Caribbean Zone Newsletter
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

National Caribbean-American Heritage Month 2011 Presidential Proclamation
-- By President Barack Obama
Published Jun 1, 2011


The fabric of our Nation has been woven together and enriched by the diversity of our people.  Our legacy as a Nation of
immigrants is part of what makes America strong, and during National Caribbean American Heritage Month, we celebrate
the rich history and vibrant culture Caribbean Americans have brought to our shores.

Immigrants from Caribbean countries have come to America for centuries.  Some came through the bondage of slavery.  
Others willfully left behind the world they knew in search of a better life.  Regardless of the circumstances of their arrival,
they had faith their descendants would have a chance to realize their greatest potential.

Caribbean Americans have prospered in every sector of our society and enhanced our national character while
maintaining the multiethnic and multicultural traditions of their homelands.  They are doctors and lawyers, public servants
and scientists, and athletes and service members.  Their successes inspire individuals in the United States and abroad,
and we take pride in the contributions Caribbean Americans continue to make to the narrative of our Nation's progress.  
Their achievements are borne of hard work and ambition, and my Administration is committed to creating pathways to
prosperity that ensure future generations of Caribbean Americans, along with all Americans, are able to pursue and
realize the American dream.

This month, we also recognize the important friendship between the United States and the countries of the Caribbean as
we expand our partnership to promote economic development, democratic governance, citizen security, and improved
health and education in the region.  Additionally, as Haiti continues to recover from last year's devastating earthquake, we
remain committed to standing beside the people of Haiti as they rebuild their proud nation, and to working with others in
the region to bring lasting prosperity and stability to the country.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me
by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2011 as National Caribbean American
Heritage Month.  I urge all Americans to commemorate this time when we celebrate the history and culture of Caribbean

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand
eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
Houston's Caribbean Communities Celebrate
Heritage in June
June is a very busy month for Caribbean Americans
throughout the United States. After lobbying for this
milestone over several years and culminating successfully
in President George W Bush declaring June as
Caribbean American Heritage Month in 2005, Caribbean
Americans now participate in commemorative celebrations
ranging from picnics and sporting events to salutes to
prominent Caribbean American immigrants and forums on
public policy.
The Caribbean Impact
Foundation in Texas has
embraced this opportunity
to fulfill part of its mission of
“promoting cultural
awareness [and] facilitating
critical relief to needy
populations” since 2008,
CAFÉ 2011:
Caribbean Arts, Food &
Film Expo
, CIF both hosted
and participated in a variety
of activities celebrating
Caribbean American
Heritage Month.  
In 2011, the CIF grand finale was our 3rd Annual
Caribbean Issue & Awards
Forum on Saturday,
June 25 at 6:30 in the evening at the International
Trade Center on Bellaire Boulevard. The event was
chaired by Prof. M. Douglas-Jones and the masters
of ceremony were Chris Walters and Jasmin
Roland of the Just Reasoning web TV program.
Guests were treated to Caribbean hors d'oeuvres
and local Caribbean residents were honored for
their outstanding efforts and achievements over
the past year at the catered event, and this year's
Issues Forum focused on community bulding.
Kudos to the 2011 honorees: Bahamian Olympic medalist Frank Rutherford,Trinidadian artist Joan Bristow, missionary
group Repairer of the Breach,Colombian Reverend George May, Grenadian author Dr. Edwin Felix, Jamaican Fashion
designer Leaford James, and Dominican university administrator Dr. JJ Lewis for their outstanding contributions to
education and the arts and their selfless devotion to their communities! Thanks to all who participated in a highly
interactive forum.
Prime Minister & Mrs.Alexis seated at center with CIF
Board members,
UNICEF-HCC Officers, students & staff June 2010
American Red Cross Commits $1 Million for Cholera Vaccinations in
WASHINGTON, Wednesday, April 11, 2012 — The American Red Cross has
contributed $1 million to purchase and distribute oral cholera vaccinations to
100,000 people in urban and rural Haitian communities.

The Red Cross funding will support a $1.3 million vaccination project led by
the Boston-based nonprofit Partners In Health, the Haitian Ministry of Public
Health and Population, and the Haitian nonprofit, GHESKIO. This project is
part of an ongoing effort to improve control and prevent the spread of the
disease that has claimed more than 7,000 lives since its outbreak more than
a year ago. The cholera epidemic in Haiti is currently the largest outbreak in
the world.

