Department of State Officials Expand Caribbean Diaspora Partnerships and Celebrate Diversity and Diplomacy in NYC

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 2, 2016

Department of State officials will travel to New York City next week to engage new partners from the Caribbean diaspora and highlight U.S. diplomacy in the region. The series of events will take place on the margins of the West Indian American Day Carnival events and will celebrate the Caribbean diaspora’s contributions toward the advancement of U.S. policy objectives in the Caribbean, which include promoting education and development, supporting clean energy, increasing citizen security, and improving trade and economic inclusion in the region.

Judith Ravin, Public Affairs Officer for the Office of the Haiti Special Coordinator, will deliver remarks on Caribbean diaspora youth leadership at the West Indian American Day Carnival Association’s (WIADCA) Junior Carnival on September 3.

Zakiya Carr Johnson, Director of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs’ Race, Ethnicity, and Social Inclusion Unit, will speak on social inclusion and women’s empowerment in the Caribbean at the West Indian American Day Carnival breakfast on September 5. Later that afternoon, Ms. Carr Johnson will represent the Department of State in the West Indian American Carnival Day parade.

Juan Gonzalez, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, will brief foreign and diaspora press at the New York Foreign Press Center on September 8 about U.S.-Caribbean policy and programs, and the importance of diaspora engagement. Deputy Assistant Secretary Gonzalez will also participate in an interactive panel discussion on “USA-Caribbean Diaspora: Priorities and Convergence” at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York, on September 8.

The Caribbean diaspora boasts 3.6 million residents in the United States, and New York City is home to more than two million Caribbean immigrants. This will mark the first time the Department of State engages directly with a large and diverse Caribbean diaspora population of this scale and the first time in the forty-nine history of the New York Caribbean carnival that the Department participates in the parade.

Follow the Department’s participation in the West Indian American Day Carnival, the Foreign Press Center event, and the Medgar Evers College panel via @WHASpeaks, @EngageState, @GPatState, @ForeignPressCtr, @brooklynmuseum and @NewsatMedgar on Twitter, using the hashtag #USACaribbeanDiaspora and #WIADCA. Medgar Evers College will livestream the panel discussion on its Facebook page. Also check in with the U.S. Department of State: Engaging the Community on Foreign Affairs, Facebook page. Stay connected: