Jakmel Ekspresyon (JE) is a space of non-discrimination, with a holistic approach to the lives of local Jacmelians. We believe that healthy lives and community needs creativity, knowledge and robust well-being to advance in a sustainable way. The Haitian staff are constantly looking at the gaps in their educational system to find areas of need.
As JE is an arts based organization, we mix many of our classes to include creative outlets with Science and technology. STEAM education has naturally grown out of this focus and many times allows students to be playful and exploratory with many of the subjects they learn. Mixing arts with the other subjects also allows students to share their new found knowledge with their community through performances and exhibitions. This pathway has encouraged citizenship and greater impact in the community at large.
Sue Frame is the Director and Co-Founder of Jakmel Ekspresyon. As Director her main role is to support and mentor the young adults to build programming that is relevant to the local community. She also takes the lead on developing the digital programming and working with International volunteers and universities.
JEAN PIERRE Peterson
Peterson Jean Pierre is the Assistant Director. He has been with JE since its conception and has filled a number of roles over the years. He manages staff and faculty, class registration, translations and is our computer repair specialist.
Candio Romancite is the Administrative Assistant. Candio documents all of our activities, finds faculty and helps the staff wherever it’s needed. He has been coming to JE since 2015 for classes like screen printing, video editing, photography and English. He volunteered in JE for four years and cares deeply about the community.
After the 2010 Earthquake that killed over 200,000 Haitians, 7 Haitians and 2 Americans came together to discuss the needs of Jacmel as a community. Having a space of non-discrimination was the greatest need in the community.
Before the earthquake, our dear friend and guiding light, Flores McGarrell, ran an art center in Jacmel. He died in the earthquake and 3 days after his passing, the original artists of that center asked all the marginalized people to leave. Flo had created a space of non-discrimination and now there was a gaping void in the resources available to all people. We sought to right that inequality both in memory of our friend and for the Jacmel community.
The founding members also set out some founding principles to help guide the new community center. We follow these guiding principles to this day as they have created the foundation for an amazing community to thrive in.
- Elevate the voice of the average Haitian
- Maintain 70% Haitian faculty for the curriculum to retain the Haitian culture and identity
- Develop a holistic approach to the student’s education
- Mental health