Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined fellow committee member, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) in the introduction of a bill authorizing the formal designation of a national African Diaspora Heritage Month. The legislation would cement this celebration by recognizing and reaffirming the significant contributions of the African diaspora to the United States.
“Oregon—and our country—is stronger because of the diverse cultures, traditions, and economic contributions benefitting our society from our numerous diaspora communities,” said Senator Merkley. “It’s long past time we officially celebrate the diverse African diaspora and recognize the abundant contributions these communities share with all of us here in Oregon and across the country.”
The African diaspora in Oregon is rich in diversity, with over 28 different African countries and multiple ethnic groups represented around the state.
In addition to Merkley and Kaine, this bill is also cosponsored by Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
Bill text can be found here.