Friends: JUNE is National Caribbean American Heritage Month...

Dr. Claire Nelson - June 2 2011, 4:08 PM


JUNE is National Caribbean American Heritage Month and a great time to reopen this debate.

This is a paper which Mr. Lucas has circulated before and I suspect he remains frustrated that it would seem as if his ideas have not not gotten teeth.

This is true to some extent, because of the nature of the Caribbean American Community, and the fact that there is no government withing the 14 member CARICOM organization is ready and willing to fund ANY of ideas related to the diaspora.

But here are some things that need to be known to the readers of this they contemplate the ideas he has put on the table...

1) There is already a Congressional Caribbean Caucus, which has been around since at least 2009 if not before.

I know because I have attended and helped to organize events with the Office of Congressman Payne who is Co-Chair along with Representative Dan Burton.

2) There was an experiment called the National Coalition of Caribbean Affairs - which may be on Hiatus, since its leaders have recently set up a new entity called the Caribbean Policy Research Institute with the endorsement of CARICOM..

Whether CARICOM Funds them or not..

I dont know.

3) Many community organizations are oganizing collectively in one form or another...

usually along national lines.


the rest may be on hiatus..

(it takes a lot of work and it is all VOLUNTARY!!!! The crisis in Haiti has forced an alliance among the 'BIG MEN' who run their own entitites..

as well has pushed many Haitian Americans to get engaged with the rest of the Caribbean peoples.

But in fact most Haitians are isolationist.

4) On a previous occasion when this paper was first tabled, I invited Mr. Lucas to meet with me to discuss how we at the Institute of Caribbean Studies (which is already defacto serving as a CARICOM SOCIETY as we have an alliance of the leaders around the country who are working on CARICOM Development Agendas as well as Caribbean American Heritage Month).

5) These ideas are all great on paper, but I suspect that Mr. Lucas has found the very same problems ICS has been facing since our founding in 1993 - THERE IS NO MONEY TO FUND THESE IDEAS!!!

6) I love the big dreams.,..

and so I want to encourage a next step..

My recommendation is that Mr. Lucas or any reader with the funding access, passion and perserverance to push the agenda forward, join us on June 22nd at the White House Briefing as well as at the Legislative Forum on Capitol Hill on June 23rd and see if he can work with what already exists to bring our grandest dreams into focus.

We need him to continue dreaming..

YES>>> but even more we want him to help us to DO THE WORK!!! Please visit our website to register.

Dr. Claire A. Nelson
Ideation Leader, National Caribbean American Heritage Foundation
& Chair, Campaign for National Caribbean American Heritage Month


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