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Celebrating National Caribbean American Heritage Month 2024

Celebrating National Caribbean American Heritage Month 2024

June is more than just the start of summer. It is also Caribbean American Heritage Month. Celebrated every June, National Caribbean American Heritage Month is an important time to celebrate the history and culture of Caribbean heritage and diaspora in the United States.  

National Caribbean American Heritage Month is a reminder that the American dream is a melody with many harmonies, and together, we create a beautiful composition.  

Here, we’ll look at what makes this month such a unique opportunity to learn about the millions of Caribbean immigrants and people of Caribbean heritage who live in our country. We’ll also explore a bit of the ethnic patchwork that makes up Caribbean American cultures and people.  

A tapestry of diverse cultures  

Caribbean people are renowned for their rich and colorful cultural heritage. Our history comprises an intricate mosaic of Caribbean nations, Caribbean islands, and territories influenced by Aboriginal, African, European, and Asian traditions. The blending of so many diverse cultures and traditions created an eclectic and dynamic Caribbean American diaspora that is found in pretty much every city in the United States.  

Contributions of Caribbean Americans to society   

In many different areas of U.S. culture and society, Caribbean American people have enriched life for others – through iconic voices in music, such as Jamaican-born Bob Marley and Rihanna, born in Barbados; in transcendent movies, such as those starring and made by Sidney Poitier (a Caribbean American); in fashion, also through the brilliance of Rihanna; through Shirley Chisholm (also Caribbean American), the first African American woman to be elected to U.S. Congress; and in sports, where Jamaican-born Usain Bolt is the most iconic sprinter in history.   

Caribbean American entrepreneurs   

A culture of entrepreneurship has also created generations of Caribbean Americans who have built prosperous businesses that strengthen the U.S. economy. From restaurants to manufacturing plants, tech startups, and far beyond, members of the Caribbean American community continue to spark innovations and forge new directions in business.  

Leaders in education and advocacy   

In terms of education and advocacy, Caribbean Americans have long been leaders in driving change, initiatives, advancement, and innovation. Dr. Una S. T. Clarke, the New York City Council’s first Caribbean-born woman, and renowned physicist and university president Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, are two of countless Caribbean Americans whose legacies will forever guide and inspire successive generations.  

Embrace diversity and inclusion   

National Caribbean American Heritage Month is a reminder that our country must always support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), appreciate and honor our differences, and welcome immigrants to our shores. This month allows us to celebrate what we have learned about the cultures of Caribbean peoples. Let this month-long observance be a reminder that Caribbean peoples are as diverse in their cultures, religions, and sexual identity as they are in the color of their skin.  

With the challenges that many immigrants face, this month of national observance and celebration should support our collective efforts to create a more inclusive and equitable nation for everyone.  

Celebrate together and get involved!  

During National Caribbean American Heritage Month, celebrations are unfolding in communities all around the country with festivals, cultural events, and educational programs. There are numerous opportunities for people of all ethnicities to learn about and experience Caribbean culture, savor its cuisine, enjoy music and dance, and talk about cultural diversity and inclusion.  

As individuals, we all have ways to participate in and support National Caribbean American Heritage Month. Here are some ideas: 

  • Try Caribbean cuisine: Go out to eat at Caribbean restaurants and see what different Caribbean countries have to offer. Food is culture in its tastiest form!  
  • Expand your knowledge: Learn about the history, struggles, and accomplishments of Caribbean Americans through books, documentaries, and the internet.  
  • Support Caribbean-owned businesses and cultural events: Seek out and support Caribbean-owned businesses in your community. Check out local cultural events presented by and for Caribbean Americans and all Americans to learn and appreciate Caribbean culture and traditions.  
  • Tell stories: Talk with friends, family, and your colleagues about DEI, and share with them what you’ve learned about Caribbean American culture and history. 
  • Take positive action: During National Caribbean American Heritage Month, be on the lookout for ways you can take what you’ve learned and make a positive change in your life and your workplace. At Goodwin Recruiting, our Workplace Resources Guide offers insights into building an inclusive work environment, and our team is available if you’d like to discuss ways to create a unique and diverse team and company culture. If you have current hiring needs, reach out to me for help in finding the right talent for your team. I am a DEI certified senior recruiting partner with Goodwin Recruiting and welcome the opportunity to connect with you.  

Caribbean immigrants and people of Caribbean heritage contribute to the rich cultural mosaic that is the United States of America. They are deeply integrated in American culture, providing an avenue for all of us to affirm our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion – not just during the month of June but throughout the year. This is the true legacy and message of National Caribbean American Heritage Month!