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Invest in the Culture, Sly Toussaint, Founder of Centre Toussaint

There's something about Haitian culture that makes it worth bragging about. Could it be the eccentric beats of our konpa and racine music causing an arrhythmic sway in our hips or the way our Creole slips off our tongue? Well, Centre Touissant is an education-focused organization whose mission works to explore all the dimensions Haitian culture has to offer.



The organization connects people with the Haitian culture through education on speaking Creole, dancing, history, food, culture, and other aspects tied to Haiti.



Centre Toussaint Founder
Sly Toussaint, Founder of Centre Toussaint

Sly Touissant, the founder of Centre Toussaint, tells us that her organization's birth was inspired by the song NICE by Jay-Z and Beyonce. "In the song, Jay-Z says, "What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?" My goal has always been to help other people succeed. I thought about what contributed to the person I am today, and it was my 7-year stay in Haiti. I got to know myself, my family history, and my country's history. Being connected to my roots has helped me develop strength and confidence in who I am. That energy I bring with me in every room I enter. This is something I wish to be able to give to every Black kid." she expresses.


Centre Touissant provides services that have a life-changing impact on the Haitian diaspora. " I connect people of all ages with the Haitian culture in a way that they get to know as much about it as possible. As a result, people leave the classes with a high sense of self-esteem, feel empowered, and have a connection with Haiti even though they are not on the soil." she shares.


On the other hand, Sly realizes that there is a challenge in reaching people initially. "Many people think they already know enough or do not need to know anything because it won't get them anywhere. It can be hard to get them to see the importance of living the culture daily. If you never speak kreyòl at home, no matter how much you love Haiti, your kids will not know kreyòl. If you never listen to Haitian music or watch Haitian people dancing, where will our kids develop a passion for our own rhythms? I think it's crucial for one's soul and even more so for transmission to the other generations."


Regardless of the challenges, Sly says people will always be at the core of her inspiration. "When they see the value in our culture, put their money and time

where their mouth is; when they come with onè and leave with respè. I just love it. It's a never-ending cycle of inspiration."


Follow Centre Touissant's Youtube channel, Instagram, and website to stay connected on future programs.

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