In Recognition of Sonia Pierre
Activist and Voice of the Stateless
United Methodist Women joins defenders of human rights around the world in recognition of the life of Sonia Pierre, whose long dedication to the fight against injustice toward Haitians in the Dominican Republic advanced the cause and voice of these oppressed sisters and brothers. Her sudden death on December 4, 2011, at the age of 48 has shocked and grieved her family and her many colleagues and supporters.
Sonia Pierre was the founder of the Dominican-based Movimento De Mujeres Dominico Haitiana, the Movement of Dominican Haitian Women (MUDHA). In the months following the devastating Haiti earthquake, United Methodist Women was able to provide resources for emergency response through MUDHA that reached women and children directly, thanks to Ms. Pierre’s work. United Methodist Women regional missionaries Rosangela Oliveira (Latin America) and Serna Samuel (Caribbean) had direct and personal relationships with Sonia Pierre and MUDHA that facilitated our quick response. Our connections to the human rights efforts of MUDHA have been supported through Mission Giving over the past decade, and we bonded together even more closely while developing the response to the earthquake.
“The work that Sonia Pierre did within the community and between the community and systems of power is signal work in the area of grass-roots based justice and advocacy,” observed Harriett Jane Olson, deputy general secretary of the Women’s Division. “She spoke and lived her commitment. In her honor, we must find ways to guard the advances that have been made and further them, learning from her example and not resting on her accomplishments.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Ms. Pierre. United Methodist Women will miss working with this great leader.