“Support from the American Red Cross is essential to our delivering this safe,
affordable and effective oral cholera vaccine in Haiti. While access to clean
water and sanitation systems is the ultimate solution to stopping the spread of
cholera, we must utilize all tools available to help prevent continued needless
deaths,” said Dr. Louise Ivers, Senior Health and Policy Advisor to Partners In
Health and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The vaccine, Shanchol, is delivered in two doses. Shanchol has been pre-
qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is 65 to 75 percent
effective in protecting recipients for at least 36 months. Ultimately, the vaccine
must be part of a comprehensive approach to cholera control, which requires
aggressive case finding and treatment as well as the development of safe
water and sanitation systems.

The goal of the complementary vaccine will be twofold: to protect some of
Haiti’s most vulnerable people and to inform the Haitian Ministry of Health on
the feasibility of scaling up delivery of the cholera vaccine on a national level.

To date, the American Red Cross has contributed more than $17 million to
fight the cholera outbreak in Haiti, including providing medical specialists and
supplies, running treatment centers, and focusing on the delivery of clean
water and sanitation to affected communities. Additionally, the global Red
Cross network launched a massive educational campaign to teach people
how to reduce the spread of cholera.

The American Red Cross has provided an additional $11 million dollars in
funding to partner organizations focusing on health care in the two years
since the earthquake, including $5.5 million dollars to support construction
and initial operating costs of Mirebalais National Teaching Hospital, built by
Partners in Health in collaboration with the Haitian Ministry of Health.

About Partners in Health
Partners In Health (PIH) works in 10 countries around the world to provide
quality healthcare to people and communities devastated by joint burdens of
poverty and disease. PIH has been providing vital healthcare services in Haiti
for more than 20 years and is the largest healthcare provider in the country,
working with the Haitian Ministry of Health to deliver comprehensive
healthcare services to a catchment area of 1.2 million across the Central
Plateau and Lower Artibonite Valley.
                                  Do You Really Know: JAMAICA?

    Here are some FACTS you may not know about One Love country:

The current spotlight is Jamaica, land of Marcus Garvey,Bob Marley, Usain Bolt,
Shelley-Ann Fraser and Luciano!
Happy 50th Anniversary of Independence!

  • Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean.
  • Had electricity before the United States
  • Had running water before the United States
  • Had phone cards before the United States
  • Jamaica's phone system was so sophisticated it was copied by AT&T.

Has the most "churches" per square mile of any country in the world, states The
Guinness Book of World Records = 1,600+ "churches" all over Jamaica, and ever

  • The first country in the Western world to construct a railway, even before the United
    States, only 18 years after Britain!
  • The first team from the English-speaking Caribbean to qualify for the Soccer World Cup at
    the 1998 championship.
  • Jamaica stands strong in 4th place on the list of countries to win the Miss World
titles the most! The only countries to have won it more than Jamaica are India,
Venezuela and the UK.
  • Yendi Phillips is the first Jamaican to place so high as First Runner Up in
    the Miss Universe (2010) Pageant.
  • On his second voyage to the New World in 1494, the tip of the Blue
    Mountains in Jamaica was the first land sighted by Christopher Columbus.
  • The first commercial producer of bananas in the Western Hemisphere.
  • The first island in the Caribbean to produce rum on a commercial basis.
  • The Manchester Golf Club in Jamaica, established in 1868, is the oldest in the western
  • Apart from the United States, Jamaica has won the most world and Olympic medals.

