Caribbean Diaspora Takes To Capitol Hill June 21-23rd

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Published on June 15, 2017 with No Comments

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The United States-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act of 2016 (HR 4939), which was signed into law by President Obama in December 2016, will form the backdrop of the 19th Annual Caribbean American Legislative Forum, scheduled for JUNE 21st-22nd on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.

The Two-Day Forum takes place under the auspices of Senator Marco Rubio on the Senate Side on June 21st; and Representatives Barbara Lee, Yvette Clarke and Stacey Plaskett on the House Side on June 22nd.

The Law — Public Law 114-291, prioritizes the United States-Caribbean relationship and requires the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to submit to Congress a multiyear strategy focused on outreach to the countries of the Caribbean and diaspora communities in the U.S., improving energy security, countering violence, ramping up diplomacy, and other priority areas.

“This Law is an opportunity for us of Caribbean diaspora to take hold of with both hands. This is the first time that a Bill has linked U.S.-Caribbean policy to the Caribbean Diaspora – and it signals a great opportunity for Caribbean Diaspora leaders to engage with the Trump Administration,” stated Jennifer Carroll, Former Lieutenant Governor of the state of Florida. The Honorable Jennifer Carroll, who will be a featured speakers at the Forum.

Campaign Chair for National Caribbean American Heritage Month. Dr. Claire Nelson, who is Founder and President of ICS stated, “Since 1999 a small, but determined band of us have been gathering on Capitol Hill to advance the interests of U.S./Caribbean policy, out of duty and love. This law represents the dividends on our investments over the years.”

Earlier in March, ICS partnered with the U.S. State Department to organize a Listening Session with the Diaspora to provide input to the State Department’s Position Paper which must be presented to the Trump Administration and the Congress before the end of June 2017. ICS will present the Diaspora White Paper on implementation of Public Law 114-291 during the Forum. Other speakers slated to address the Forum include: Jerry Butler, Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank; Capt. Francis Forbes, Executive Director, CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS); and Sally Yearwood of the Caribbean Central American Action.

To register for the 19th Annual Legislative Forum, on JUNE 21st – 22nd in Washington DC, please visit: www.ncalw2017.eventbrite.com.

About Caribbean American Heritage Month

In June 2005, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted H. Con. Res. 71, sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, recognizing the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. On February 14, 2006, the resolution similarly passed the Senate, culminating a two-year, bipartisan and bicameral effort. The Proclamation was issued by President George Bush on June 6, 2006. For more information on Caribbean American Heritage Month events, visit www.caribbeanamericanmonth.org.

About Institute of Caribbean Studies

The Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS), founded in 1993, is the Architect and Campaign Chair for Commemoration of June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month. ICS is a non-partisan, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization founded by Dr. Claire A. Nelson. The premiere Caribbean American Think/Do Tank, ICS seeks to address development problems facing Caribbean peoples, and to adopt a thorough, systematic and coordinated long-term perspective towards their resolution. For more information on ICS, visit www.icsdc.org.

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