Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) is a non-profit organisation that encourages peace and social justice and addresses issues of poverty around the world. It serves the poorest communities in Haiti with programmes in education, healthcare, and dignity through the arts.
Committed to long-term, sustainable development in direct partnership with the Haitian people, APJ works to empower local communities and foster economic growth.
The organisation was established by Canadian director, screenwriter, and producer Paul Haggis who went to Haiti in 2008, where he met Father Rick Frechette, an American doctor and community organiser who had been working in the slums of Port-au-Prince for more than two decades.
Father Frechette and his Haitian team run the St Luke Foundation, and have built orphanages, medical clinics, a network of more than 25 primary schools, and a paediatric hospital that is the only free hospital serving the children of one of the largest slums in the Western Hemisphere.
Paul Haggis was inspired by meeting this team to found Artists for Peace and Justice, which supports the education and health programmes of the St Luke Foundation. He also helped to found the Academy for Peace and Justice, the first free secondary school to serve the poorest communities in Haiti. Since Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, the Academy has grown each year, reaching full capacity in 2016 with 2,800 students. The Academy for Peace and Justice has competitive sports programmes with boys’ and girls’ teams in basketball, soccer, volleyball, martial arts, dance, and tennis. Every student at the Academy receives a scholarship which includes full tuition, uniforms, and year-round access to St Luke’s medical services.
APJ also supports higher education and the growth of Haiti’s talented youth and new creative industries through the Artists Institute, Haiti’s first free arts and technical college. The Institute currently offers programmes in filmmaking through Ciné Institute and programmes in music production and audio engineering through its newest division, Audio Institute: We Are the World School of Music and Audio Engineering. Each division offers programmes in training, employment, and professional support. Every student at the Artists Institute receives a full scholarship.