good of our community- especially the women among us. She truly has made a difference.

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