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'Because We Are' Signing with Author, Alumnus Ted Oswald Highlights Struggles in Haiti

January 30, 2013

“Because We Are,” a murder mystery set in Haiti, aims to demystify the complex and baffling story of survival in the troubled nation, Class of 2011 alumnus Ted Oswald said during a discussion and book-signing at the law school on Jan. 29.

The “brash and smart-mouthed” girl who serves as the novel’s protagonist was inspired by a child Oswald met while in Haiti in 2010, when he completed a co-op placement that enabled him to do human rights work.

The unfolding mystery challenges the “winner-take-all” values that the girl developed in Cite Soleil, a vast slum in Port-au-Prince, and opens her eyes to the ethic of ubuntu, “I am because we are; my well-being is tied up with the community’s well-being,” Oswald said.

Three years after the massive earthquake struck the struggling nation, 357,000 people are still living in tents, while just $215 million of $5.9 billion in international aid devoted to long-term housing has been disbursed, Oswald said.

All proceeds from the sale of the novel are going to charitable organizations that are doing good work in Haiti, Oswald said.

The event was sponsored by the Christian Legal Society.

Learn more about the book.