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Warner & Kaine Statement on Passage of Kaine-Led Bill Designating September as African Diaspora Heritage Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, issued the following statement applauding last night’s unanimous Senate passage of legislation Kaine led to recognize and reaffirm the significant contributions of the African diaspora to the growth and prosperity of the U.S. The passage of the bill—which was cosponsored by Warner and U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Chris Coons (D-DE)—came on the first day of the Biden-Harris Administration’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which is being attended by African leaders from across the continent.

“Our Commonwealth and our country wouldn’t be what they are today without the African diaspora, which has made countless contributions to our communities despite extraordinary adversity,” said the senators. “We are gratified by the passage of this legislation to acknowledge, appreciate, and celebrate this fast-growing and dynamic community, and will continue working to ensure that its members have a seat at the table to share their essential perspectives.”

Last month, Kaine hosted members of Virginia’s African diaspora for a discussion in the U.S. Senate about strengthening U.S.-Africa partnerships—an idea that came out of a roundtable Kaine and Warner convened with members of Virginia’s African diaspora in August.

Virginia is home to more than 115,000 African immigrants, thousands of whom are small- and medium-sized business owners who have helped bring more than $200 million in international trade to the state. The Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution to designate September as Virginia African Diaspora Heritage Month in March 2022.

Full text of the bill is available here.