The Atlantic

How Discrimination Nearly Stalled a Dual-Language Program in Boston

After years of advocacy, the city’s first Haitian Creole–English school opens in the fall.
Source: David Adame / AP

Geralde Gabeau, a longtime leader in Boston’s Haitian community, used to work at the Boston Medical Center and with medical students at Boston University. Several years ago, there was a shortage of interpreters at the medical center to assist patients speaking Haitian Creole. Gabeau, turning to young adults in her own community, found few people had the necessary skills. Yet her university students spoke the language.

“There are so many white students willing to go to Haiti and learn the language,” Gabeau said. “I was convinced something had to be done.”

Gabeau has been part of a committed group of Haitian leaders who have spent much of the

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