"I am thankful to receive this recognition for my work on behalf of the Haitian people, who have maintained a special place in my heart over a number of decades," said Rangel. "I strongly believe that America must continue to lead an aggressive, coordinated effort to aid Haiti's ongoing recovery. We must continue to extend tax breaks and encourage trade and development that will not only generate jobs, but also to create the kind of local and global partnerships that will empower Haitians to break the cycle of poverty."
The HELP Act of 2010 provides important protections for products considered sensitive by American textile producers and improves incentives to use U.S.-origin inputs. This legislation helped usher the development of the 600-acre Caracol Industrial Park in Northern Haiti, announced last month by Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton and former President and U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton during their visit to the Caribbean island.
Rangel also brought the Ways and Means Committee together to extend the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) and the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE) through September 30, 2020.
"Many challenges still remain in the full recovery of Haiti. But there are many signs of hope, especially in the work of countless NGOs and volunteers who stayed when television cameras turned away. We must not lose faith in the resiliency of the Haitian people. We cannot forget Haiti now."
Following the devastating Haitian earthquake in 2010, the Luce Foundation began in order to lay the groundwork for the first international, English-speaking university campus in Haiti known as The International University Center Haiti ("Uni Haiti") to serve a wide range of foreign efforts at building or rebuilding higher education institutions and programs to serve Haiti.
Reports say that as many as 45% of the American people donated to the relief effort in Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. Rangel authored, introduced, and helped unanimously pass a bill that allowed millions of these American families to claim charitable tax deductions on their 2009 tax returns instead of having to wait until they filed their 2010 returns.
The award was presented to Congressman Rangel at the sold-out Second Annual Black Tie Gala hosted by the foundation in conjunction with the United Nations SRC Aux Antilles Club at Bohemian National Hall on Manhattan's Upper East Side last week. It was co-sponsored by the United Nations Missions of Haiti, Cape Verde and the Czech Republic. Funds were raised in support of Phase I of the International University Center Haiti as guests danced to the beat of Haiti's renowned orchestra Tabou Combo.
In his remarks presenting the Foundation's 2012 Humanitarian Award to Mr. Rangel, Jim Luce stated, "Following my first trip to Haiti in 1999 I met Congressman Charlie Rangel and was inspired by his charisma and can-do attitude. Charlie cares deeply about the people of New York City and the world – particularly Haiti.. Charlie is quite simply Haiti's #1 supporter in the U.S. Congress."
The mission The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation, a N.Y. State corporation, is to support young global leadership impacting positive social change. Goals of the Foundation include spotlighting effective Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) displaying best practices to achieve maximum social impact with the least administrative overhead possible. One of the primary projects of the Foundation is Uni Haiti.
The International University Center Haiti is a non-sectarian institution formed by the foundation on January 12, 2011 – the first anniversary of the catastrophic 2010 earthquake with its epicenter near the town of Léogâne. The first program of Uni Haiti was its Leadership Training Program held for fifty students in English in partnership with École de la Rédemption. The first development stage will be building a computer center and retrofitting the water and sanitation facilities of its partner institution, Ecole de la Rédemption, a 750-student school from grades 1-10.
Jim Luce is a former banker, as well as writer, publisher, and international development specialist. Luce founded Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW) in 1998. Luce called for ending orphanages globally, to be replaced by his organization's Family Care model, in 2008. The same year, Luce launched The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation. Based for three decades in New York City, he was baptized James Jay Dudley Luce in 1959. For his work with orphans after the Tsunami in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, Luce was awarded the Certificate of Congressional Recognition in 2005 and 2007.