WASHINGTON (July 9)—One Caribbean Television went to the U.S. Congress last month to honor legislators who contributed to the proclamation of National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.

Mark Walton, president of sales and marketing for OCTV, noted that many congressional representatives contributed to the formal recognition of the contributions of Caribbean-Americans to the United States, but he singled out California Rep. Barbara Lee for her 10 years of commitment to the cause.

Lee lauded OCTV for its work and reminded the collection of Caribbean diplomats, congressional staff members and business and civic leaders assembled at the Rayburn House Office Building that the “media was instrumental” in educating the public, and stressed the importance of “keeping the achievements of the Caribbean in front of America.” 

“It is imperative that we continue our efforts to ensure that U.S. diplomatic relations with the Caribbean remain strong and a key priority in our foreign policy,” said Lee.

Referring to the Lee’s views on the importance of media, Walton stated that “one of our goals at One Caribbean Television is to bring our 10-year-old network to the [entire] Diaspora, especially in North America.”

In the coming months, he pledged to “educate the market about the viability of the Caribbean and its Diaspora.” While the 2010 U.S. Census counted 3.5 million Caribbean immigrants living in the United States, “most demographers put this figure at closer to 6 million. However, others put the number of people in the U.S. with some Caribbean roots as high as 20 million.”

The reception, held Wednesday, June 3, was hosted in conjunction with Lee’s office.