Welcome to The Caribbean American InterCultural Organization!
The Caribbean American Intercultural Organization (CAIO) is a voluntary 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-governmental organization which was launched on June 25, 1958 in Washington, D.C., USA. The concept of the CAIO was originated in 1956 by the co-founders, E. Leopold Edwards from Jamaica and M. Blair Bishop from Barbados, both graduates of Howard University.
The two men needed an organizational framework within which to continue the work they had begun as students in the Caribbean Students’ Association in Howard University. Motivated by the firm desire for national Caribbean independence and unity, enlightened by their studies in the United States of America, and informed by the realities of their experiences, Edwards suggested the name of the organization, and both men, joined by a small group of former students and friends, worked over a two year period to bring their ideals to fruition; the formation of CAIO.
The CAIO was established to foster closer ties between peoples of the Caribbean, the United States and Africa. According to an overview by Dr. J. Edsel Edmunds, former Ambassador of St. Lucia, on the publication by Dr. Cedric Lynch, “The Caribbean American Intercultural Organization at Fifty: A Paradigm of Cooperation in Two Subsets of African Diaspora 1958-2008”, “ it is evident that as students in the 1940s, the founders of CAIO had a profound and remarkably all-embracing vision for the Caribbean and beyond to include English, French, Spanish and Dutch speaking territories within or contiguous to the Caribbean Sea.”
In 1962, CAIO was reorganized and was incorporated in 1964 in Washington, the District of Columbia.
Today, some fifty-four years later, the Caribbean American Intercultural Organization presents itself to the Washington, DC community as an organization dedicated to continued co-operation, intercultural exchange, interaction and understanding among Americans, Caribbean Americans and Africans in the Diaspora.