Boukman Eksperyans, Haiti's first Grammy-nominated group, and the University of Fondwa, Haiti's first rural University, will join together to launch the 2006 Solidarity Tour, traveling to at least 10 American cities this summer to raise awareness about, and support for, the University of Fondwa. The tour will also be used as a medium through which to promote, exhibit and sell the forthcoming documentary "A Road to Fondwa."
Boukman Eksperyans pioneered the roots music movement in the 1980's en route to becoming the first Haitian band ever to be nominated for a Grammy. They are still the premiere roots band in the country and, due largely to their political commentary and social importance, possibly the most famous band in Haitian history. Roots music (racine in Haitian Creole) is a high-energy fusion of rock and reggae with African rhythms, and it has gained Boukman renown worldwide. They have played to audiences in the Caribbean and throughout North America, Europe, Japan, and Africa, both as a headlining act and alongside groups like The Fugees, Oumou Sangare, Femi Kuti, and Baaba Maal.
The University of Fondwa 2004 was founded in 2004 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Haiti's independence. Its goal is to train tomorrow's leaders in the sustainable development of Haiti. According to the World Bank, 84% of Haitian professionals leave their country in search of better payment, the third highest wage-related migration rate in the world. To combat this problem, the University of Fondwa 2004 (UNIF) trains professionals in Agronomy, Veterinary Medicine and
Micro-Finance who will be dedicated to working for the development of their own communities in Haiti. The first Haitian University to adopt Haitian Creole as its primary language, UNIF hosts students from rural communities all over the country. However, as the University is still a fledgling institution, it will need the financial support of generous donors in order to make its ambitious goals reality. The Boukman–UNIF Solidarity movement is aimed at getting the word out and raising support for this revolutionary educational institution. The month-long tour begins June 23rd at SOB's in New York City and includes stops in Boston, Philadelphia, DC, Durham. Tampa, Miami and Chicago.
Click here for tour dates.