Celebrating Caribbean-American Heritage

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Summer is upon us and we are hopefully just a few more weeks away from the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a struggle, but we are finally seeing the fruits of all the hard work and sacrifice that healthcare professionals have put into fighting this pandemic. 

On behalf of the entire DC 37 leadership and executive board, I want to wish all members and their families a happy and safe National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. Each June, since 2005, our country acknowledges the many significant ways that Caribbean-Americans have shaped America. It is a time to celebrate the vibrant culture and patriotism of Caribbean-Americans. 

Caribbean-Americans, like many other recent immigrant groups, have faced persecution on many different fronts often based upon the color of their skin, language, and immigration status. Despite the obstacles, Caribbean-Americans have proven to be a blessing to our country and have enriched our nation’s labor movement, arts, food and culture, technology, religion, sports, and the government. In fact, the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant is now the first woman elected Vice President in our country’s history. Vice President Kamala Harris is not just a hero to Caribbean-Americans, she is a hero to all Americans. A woman of intelligence and grace, she is the ultimate representation of what Caribbean-Americans and other new Americans can achieve when given an opportunity. 

Our great American experiment works when new groups enter this land and with newfound freedoms and opportunities add to the fabric of America. The new ideas and energy translate into innovation that propels the nation forward. Despite all the darkness that we have seen in the past 18 months, I remain optimistic of the country’s future because of the energy that Caribbean-Americans and other new Americans bring to our nation. Now that we are at the cusp of ending a once-in-a-century pandemic, I hope that people throughout the world can work toward establishing a future free of hostility to new groups and accept the fact that our diversity is beautiful. 

The DC 37 Caribbean Heritage Committee encourages all union members to join in the celebration of the history, culture, and achievements of Caribbean-Americans.

Carmen Charles, President, NYC Hospital Employees Local 420

Chair, DC 37 Caribbean Heritage Committee

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