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Carnegie Corp selects two Haitians among 2022’s “Great Immigrants”


Overview:

Two Haitian-Americans, Fabienne Doucet and Karl Racine, were selected by the Carnegie Corporation for its annual Great Immigrants recognition.

Two Haitian-Americans, Fabienne Doucet and Karl Racine, were selected by the Carnegie Corporation as “Great Immigrants” among the 2022 group of naturalized American citizens it recognizes annually. 

This year, the listing honors 34 individuals from 32 countries and a wide range of backgrounds, including local leaders and community-based advocates. 

“They have enriched and strengthened our nation and our democracy through their contributions and actions,” officials said in the July 4 announcement.

This is the Carnegie Corporation’s 17th annual recognition of outstanding immigrants, made as a tribute to the legacy of Andrew Carnegie, who immigrated from Scotland. He, like the Great Immigrants, found success as an American and gave back to his adopted country.

Doucet serves as executive director of New York University’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools. 

Born in Spain and raised in Haiti, Doucet came to the United States when she was 10. The interdisciplinary approach to her work — examining how immigrant- and U.S.-born children of color and their families navigate education in the United States — has been influenced by her own identity, according to her NYU bio.

Doucet is active in the Haitian community. The Haitian Times recently quoted her about the ongoing diplomacy in Haiti. She said there are parallels between Haiti’s refusal, for many years, to teach in its native Creole language and the present diplomatic impasse. 

Racine is the attorney general of the District of Columbia, a role he’s occupied since being elected in 2015.

Racine’s family fled the Duvalier regime from Port-au-Prince and settled in Washington, D.C. when he was 3. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he captained the basketball team. 

Racine pursued a law career after he learned about the civil rights movement and the role that lawyers can play in helping society’s most vulnerable members. He worked as a public defender, served as an associate White House counsel and was the first Black managing partner at a top-100 law firm. 

He recently filed a civil rights lawsuit against the D.C. Housing Authority for forcing hundreds of residents with disabilities to wait years for accessible housing.

“Once you have the opportunity to lead, seize it,” Racine said, addressing his own experiences as an immigrant at NYU’s Robert Abrams Public Service Lecture. “And always understand that you can actually impact fairness and equality and equity.”

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