Residents Demand Answers After Director of Little Haiti Cultural Center Fired

The Little Haiti community came out in full force Thursday to protest the firing of Sandy Dorsainvil, a City of Miami employee and director of the Little Haiti Cultural Center.

Many of Dorsainvil's supporters say they just want answers as to why their beloved community leader was fired.

"We loved the work she did. She did a phenomenal job. I emphasize on phenomenal because that's why we're all out here together voicing our concerns, why she was fired. She had no reason why she was fired," said Dr. Brenda Juste, supporter.

The longtime director of the Little Haiti Cultural Center was fired last week. Her supporters said she was blindsided.

"There was no process of how to fire her. They just came and said, 'Get your bags and let's go,'" Juste said.

At Thursday's Miami City Commission meeting, many demanded an explanation from City Manager Daniel Alfonso, but he didn't budge, defending his decision. That almost cost him his job.

It got so tense that Commissioner Keon Hardemon got emotional asking for transparency and issued a motion to remove the city manager.

"I believe that how you treat the least of us is how you treat all of us and when you start to treat people in a way that I think is unfair, it touches me," Commissioner Hardemon said.

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado eventually stepped in saying he would veto any vote and Hardemon removed the motion. Alfonso didn't speak to NBC 6 Thursday but released a statement last week regarding the firing.

"Because of an ongoing review, I am not at liberty to discuss this matter. We thank Ms. Dorsainvil for her years of service to the City of Miami and wish her well in her future endeavors. We are currently looking for a new director for the Little Haiti Cultural Center."

Meanwhile, Dorsainvil's supporters will keep fighting for her to be reinstated in her job.

"We stand as one in support of young leader Sandy Dorsainvil and we will not give up, we will come back," said Marleine Bastein, Executive Director of Haitian Women of Miami.

Dorsainvil wasn't present at Thursday's meeting but there was one silver lining. For the time being, Commissioner Hardemon has hired her to work in his office in District 5. She will start Monday.

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