Reverend Myrlande Desrosiers, MPA, J.D., MDiv., founder of the Everett Haitian Community Center (EHCC), has been named “Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques” (Knight in the Order of Academic Palms) by the French government for her work in promotion of the French language and francophone culture. Created by Napoleon in 1808, and codified as an order of merit by decree in 1955 by French President Renè Coty, the Order of Academic Palms is bestowed to distinguished academics and teachers, and is one of the oldest civil honors given by the Republic of France. On behalf of the French Republic, Ambassador Philippe Etienne wrote “[T]his distinction is a testimony to the recognition of the French authorities for the action you have taken in favor of the promotion of the French language and culture in the United States.”
Rev. Myrlande DesRosiers is a graduate of the Suffolk University Graduate School of Government and Law and an ordained pastor, having studied Ministry and Pastoral Care at the Andover Newton Theological School. Additionally, she is a Fellow at the Tufts Health Literacy Leadership Institute and a frequent lecturer and collaborator at the Harvard University Department of Languages. “I started my work promoting Francophonie because it called me, it had been a passion for me since my childhood, and I felt a personal duty to endeavor to share the Francophonie with the world,” said Reverend DesRosiers.
Her work in promoting the French language and culture began in the 1990’s, and she has since made this mission one of the many pillars of EHCC’s work. EHCC’s Emerging Bright Stars Academy provides an extracurricular program for youngsters to connect with their francophone roots by learning the French language and exploring the diverse cultures that make up the beauty of the francophone community. EHCC has fostered a relationship with the French Consulate of Boston, and both regularly collaborate to organize events across Greater Boston to promote Francophonie.
EHCC became a citizen ambassador and for the first time brought the Consulate of France to Everett to celebrate the international month of Francophonie, marking a milestone in the movement to promote Francophonie in the city. In his remarks to the public during the first-ever celebration of Francophonie in Everett, French Consulate General Arnaud Mentré recognized Reverend DesRosiers for her work on an individual level and with EHCC regarding the promotion of Francophonie, stating “[W]e are very grateful for all you’ve done to promote the French language amongst the Haitian community here. Today the Everett Haitian Community Center is the central institution for Francophonie in Everett.”
Professor Karen Truman, PhD, of Harvard University’s Department of World Languages declared, “Congratulations! For the past three years, my French students at Harvard University have participated in a cultural exchange with the children of the Haitian Center under the direction of Mrs. Myrlande DesRosiers. It is truly an honor to be able to work together and to connect my students to a community of engaged learners in Boston.”
EHCC would like to congratulate Reverend DesRosiers on this incredible and well-deserved achievement. The future of Francophonie in Everett is bright, and we are proud to be a part of the global francophone community.