Welcome to our blog.


Proud Native of Cayes Jacmel, Marie Mercie Andris, is a graduate of the Artists Institute class of 2009-2011, and a rising star in film production.
Marie Mercie specializes in production, having worked on various film sets for titles including: Samy 2011 (PSI/Haiti), the Arcade Fire music video 2012 that would go on to win an award; Lalo’s House 2017; and Machan Fig la, which is the second feature film produced by Artists Institute graduates.
Marie Mercie began her love for cinema at a very young age. Apparently, she was also a bit of an entrepreneur. As a kid, she would run errands for her parents in town—for a small fee—until she saved up enough to buy a ticket to the movies.
When the Cine Institute opened its doors and offered training in Cinema, it was her dream come true. She enrolled and quickly rose to the top of her class, displaying clear leadership and strong opinions by using the power of cinema to educate women from her town.
Marie Mercie has always been very sensitive about the situation of women in Haiti, and more specifically, in her hometown. Many of her friends and neighbors had to drop out of their studies because of unplanned pregnancies. Marie felt it was possible to change the situation with hard work and leadership…
So, in 2016, she ran to become the Mayor of her town. Her dream was to empower young women through education and although she lost her first campaign, she followed through on one her election platforms. Marie has started a community of local art groups that have become an outlet for self-expression and a voice for women’s empowerment.
Marie Mercie is a role model for us all, and she is leading by example.

The Academy for Peace and Justice has taken the Academic Decathlon Championship, beating 15 secondary schools across Port-au-Prince!!! The student team made up of juniors and seniors had been practicing with their teachers for months in preparation for these matches and systematically took out schools as they made their way to the final match this past Friday. Our CEO, Marchelle Sellers, was in Haiti last week and got a chance to meet the co-ed team during her school visit, as they were making their final preparations – “you could see how excited and nervous they were”. They went on to win and we couldn’t be more proud. A HUGE celebration and WIN for the students and teachers and for APJ! Bon Bagay!!

Strong women come in many types, and at the Academy for Peace and Justice, that includes powerful Athletes. With a year of hard work behind them, a group of basketballers is taking their talent all the way to the Haiti Olympic Stadium!

Over the last year, the Academy has been ramping up its sports department because we believe that human security also means physical health, confidence, and a knowledge of one’s own strength. With the hire of a new basketball coach and former pro athlete, Coach Gethro, our students are jumping at the opportunity to show their skills and their teamwork.

Coach Gethro says: “Practicing a sport is very important it gives you a sense of responsibility and leadership and along the way your teammates become your family, you gain lasting friendships and a support system.”

Developing these skills is a huge asset benefits for the Academy. Many of our students live in dangerous neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, often with challenging family circumstances.

Over 61 young women between the ages of 11 and 17 have been training since September of 2018, and their hard work is paying off. The Academy’s Senior Team has already played 7 games against other highly competitive teams, winning 5 of the 7 matches, and scoring 72 points in just one game.

The Academy team is even attracting national attention! All eyes will be on Thesly Cadesca Jean, a local star and the MVP of the team, who was able to score 36 points in a single match. Sport fans are anticipating a great match as Thesly and her teammates travel to compete in the Haiti Olympic Stadium.

But our team is not based on any individual, but on teamwork, showing that each of our skills is stronger when we work together. For Coach Gethro, it is not just about teaching the students how to play basketball. The Academy for Peace and Justice sports program also gives them a space where they can have fun!

And the high number of participants attests to his success…

As Coach Gethro says: “I want to give everyone a chance to play, the realities of life of these young women are so difficult that to be on the basketball court is one of the moments that they enjoy the most.”

On the court, we are allowing our girls a chance to be themselves and carry that freedom with them into their daily lives.