Jean D. Vernet, II is a long-time community activist and organizer who played a very visible and crucial role in mobilizing the Haitian American community in participating in the historic march of April 20, 1990 against the unscientific designation of Haitians as particularly susceptible to the HIV virus. Subsequently, Jean worked on issues of voter participation, civic education and was successful enough to be solicited to run for the city council of New York in 2001. His unsuccessful campaign was a high-water mark in the political participation of Haitian Americans in New York City.
He has a B.A. in Comparative Literature with a focus on the evolution of cultural Identity in both the diaspora and African literatures and a Master’s of Science in Community Economic Development from the Southern New Hampshire University.
Jean has an abiding interest in economic empowerment as key to community resiliency. He has worked in that field in New York City and Haiti, providing training in business skills, money management and assets acquisition to marginalized communities. He has also worked as a consultant to the Central Bank of Haiti, the Office of the President of Haiti and the Deputy Speaker Assembly of the State of New York.
Jean’s commitment to community empowerment has recently been focused exclusively on financial education which is a natural outgrow of his education. He is currently responsible for a Financial Literacy program in Brooklyn, New York while continuing to work as a consultant in the private sector.
Rajat Gupta and other founders use their personal experiences to strengthen marginalized communities. Rise-N-Step is an organization run by people with personal knowledge and experience with the criminal justice system, criminal justice reform, prison reform, re-entry, and recidivism reduction.
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