  • 2006-2007: World Fastest man and woman are Jamaicans:Asafa Powell and  Sherone
  • 2008/2009 - Olympic/World fastest man and woman - Usain Bolt and Shelley-Ann Fraser.
  • Jamaica has more multiple (two or more) live births than anywhere else in the world.
  • The first country to impose economic sanctions against the apartheid regime of South
  • The first Caribbean island to enact legislation, "The Motion Picture Industry
    (Encouragement) Act" to promote the making of films.
  • The first country to sign a Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria grant
  • The first tropical country to enter the IOC Winter Olympics, where the bob sleigh team's
    efforts inspired the film ‘Cool Runnings’.
  • Jamaica was the first colony England acquired by conquest: in 1655, driving the Spanish
    from the island.
  • Jamaica has the second largest butterfly in the world, the Giant Swallowtail.
  • The first British colonial territory to establish a postal service in 1688.
  • Jamaica was the first CARICOM country to  open up the telecommunications sector to
  • The first country in the Caribbean region to launch a web site in 1994!
  • Jamaica is the birthplace of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
  • Jamaica is the birth place of Robert "Bob" Marley.
  • The Jamaican Flag is the ONLY flag in the world that does not share any of the colors of
    the British or American flag!
Caribbean Athletes Thrive with Local Support at Penn Relays
An ever increasing number of young athletes from throughout the Caribbean
and as far away as Africa make the trip to Philadelphia each April for the Penn
Relays, hoping for both scholarship opportunities and the chance to meet
Olympic legends such as Usain Bolt, a former youth participant there himself.

Penn Relays is the largest annual track and field meet in the United States
and the largest annual relay competition in the world with the best high
school, college and professional athletes in the USA. Each year, the
prestigious event brings together more than 50,000 fans at Philadelphia’s
Franklin Field and over 500 athletes, coaches and support staff fromThe
Bahamas, Jamaica, Virgin Islands, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados,
and St Vincent & the Grenadines over three days.

A major comfort to these Caribbean youngsters and their mentors away from
home, most traveling abroad for the first time to the chilly Philly weather, is the
care of Team Jamaica Bickle, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization created in
1994 to provide much needed assistance to the Caribbean athletes, officials
and coaching staff while they compete at the Penn Relays.  

TJB provides support in the form of hot cultural meals, transportation between
the track and the hotel, physical therapy and other amenities.

In 1999, Team Jamaica Bickle became the 1st Jamaican organization to be a
participating sponsor at the Penn Relays, embarking on an outstanding
partnership with Diaspora and Jamaica based entities. As a result, the
Jamaica flag became the first foreign flag to be flown at the Penn Relays, a
distinction still unmatched today. TJB has received proclamations and awards
from several local and national entities, and former athletes who have
benefitted from TJB’s care have returned to support the mission, including the
superstar alumni.

To support our young athletes, Team Jamaica Bickle relies heavily on
contributions from individuals, Diaspora businesses, and corporate donors as
well as US fundraisers to meet its annual operating budget of approximately

The Caribbean Impact Foundation is proud to be a supporter of this
outstanding organization!

Winners from The Bahamas, Grenada and Jamaica at Penn 2011
For more information, please visit www.teamjamaicabickle.com.
2011 was The International Year for People of African Descent!
The United Nations declared 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent. In
commemoration, Heritage Revival Caribbean Cruise sailed out of Miami on Royal Caribbean
Freedom of the Seas November 27 to December 04 to provide the backdrop for the unveiling of
plans for the launching of the first of a series of the Middle Passage Reversal Journey ( MPJ).

The MPJ was an organized transatlantic voyage designed to symbolically reverse the effects of
the journeys of enslaved African ancestors, debunk the myth of the doors of no return, and
complete the cycle of freedom for peoples of African descent.  

The Heritage Revival Projects (HRP) Inc. and Afro-Pilgrimage Travel and Tours(APT) were
organized under the single trade mark logo of The Middle Passage Reversal Projects and under
the theme "Rejuvenation of the Broken African Family: healing the wounds from slavery through
dialogue" with goals to promote greater understanding among peoples of African descent, foster
the appreciation of the bonds of common heritage that bind them, and advance a buy-in on the
potential value of the wholesomeness of the global Africana community.

The cruise also served as a platform to launch the framework for a global dialogue among
peoples of African heritage towards developing a global agenda for their communal development.

The Heritage Revival Caribbean Cruise 2011 was part of the launch of the Middle Passage
Revival Project.
              WikiLeaks Include Caribbean Countries
Several Caribbean nations are among the countries featured in the United States diplomatic
cables exposed by WikiLeaks.

Jamaica, Haiti, Guyana, and Trinidad & Tobago appear to be the most discussed between the
US State Department and its embassies around the world, but other Caribbean nations include
The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Antigua, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis in over
250,000 mostly routine documents.

A recently revealed item causing outrage is the pressure placed on Haiti to lower their
sweatshop wages even further in order for Hanes and Levi's corporations to increase their profit.
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