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WHEREAS, with firm purpose and determination, Caribbean Americans contribute to the continued success and prosperity of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States of America; and
WHEREAS, more than 10 million Caribbean Americans live in the United States; and
WHEREAS, Caribbean influence permeates throughout many facets of American history, including Caribbean individuals emigrating to the American Colonies as indentured workers in Jamestown, Virginia; Alexander Hamilton being born on the Island of Nevis; and colonist John Rolfe obtaining and bringing tobacco seeds to Virginia from Trinidad and Tobago; and
WHEREAS, Caribbean Americans played an indelible role in many social and political movements, including the Civil Rights Movement, and their participation has helped shape American history, culture, and government; and
WHEREAS, distinguished Caribbean Americans continuously attain outstanding achievements in education, sports, music, literature, economics, technology, law enforcement, military, and many other fields; and
WHEREAS, in June 2004, Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced legislation for a proclamation declaring June as Caribbean American Heritage Month; and
WHEREAS, Congresswoman Barbara Lee reintroduced legislation in 2005, and during the 109th Congress of the United States of America, it passed as House Concurrent Resolution 71; and
WHEREAS, the Association of Jamaicans in Richmond (AJR), and the Virginia Caribbean Education Exchange Foundation(VCEEF) help to showcase and share the Caribbean American culture within the City of Richmond; and
WHEREAS, Virginia remains committed to a comprehensive effort to support Virginia’s Caribbean American community – including defending voting rights, ensuring that the Commonwealth is welcoming to all people, maintaining a world class public education system, and diversifying our economy to build broad-based prosperity; and
WHEREAS, National Caribbean American Heritage Month is an opportunity to honor and celebrate the history, culture, and essential role of Caribbean Americans in Virginia and across the country;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize June 2018 as NATIONAL CARIBBEAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.