The Caribbean American Heritage (CARAH) Awards were instituted in 1994 by the Institute of Caribbean Studies in order to demonstrate the contributions that Caribbean immigrants make to the USA. Also honored from time to time are Friends of the Caribbean whose work contribute to the wellbeing and welfare of the Caribbean peoples. ICS' Founder and President, Dr. Claire Nelson cites the CARAH Awards as part of the organization's campaign to ensure that the conversation on the future of America and immigration includes a recognition of the indivisible historical linkages between the US and the Caribbean.
Since its founding, the CARAH Awards, which have become the signal honors and recognition program for Caribbean Americans, have been awarded to over fifty distinguished individuals including for example: Earl Graves Snr., Publisher of Black Enterprise, of Barbadian heritage; Cicely Tyson, who is of Nevisian heritage; Ambassador the Hon. Andrew Young; Congresswoman Barbara Lee; Dumas Simeus, Haitian American entrepreneur and philantropist; Jimmy Cliff, Reggae Legend; Dr. "The Might Sparrow" Slinger Francisco, of Trinidad & Tobago; and Hon. Eric Holder, Attorney General of the US, who is Barbadian heritage. In this picture, Sir George Alleyne, Chair of ICS Honorary Advisory Board and former Honoree, gives Award for Outstanding Political Leadership to Congresswoman Donna Christensen of the US Virgin Islands.