Tag: President's Message

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2022 National Caribbean-American Heritage Month

In a month jam-packed with diversity celebrations, the New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council would also like to take a moment and recognize the contributions of Caribbean-Americans to our nation—and our economy. We hope that by commemorating National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, we will remind all Americans that this country’s strength is rooted in its diversity, helping to highlight the pivotal role Caribbean immigrants play in shaping the American dream through their cultures, traditions, languages, and values. 

Historically, the Caribbean American population in the United States grows more than 50% every ten years, though the pace of growth has nearly doubled in the last 20 years. According to U.S. Census data, there are around 4.4 million people of Caribbean descent working in and contributing to the U.S. economy and culture. From their distinct cuisine to influential music and dance styles, Caribbean traditions have had a profound impact on U.S. popular culture. 

The celebration of Caribbean-American Heritage month began in June 2005 when the House of Representatives unanimously adopted H. Con. Res. 71, which recognized the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. In February 2006, the resolution passed the senate, with the Proclamation being ultimately issued by President George W. Bush on June 6, 2006.

This year marks the fourteenth celebration of June as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. We take this time to celebrate the extraordinary leadership shown by the Caribbean American community, including the achievements of Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black American of Jamaican heritage to hold this high office, and Karine Jean-Pierre, the first White House press secretary of Haitian descent. 

We also take the time to remember past visionaries like Alexander Hamilton, one of this nation’s founding fathers, and the late General Colin Powell, the son of Jamaican immigrants and the first Black Secretary of State. These and many other leaders have made significant contributions to American society and forged new paths in service to the American people.

This June, we ask you to uplift and celebrate the Caribbean-American entrepreneurs, teachers, scientists, artists, medical professionals, police officers, athletes, and others who are boldly sharing their heritage and culture to create a lasting positive impact on our society.

Sincerely,

Terrence Clark

A Juneteenth Message from Our President

Juneteenth, celebrated the 19th of June, is a holiday that observes the end of slavery in the U.S. and marks the day in 1865 when news of emancipation reached people in the deepest parts of the former Confederacy. Though only officially declared our nation’s newest federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been celebrated for decades through family gatherings and other local celebration events, such as memorials, parades, or public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation. 

It has been troubling to know that the holiday has only received national attention in recent years due to an onslaught of transgressions against the African American community — in particular after the global protests sparked in 2020 by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks. This Juneteenth, I want to remind you that allyship for the black community isn’t confined to a day, month, or social movement; rather, it’s an ethical and moral compass that can and should be used to guide day-to-day interactions. 

For many, celebrating Juneteenth provides the opportunity to honor Black culture and the Black experience, recognizing the depth and complexity of African American history and its implications for us all. To The Council, we believe that in celebrating Juneteenth, we are reaffirming our constant and unwavering commitment to amplifying the voices and experiences of minority communities across the globe. After all, our central mission is to help educate, develop, and uplift minority communities in business, creating systemic change in how leading corporations engage with them now and in the future. 

This year, I implore you to look within yourself and your organization, seeking out places and opportunities where you can amplify diverse thoughts and perspectives—and speak up for those otherwise silenced or overlooked. It is only together that we can work to dismantle systemic structures of oppression that have plagued African Americans and other minority communities for generations, thereby allowing them the same freedoms and opportunities enjoyed by white Americans for decades. 

Let this continue to be a movement and not just a moment.

Sincerely,

Terrence Clark

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