Secretary Clinton Reflects on National Caribbean Heritage Month

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Hello and welcome to the State Department. I am delighted to send greetings to each of you at this year’s Diplomacy Conference — aimed at building bridges with American diaspora communities.

Last month I met with members of the global diaspora community to help launch the International diaspora Engagement Alliance. This alliance will foster partnerships by bringing together diaspora groups, the private sector, civil society, and other institutions to harness the enthusiasm so many people have for their countries of origin.

And last week I was in Jamaica helping to announce a new public-private initiative with the Inter-American Development Bank and Digicel. This partnership will help develop innovative projects in the Caribbean region by fostering collaboration with local and diaspora entrepreneurs.

This month as we celebrate National Caribbean American Heritage Month, we recognize the contributions of immigrants of Caribbean heritage to the United States. They are artists and entrepreneurs, musicians, athletes, politicians and poets. Caribbean-Americans have influenced every aspect of American culture. And this administration is committed to ensuring that future generations of Caribbean Americans are able to pursue and realize the American dream.

Throughout the Caribbean, the United States is enhancing regional security, improving health, encouraging clean energy, helping promote economic development, and strengthening democratic institutions. There is a vital role for all of you to play as members of the Caribbean diaspora and we hope you will join us in these efforts.

Thank you for all that you are doing at this conference to build even stronger bridges between this nation we love and the countries where all our respective journeys began. We look forward to our continued engagement under IdEA and I can’t wait to hear the ideas you come up with for the Marketplace.