Haitian Coalition

Building the Organization
7/21/2023 Sussex County Health Coalition.

The Haitian Coalition of Delaware (HCODel) is grateful for the support received from the Sussex County Health Coalition in building the organization’s infrastructure. The Haitian population has experienced substantial social inequity and considerable unmet needs, such as language barriers and a lack of resources, to name a few.

The mission of the HCODel is to advocate for the Haitian population in Delaware, ensuring that this community is adequately represented through social, educational, and economic development and ultimately help advance this community.

We envision breaking down silos and cycles of intergenerational poverty and infrastructural disenfranchisement by connecting, cultivating, and empowering our community to create systematic change.

Midline Oware and Keda Dorisca founded the HCODel, and currently serve as co-chairs of the organization. These two young women have an immense background in human services and, as Haitian descendants, are passionate about serving their community. Together in 2020, they gathered a group of like-minded individuals who formed a steering committee to help drive the development process and address ethnic disparities during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal was to increase awareness, testing, and vaccination in the Haitian community. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the already significant social issues facing this community. The HCODel wanted to ensure equity in COVID education efforts and decisions implemented in Delaware specific to the Haitian population.

In the upcoming year, HCODel’s goal is to convene stakeholders to establish a formal committee structure and conduct an in-depth landscape analysis of the Haitian population in Delaware. Over the past several decades, the Haitian community has grown exponentially in Delaware.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported 2019 that an estimated “1.1 million people of Haitian ancestry [live] in the U.S.” Although there is no significant data per county on the population size of Haitian residents in Delaware, according to Data USA, there are 6,418 Haiti residents in Delaware, with Haiti being the third most common birthplace for foreign-born Delaware residents.

Further, Haitian Creole is one of the most common non-English languages spoken as the primary language in households in Delaware – 4,740 homes. There has been an uptick in migration to Delaware due to the recently enacted Biden parole program launched in January of 2023 by the Biden-Harris Administration. The hope is that the landscape analysis will yield critical data that will help the HCODel and other stakeholders across the state better address the needs of this vulnerable community through collective impact measures. Stay tuned for additional updates!