Members of the Georgetown community gathered on Saturday evening in Bulldog Alley for Hoyas Helping Haiti, a benefit concert supporting the ongoing post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
The event was co-sponsored by Georgetown Radio, the Georgetown Public Policy Institute and What’s After Dark, and was the result of a strong network of friends and a few students’ desire to lend a hand to the victims in Haiti. Hamzah Sovif (GRD) came up with the concept of Hoyas Helping Haiti. His idea for a concert began to take off early on as he received support from friends in the music industry and Kedenard Raymond (GRD), a Haitian-American graduate student in the Master of Science in Foreign Service program.
With the help of Raymond, Sovif assembled a group of musicians for a free benefit concert. All of the proceeds were donated to Partners in Health, a medical and community building organization currently working on the ground in Haiti. For Sovif, the idea to host this concert simply made sense.
“I’ve been meaning to put on some sort of show in order to raise money for Haiti . and I’m currently studying international policy. The sort of stuff I’m doing overlaps with aid efforts, and a lot of my friends are musicians who’ve been doing benefit shows for Haiti and are first generation Haitians or from the Caribbean,” Sovif said.
Raymond said the show was her way of helping the Haitian people, whom she intends to aid firsthand this summer with the Red Cross in Haiti.
Some of the most notable performers included D-Lock the Phenom, a first generation Haitian- American hip-hop artist, and Jason Wright, known on stage as Blastphumis, a D.C. native and founder of the record label Phatal Industries.
Before the show, the world learned about a destructive 8.8 level earthquake that struck in Chile early Saturday morning. Organizers and attendees were moved by the latest events and desired to increase awareness for the struggle that continues in Haiti and now in Chile. The performers and attendees wanted to show that although Haiti has faded from the headlines, the Haitian people are still in need of a great deal of support. Sovif and Wright said they hope that the event will be the first of many future concerts that will help provide that support.
“I want to use this as a stepping stone to build off of . The basic idea is that we want to make this into a series to benefit the people of Haiti and other victims of disaster, like in Chile,” Wright said.”