About Us

Jakmel Ekspresyon (JE) is a space of non-discrimination with a holistic approach to the lives of local Jacmelians. We believe that healthy lives and community needs creativity, knowledge and robust well-being to advance in a sustainable way. The Haitian staff are constantly looking at the gaps in their educational system to find areas of need.

As JE is an arts based organization, we mix many of our classes to include creative outlets with Science and technology. STEAM education has naturally grown out of this focus and many times allows students to be playful and exploratory with many of the subjects they learn. Mixing arts with the other subjects also allows students to share their new found knowledge with their community through performances and exhibitions. This pathway has encouraged citizenship and greater impact in the community at large.

Philosophy

Team

Susan Frame

Sue Frame is the Director and Co-Founder of Jakmel Ekspresyon. Her 10 years of experience as the Assistant Director of Instructional Resources at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has helped to develop Jakmel Ekspresyon as an educational resource facility for the greater Jacmel area. As Director her main role is to support and mentor the staff to build relevant programming. She also works with International volunteers and universities.

JULES Youdly

Youdly Jules is the Assistant Director of Jakmel Ekspresyon. He has his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and is a graduate of Cine Institute. Youdly is also photographer. His focus at JE is to work with our membership to define curriculum, find faculty and manage the day to day activities.

JEAN-PIERRE Peterson

Peterson Jean Pierre is the Volunteer Coordinator. He has been with JE since its conception and has filled a number of roles over the years. His current position entails helping foreign volunteers inter the country and helps them acclimate to a new culture to help them succeed in their work with the students. He is also our translator.

History

After the 2010 Earthquake that killed over 200,000 Haitians, 7 Haitians and 2 Americans came together to discuss the needs of Jacmel as a community. Having a space of non-discrimination was the greatest need in the community.

Before the earthquake, our dear friend and guiding light, Flores McGarrell, ran an art center in Jacmel. He died in the earthquake and 3 days after his passing, the original artists of that center asked all the marginalized people to leave. Flo had created a space of non-discrimination and now there was a gaping void in the resources available to all people. We sought to right that inequality both in memory of our friend and for the Jacmel community.

The founding members also set out some founding principles to help guide the new community center. We follow these guiding principles to this day as they have created the foundation for an amazing community.

  • Elevate the voice of the average Haitian
  • Maintain 70% Haitian faculty for the curriculum to retain the Haitian culture and identity
  • Develop a holistic approach to the student’s education
    • Skillsets
    • Professionalism
    • Mental health