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Media Advisory

U of M College of Design faculty and American Refugee Committee president to discuss key insights gained from recent Haiti trip

Support for victims of Jan. 12 earthquake needed now more than ever, ARC president says

What: Media availability with U of M College of Design faculty and American Refugee Committee President Daniel Wordsworth
When: 8 a.m. Friday, May 14. Media are asked to RSVP to or (612) 626-1720 if planning to attend and to arrive by 7:50 a.m.
Where: 225 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St. S.E., Minneapolis. Parking is available in the Church Street Garage, directly across the street from Rapson Hall: 

Contacts: Laura Weber, College of Design,, (612) 625-6566
Therese Gales, American Refugee Committee,, (612) 221-5161
Jeff Falk, University News Service,, (612) 626-1720

May 12, 2010

American Refugee Committee President Daniel Wordsworth will join three University of Minnesota College of Design architecture faculty at 8 a.m. Friday, May 14 to discuss key insights gained from the professors recent trip to Haiti to assess camps for people displaced by the Jan. 12 earthquake. The three faculty visited Haiti April 16-20 as volunteers with the Minneapolis-based ARC.

Over the course of several days, professors Leslie Van Duzer, Ozayr Saloojee and John Comazzi assessed the shelter and community living conditions of three camps managed by the ARC.  They observed the overall camp structures and learned about access to water and sanitation, shelter, health care, child-friendly spaces, recreational areas and provisions for temporary educational facilities.

Based on their observations, the professors are currently consulting with the ARC on how to best help displaced people rebuild their communities.

There are officially 1.3 million people displaced by the magnitude-7 earthquake. Hundreds of thousands of people currently live in settlement camps that evolved with little or no planning. These Haitians live in tents or makeshift shanties, a condition that is further threatened by the onset of the rainy season.

“The rainy season will bring mudslides, floods and a rapid spread of disease,” said Wordsworth. “Shelter is a critical issue, and we’re pleased to partner with the University of Minnesota to look at ways to provide safe and healthy living conditions for the people of Haiti.”

For more information about the ARC and its efforts in Haiti, visit

Tags: College of Design

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