Celebrating Caribbean Americans: What role can they play in advancing US-Caribbean ties?

In celebration of Caribbean American Heritage Month, the Caribbean Initiative and the Caribbean Policy Consortium hosted a public, virtual discussion on how the Caribbean diaspora can strengthen US-Caribbean relations and advance newly announced commitments from the Summit of the Americas.

Caribbean Americans are the natural expression of a fruitful US-Caribbean partnership, often playing a major role in US society, politics, culture, and the economy. Seven of ten Caribbean migrants live in the United States, with much of the diaspora concentrated in Florida, New York, and Texas. As new challenges emerge in the Caribbean, diaspora voices, influences, and perspectives are needed and can help shape US-Caribbean policy as we look to build on ties advanced at the Summit of the Americas.

What additional opportunities exist for the US-based Caribbean diaspora to shape US political, economic, and security policy to the region? How can US officials connect with these diverse communities to translate Summit commitments into tangible action? And what can US government and business leaders learn from diaspora communities to strengthen the US-Caribbean partnership?


H.E. Audrey P. Marks
Ambassador to the United States
Permanent Representative to the OAS


Terrence Blackman
Associate ProfessorMedgar Evers College
City University of New York

Claire Nelson
Founder and President
Institute of Caribbean Studies

David Lewis
Vice President
Manchester Trade Ltd
Co-Founder Caribbean Policy Consortium

Melanie Chen
Board Member
Atlantic Council

Jason Marczak
Senior Director, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center
Atlantic Council

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