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Caribbean Americans in West Hartford Will Honor their Journeys [Updated]

Caribbean Dance Company performs in West Hartford in 2022. Courtesy photo

West Hartford will celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month with a series of events, beginning with a rally on Saturday, June 3 that will now be held in a meeting room on the lower level of the Noah Webster Library, 20 South Main Street. 


While many local families have traveled to one or many Caribbean Islands, Caribbean American Heritage Month in West Hartford during June, will be honoring the journeys taken by families immigrating to America, specifically West Hartford.

Our community can participate in a variety of free public activities in West Hartford:

  • Unity rally on the Isham Road Stage, Blue Back Square, June 3 beginning at 11:30 a.m., with featured speaker, Associate Professor Fiona Vernal, PhD, guest speaker Leslie Perry, recognition by the state and local elected delegation, and Caribbean entertainment with the Steel Drum Artists Alston and Sandra Roach, the Caribbean American Dance Company, and salsa dancers
  • Ongoing exhibit, of the Caribbean American journey, in the Noah Webster Library

In collaboration with the Town of West Hartford and the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce, Community Sponsors of the month-long celebration include: The West Indian Foundation, Indelible Impressions, Adlin Daye with The North Star Realtors, Advocacy to Legacy, and Financial Advisor Christopher W. Clarke.

Individual sponsors include Carol Anderson Blanks, Keesha Answer-Williams, Sasha Douglas, Gary Martell, and Co-Chairs of the West Hartford Caribbean American Heritage Committee Diana Sousa Jepsen and Rosemarie Tate, RD, MS, CDN.

“Since June 6, 2006 when then President George W. Bush issued a Proclamation recognizing June as Caribbean-American Heritage Month, all of us have had the opportunity to learn more about some of the more famous Caribbean Americans including Alexander Hamilton, and author Malcolm Gladwell, to those who made their American dream come to life in West Hartford,” said Carol Anderson Blanks, West Hartford Town Council member and Chair of the West Hartford Caribbean American Heritage Month. She added, “Our history in this community is one of dedication to the mission of our town and our future is brighter as our children and new immigrants continue to choose West Hartford as their home.”

The program for Saturday, June 3 is as follows:

  • 11:30 a.m. – Welcome and Introduction by Diana Jepsen
  • 11:40 a.m. – Town Proclamation by Mayor Shari Cantor
  • 11:50 a.m. – State Proclamation and Brief Remarks by Representative James Sanchez
  • 11:55 a.m. – Caribbean American Dance Company performance
  • 12:10 p.m. – Featured Speaker: Dr. Fiona Vernal
  • 12:25 p.m. – Steel Drums demonstration
  • 12:40 p.m. – Guest Speaker: Mr. Leslie Perry
  • 12:55.p.m. – The Salsa Dancers performance
  • 1:15 p.m. – Thanks and Closing Remarks

Nationally, Caribbean American Heritage Month is celebrated in June. The West Hartford Caribbean American Heritage Committee is composed of volunteers who are committed to honoring and sharing the legacy of their descendants and future generations from the Caribbean who choose West Hartford to live out their American dream.

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