Author: Institute of Caribbean Studies | Date: 21 June 2018
U.S. Department of State, Caribbean Ambassadors and Congressional Legislators Confirmed
The Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS), the nation's leading Caribbean American advocacy and development organization, is set to host the 20th Annual Caribbean American Legislative Briefing and Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 21 from 9:00am-4:00pm. H.R. 4939- the United States-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act of 2016, will be at the center of deliberations.
Setting the stage for the all-day Briefing will be former Lt. Governor of Florida, the Hon. Jennifer Carroll, and Hon. Aisha Braveboy, Former State Delegate, MD. This will be followed by opening remarks from Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Caribbean, Haiti, and Canada, Ambassador Kenneth Merten; and Jerry Butler, Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank. "This year's Briefing reflects the growing strength of our Caribbean diaspora leadership alliance, as well as the hope that Caribbean Americans have in H.R. 4939" said Dr. Claire Nelson, ICS President & Founder.
The 20th Annual Caribbean American Legislative Briefing and Advocacy Day will also feature the diplomacy, security, prosperity, energy, education, and health agenda, as outlined in the U.S. Department of State's report on H.R. 4939 (Public Law 114-291).
Former foreign minister of Suriname, the Hon. Marie Levens, and Earl Harris, Deputy Director of CARICOM IMPACS are among the experts set to participate in the deliberation. The Diplomacy Agenda, chaired by NY State Committeewoman, Hon. Scherie Murray concludes the day with a Joint Meeting on Diplomacy and Funding Panel. "Financing the U.S. strategy is a key element of our advocacy", notes Ms. Murray. "We are also bringing on board the next generation of Caribbean American leaders to ensure that the Caribbean American Legislative Briefing and Caribbean American Heritage Month empowers and connects the millennial generation of Caribbean American leaders to Policy", Ms. Murray added.
The Legislative Briefing on June 21st is part of the National Caribbean American Month Legislative Week events which also includes a Webinar on Census 2020; a Briefing at the US Senate; a Forum on Diaspora in Development at the Inter-American Development Bank; and a Forum on Cyber-Security at the Organization of American States. "For the past nineteen years, ICS has worked together with community leaders, strategic partners and other stakeholders to successfully grow our advocacy stance, and the law has signaled a sea change in Caribbean American relations", Dr. Nelson explains.
National Caribbean American Heritage Month has been celebrated annually every June since 2006. For ICS, it represents an opportunity to bring together Caribbean American community leaders across the country and to address common concerns; to allow Caribbean Americans everywhere to feel a sense of place in the American public discourse and to bring highlights to the contributions past, present and future being made by Caribbean immigrants to the USA.
The agenda for the day's sessions can be viewed Here