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 Caribbean American Legislative Forum 
The Caribbean American Legislative Forum is an annual event that educates Caribbean-Americans on policy issues that affect the Caribbean American community. Attendees hear from elected officials and are given an opportunity to network with business leaders, policymakers, and advocates. It includes a roundtable as well as short presentations. The event is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required.


In 1999, under the patronage of Congresswoman Donna Christensen (D-V.I.), the Institute of Caribbean Studies hosted the first annual US-Caribbean Legislative Forum at the Rayburn House Office Building of the U.S. Congress. The goal of the Forum is to explore legislative and policy issues of importance to the Caribbean American community, with the goal of affecting policy that considers our perspectives.
Congresswoman Christensen and Ambassador Kingsley Layne opened the 1999 forum, setting the perfect tone for the discussions by highlighting the issues affecting the U.S.-Caribbean relationships. Participants consisted of U.S. officials and policy makers and Caribbean American scholars and community leaders.  Panelists included Congressman Phil Crane (R-IL), Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee and sponsor of the Caribbean and Central America Relief and Economic Stabilization Act; Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), a member of the Committee on International Relations; and Patrick McDuffie, Director of Caribbean Affairs, US Agency for International Development.

The importance of the forum is to forge a working relationship between the U.S. and the Caribbean, a point that was underscored by the attendance of a representative from Vice-President Gore's office, Lisa Mallory.  Over the years, speakers have included Ambassador Richard L. Bernal, Chair of the Small Economies Working Group of Free Trade Area of the America; Dr. Eddie Green, Assistant Secretary General of CARICOM; Lael Brainard, Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic policy; Congressman Major Owens and Dr. Bilali Camara of the Caribbean Epidemiology Center.  The tradition continued with the 2003 Forum being attended by six US Representatives including Congressman Charles Rangel, Tiffany Watkins from the White House and Meg Gilroy, Director for the Caribbean at the U.S. State Department.
Advancing the Interests of Caribbean Americans

Institute of Caribbean Studies  (ICS)Washington DC
1629 K Street NW, Ste 300
Washington DC 20001
Phone: 202.638.0460