A bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday to recognize and reaffirm the significant contributions of the African diaspora to the growth and prosperity of the United States.
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, led his colleagues in introducing the bill to designate September as African Diaspora Heritage Month. He is joined by Sens. Mark R. Warner of Virginia, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Alex Padilla of California, Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin of Maryland, and Chris Coons of Delaware.
“The African diaspora has long strengthened the fabric of our nation, often in the face of tremendous adversity,” Kaine and Warner said in a press release. “The population is one of the fastest-growing, most diverse, and dynamic in Virginia and the United States. This bill is an unwavering statement that we acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate this community and all that they have contributed to the America we have today.”
According to the press release, more than 115,000 African immigrants call Virginia home. Thousands are small- and medium-sized business owners who helped bring more than $200 million in international trade to the state.
A resolution passed the Virginia General Assembly in March 2022 to designate September as Virginia African Diaspora Heritage Month.