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June 2021: Caribbean American Heritage Month

WHEREAS, 2021 marks the 22nd anniversary of the founding of the National Caribbean American Heritage Month when the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) asked President Bill Clinton to sign a petition for the recognition of a Caribbean American Heritage Month in 1999; and,


WHEREAS, in 2000, ICS began leading activities in celebration of June as Caribbean American Heritage Month in Washington DC, and President George W. Bush signed a proclamation making the resolution official in June of 2006; and,


WHEREAS, immigrants from the Caribbean region have been settling in Michigan since the 1800's when families found lodgings in the established Black neighborhood of Detroit known as "Black Bottom;" and,


WHEREAS, since their migration, members of the Caribbean American community have shared their resilient family values, strong work ethic, dedication to education, and diversity in faith and creed, which have strengthened our great democracy; and,


WHEREAS, Caribbean Americans living in Michigan are a vital and valued part of the population, making significant contributions to academia, business, medicine, law, technology, government, science, and social justice and making our state an exceptional place to live; and,


WHEREAS,  National Caribbean American Heritage Month has declared the theme for this year's commemoration to be "Our Shared History, Our Shared Future" and has encouraged residents of  our state to celebrate the significant cultural, historical, and economic contributions made by  Caribbean Americans in Michigan  and the nation, to recommit ourselves to promoting equality and tolerance for the Caribbean American community, and to ensure that our state is a welcoming and inclusive place for all;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim June 2021 as Caribbean American Heritage Month in Michigan.