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 Advancing the Interests of Caribbean Americans 

The Caribbean American Heritage (CARAH) Awards were instituted in 1994 by the Institute of Caribbean Studies in order to demonstrate the contributions that Caribbean immigrants make to the USA.   Honorees from time to time include friends of the Caribbean heritage, whose work contribute to the wellbeing and welfare of the Caribbean peoples.  ICS'  Founder and President, Dr. Claire Nelson cites the CARAH Awards as part of the organization's campaign to ensure that the conversation on the future of America and immigration includes a recognition of the indivisible historical linkages between the US and the Caribbean.

Caribbean immigrants have been contributing to the well-being of American society since its founding. Alexander Hamilton, the First Secretary of the Treasury was from the Caribbean island of Nevis. We count among our famous sons and daughters, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Cicely Tyson, W.E.B Dubois, James Weldon Johnson, Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier to name a few. ICS' effort began in 1999 with a petition to President Bill Clinton for the recognition of a Caribbean American Heritage Month.

House Resolution 4939 was introduced by Congressman Eliot L. Engel on 04/14/2016 and signed into law (Public Law No: 114-291) on 12/16/16. This bill declares that it is U.S. policy to increase engagement with the governments of the Caribbean region, including the private sector, and with civil society in both the United States and the Caribbean region. During the legislation week activities, former presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman Engel and other US Representatives stressed the importance of H.R. 4939 to the US, the Caribbean Diaspora and the Caribbean region.   Please download document here:

The Annual US-Caribbean Business Roundtable Forum is held during the 2nd week of November in Washington, D.C. and is convened by the Institute of Caribbean Studie.  This 2-day conference focuses on emerging trade and investment opportunities in ethnic and speciality niche market foods, biofuel, farmaceuticals and fisheries under the theme, “Harvesting the Agribusiness Value Chain.”

A discussion series held throughout the year at various Caribbean embassies to address a variety of topics such as: Caribbean migration to the United States; Sustainable Tourism and Environmental Justice; the Promotion of Culture as a Tool for Economic Development; Science and Technology in a Knowledge-based Economy; the Role of the Caribbean Diaspora in Nation-Building; the Impact of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) on the Caribbean; and the Future of  Health Programs in the Caribbean.  


IGNITE CARIBBEAN amplifies the voices of youth leaders by bringing their ideas to the forefront of discussions about the Future of the Caribbean. ​

The 30 Under 30 Caribbean American Emerging Leaders/ChangeMakers Awards honors young persons doing work in volunteerism and entrepreneurship in the Caribbean American community

The Farm the Future Initiative brings together young professionals in academics, business leaders, NGOs, and policymakers to exchange information on challenges and opportunities impacting the prospects for sustainable investing in agriculture and agribusiness in the Caribbean.

Advancing the Interests of Caribbean Americans

Institute of Caribbean Studies  (ICS)Washington DC
1629 K Street NW, Ste 300
Washington DC 20001
Phone: 202.638.0460