Candidate of Public Administration
Playing through orchestra for twelve years, the former violinist, Daniele Elizaire, is a female Haitian-American. Although her experience is occasionally discredited through the “But you're American...” argument, Daniele’s Haitian heritage is an integral part of her identity, as she grew up in a household run by two Haitian immigrants. Born and raised in North Orange, New Jersey, she is a trilingual—speaking English, Haitian-Creole, and Spanish. At MIIS, she represents a first generation American student in her second semester of the Development Practice and Policy program, pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. She was looking for a safe space to discuss issues and emotions around race, equity, power, privilege and solidarity. Allies at MIIS filled that gap—a place that welcomes her stories and understands the experiences she has had. In her opinion, an ally is an active listener who expresses empathy and exhibits a spirit of solidarity. Though she feels separate from the MIIS community, Daniele finds that some of those in the Springtensive make an effort to adapt to different work styles and acknowledge how others feel and think. Currently, Daniele is exploring the internal conflict between working on the issues she cares about at a local level and her desire to work at the international level. A “that could be me” philosophy relating to injustices faced by women and immigrants remains a motivating factor to continually address issues of social justice.