Black History Month Black History Month
Highlighting cultural awareness

The Caribbean Student Association is raising the level of awareness of the cultural diversity of all Caribbean nations at the University of Miami. 

by Amanda M. Perez
UM News

The University of Miami is filled with a melting pot of cultures, many representing nations in the Caribbean Basin. The students from these diverse countries are on a mission to share their unique backgrounds with others 

UM’s Caribbean Student Association provides that platform to connect. Gabriel Soomar, a second-year architecture student, is the leading force behind the group.  

Soomar, whose parents are from Trinidad, has been serving as president of the Caribbean Student Association for the past two years.  

“I hope to leave an impact by just letting people know about what the Caribbean culture has to offer,” he said. I feel like when people think of the Caribbean, they think of just a cool place where people visit to relax and party. That’s not all it is. There’s so much more to the culture.” 

Since becoming president, Soomar is proud to say that the association has grown significantly.  

“I’m happy to be able to help the organization grow and build a name for itself throughout campus. When I first joined, I think there were only about 20 people who were part of the organization. We’re now closer to about 100 members,” Soomar said. 

The group encourages anyone who is interested in learning about the Caribbean to join their bi-weekly meetings. He said they strive to keep it educational. 

You don’t have to be of Caribbean descent to be part of our association. In our general body meetings we tend to format them in a way that helps people learn,” said Soomar. “Last semester we focused the meeting on talking about the different types of music and dancing on each island in the Caribbean.” 

Black History Month holds special significance for the Caribbean Student Association. 

“I think it’s a great opportunity to celebrate and embrace black history throughout the world. It’s important for every kind of background including Caribbean culture, African culture and African-American culture,” he said.  

The Caribbean Student Association actively engages and collaborates with other groups on campus, including the United Black Students and the African Students Union. Soomar said that even though they come from different backgrounds, there are many similar struggles that they have all gone through together. 

I think that’s what we can all relate on. The only way to get through our past struggles is to be supportive for each other and come together,” Soomar said.  

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