On Sunday, March 23rd, community activists will gather at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem to celebrate the 22nd annual Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice. The award will be presented to Mario Joseph and Brian Concannon, Jr. in recognition of their work to promote human rights in Haiti.
Joseph and Concannon have been working to strengthen the rule of law in Haiti for the past two decades. Their journey began at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), the oldest and largest public interest law firm in Haiti. Together, Joseph and Concannon developed a victim-centered approach that made legal services accessible to poor Haitians for the first time. In its early years, BAI prosecuted high-profile political assassination cases. As time went on, it expanded its practice to represent victims of a wide range of human rights violations. In 2000, Joseph and Concannon led the prosecution against those responsible for the Raboteau Massacre. Their victory marked a watershed moment in the development of the Haitian justice system. via | Boston Haitian Reporter