Garifuna Community Leads Day of Action in DC: TPS for Guatemala and Honduras, Garifuna Caucus and HR 344


Comunidad Garífuna lidera día de acción en DC: TPS para Guatemala y Honduras, Cámara Garífuna y HR 344

Hondurans Against AIDS, Casa Yurumein, Organización Negra Centroamericana (ONECA), Children of Livingston and Familias Unidas en Acción led a successful national Garifuna advocacy day in Washington DC on April 17.

Fifty Afro-Central American leaders visited nearly 20 offices, including a group of seven girls currently participating in Miss Garifuna, a leadership program that strengthens the skills of Garifuna girls and young women to better understand their ancestral roots. The young leaders range in age from 11 to 17 years old. Three former Miss Garifuna participants joined as mentors and four girls and boys family members participated as observers.

We thank Abel Nuñez of CARECEN DC for his support during the meetings with Congressman Joaquin Castro and Representative Hakeem Jeffries' team. The delegation held meetings with approximately 20 Congressional offices, including the offices of Representatives Troy Carter (LA-02), Yvette Clarke (D NY-09), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D NY-14), Ritchie Torres (D NY-15), Representative Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8) and Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), among others.

The objective of these meetings was to educate about the realities and challenges facing the Garifuna people, address the root causes of migration from Honduras and Guatemala, and explain why it is necessary for the Biden administration to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Black Hondurans and Guatemalans currently living in the United States. In addition, Garifuna leaders were recruiting members of Congress to join the Garifuna Caucus and co-sponsors of HR 344 which seeks to establish April as National Garifuna Heritage Month. Help recruit more members of Congress!

Garifuna Defense Day is the only national event organized and implemented by African Americans.

We would like to express our sincere appreciation for the invaluable technical and logistical support provided by Alianza America. We also extend our thanks to the TPS Funding Collaborative, New York Women's Foundation and the International Institute for Race, Equality and Human Rights for their valuable contributions and support.

Together we build a path to a more secure and unified future!