THE RAW PRESS RELEASE:
U. S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL01) will convene Â and host an â€œAll Chicago Unity & Ecumenical Observance for the Earthquake Victims in Haitiâ€ on Sunday, January 17 at 4 PM at the DuSable Museum of African-American History, 740 E. 56th Place, in an effort to galvanize support for relief efforts in Port-au-Prince.Â He will be joined by Haiti Counsul General Lesly Conde, Haitian Congress President Lionel Jean-Baptiste and ecumenical leaders from across the state, including many Haitian American clergy and leaders from different faiths.
Other participants include: Dr. Carol Adams, executive director, DuSable Museum, Friends of Haiti President Janine Raymond; Haitian Physicians Association President Dr. Serge Pierre-Louis; Rev. Wilfrid Feto of Eglise Missionnaire Evangelique du Nord, Father Brendan Curran, of St. Pius V Church, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, State Senator Kwame Raoul (IL-13), Jose Luiz Gutierrez, of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, United African Organization President Ali Kabba, Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church, Rev. Jean Andre Gerard Bingue of Bethesda Lutheran Church, Rev. Lumond Johnson of New Zion Christian Fellowship and Rev. Dumarsais Steide of the Church of God-South Haitian. In addition, Rabbi Capers Funnye of Beth Shalom Bâ€™nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation may also participate. A number of elected officials and business leaders will also be in attendance.
Rep. Rush, who has traveled to Haiti three times since joining Congress in 1993, said of the gathering: â€œWe must pray for lost lives and for those waiting to be found. All of America is coming together to respond to our friends in Haiti during this time of crisis. I encourage all of Chicagoans of all faiths to join us Sunday evening in our unified effort of prayer and support for our local Haitian American community and to give them encouragement during this period of unprecedented human suffering.â€
Since news broke of the powerful earthquake that rocked Haitiâ€™s capitol and has left tens of thousands of citizens dead or injured, Rep. Rush has called for the Obama administration to grant TPS, temporarily allowing Haitian nationals currently in the US to remain until this time of crisis has passed and Haiti is adequately able to handle the safe return of its nationals and supports a request to Â allow those who make charitable contributions to victims of the earthquake in Haiti to claima charitable deduction on their 2009 tax return (instead of having to wait until next year to claim these deductions on their 2010 tax return); and supports the of all forms of economic assistance to Haiti, including assistance for relief and reconstruction in the form of grants, and debt relief (1.2 billion in debt cancellation)
Sundayâ€™s event is co-hosted by the DuSable Museum of African American History, named for the Haitian explorer and founder of the city of Chicago . The ecumenical gathering is open to the general public and was designed as a way for Chicagoans to express their condolence and support to Illinois â€™ diverse Haitian community.