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National Caribbean American Heritage Month


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.