June 01, 2022

Congresswoman Lee Commemorates Caribbean Heritage Month

Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement celebrating Caribbean Heritage Month. The Congresswoman will be reintroducing a resolution recognizing June as Caribbean Heritage Month at the start of next week.

“This month, we celebrate the tremendous impact that the people of the Caribbean have made on the United States. Caribbean Americans are a significant part of history, progress, and heritage in this nation. 

“Throughout our history, Caribbean Americans have served our country and contributed to the heritage of the United States through the arts, science, education, business, sports, military, and government. Trailblazers like my mentor, Shirley Chisholm, and my good friend, Harry Belafonte, have enriched American culture in immeasurable ways. 

“Many notable Caribbean Americans are also among this nation’s ‘firsts’ including our nation’s first African American Vice President Kamala Harris and the first African American Secretary of State Colin Powell.

“Caribbean Americans have shared their culture through food, music, dance, and literature and have forever enriched the cultural landscape of the United States.  And the countries of the Caribbean remain important partners, both economically and culturally, to the United States.

“We are thankful for this partnership, but we must also acknowledge that Caribbean nations and their people face unique challenges, particularly due to Climate Change.  Over the past decades, many Caribbean countries have worked to lift their people above the poverty line. Yet this prosperity remains precarious, as drought, sea level rise, and more frequent and extreme weather conspire to threaten these hard-earned development gains.  Even the most prosperous Caribbean countries face growing risks that would stretch the capacity of any society to manage. The United States needs to look beyond income to include vulnerability when we think about how to partner effectively with our Caribbean neighbors.

“As the Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee for the State Department and Foreign Operations, I have been fighting to make sure that the United States acts as a better partner to our neighbors in the Caribbean.  For Fiscal Year 2022, I was proud to include an additional Ten Million Dollars to promote inclusive economic growth in the Caribbean, with a focus on women, youth, and other disadvantaged populations.  I know that our shared values and vision of prosperity and peace throughout the Western Hemisphere and the rest of the world will guide of through these challenging times.”