Press Release: Haiti & Democracy

Media Contact: 
Paul Nugent, Executive Director
Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council

Laurent Dubois presents, “Haiti & Democracy”

This Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council and Sister Cities Essex Haiti hybrid virtual and in-person meeting takes place on Tuesday, September 14 at 6 p.m.

Waterford, CT (Sept. 1, 2021) – The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) and local organization Sister Cities Essex Haiti (SCEH) announced today that Laurent Dubois is to speak on “Haiti & Democracy” at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. This presentation will immediately follow SECWAC’s Annual Meeting at 5:30 p.m., and takes place both virtually on Zoom and in person at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. Registration is required to attend the in-person meeting, as attendance has been capped to ensure social distancing. 

How can an understanding of the broader history of Haiti help us understand the current political impasse in the country? In this talk, Dubois will offer some guideposts for understanding the long-term history of the country, focusing on the complex political and cultural dynamics that have shaped the present. He will discuss how and why the relationship between Haiti and the U.S. has developed as it has, the impact that relationship has had on the way North Americans often see Haiti, and how to move beyond certain kinds of limited and damaging interpretations towards a fuller, more capacious understanding. The goal of the presentation, and the discussion to follow, will be to map out productive ways of engaging with Haiti’s history and culture, and thinking collectively about the future of the U.S.-Haiti relationship. 

Copies of DuBois’s 2013 book “Haiti: The Aftershocks of History” are available to purchase via local bookstore Bank Square Books.

Dubois’ presentation is part of the SECWAC 2021-22 monthly Speaker Series. To attend in person, register in advance at or tune into Zoom at for the meeting on September 14 at 6:00 p.m.


Laurent Dubois’ compelling book, Haiti the Aftershocks of History, traces the history of Haiti from pre-slavery days through the revolution, and the following eras up to this century. He is a specialist in the history and culture of France and the Caribbean, focusing mainly on Haiti.

He has received  The Frederick Douglas prize as well as Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships for his writing.

At Duke University for the past decade, he was professor of history and also co-chair for the Franklin Humanities Center’s Haiti Laboratory for 3 years.

He is now at the University of Virginia as a co-director of the Democracy Institute. Learn more about his recent appointment as co-director here.


SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange at least 8-10 meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings present a range of topics in international affairs, foreign policy and diplomatic history, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.  SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policymakers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at


CALENDAR LISTING: Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) and Sister Cities Essex Haiti (SCEH) present Laurent Dubois on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 6:00 p.m. in person or via Zoom. Free for members; $20 for non-members. Registration is required in advance. Annual membership of SECWAC is $95; $35 for young professionals under 35, and free for students and educators; corporate membership is available for $1,100 (contact SECWAC for details).


Mission Statement

The mission of the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) is to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs by study, debate, and educational programming, primarily through a Speakers Series of 8 to 10 monthly meetings.