JIS News

Story Highlights

  • “There can be no barrier to accessing public services based on a hairstyle or antiquated dress requirements. These are remnants of a colonial past. These are not reflective of our identity, nor are they responsive to modern trends or even our tropical climate. We are intentional in completing this aspect of the work of our independent nation,” she emphasised.
  • The webinar is the third in a series of virtual events that commenced with part one, the Zong Massacre entitled, ‘Lessons in Racial Discrimination: The Journey Continues’. This was followed by part two, World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture, ‘People of African Descent: Defamation, Race Relations and Development Institutions’.
  • The webinar featured presentations from an international panel of experts in the judiciary and human rights – International Civil Rights Attorney, Benjamin Crump; Deputy Chair of the NCR and Pan African Attorney-at-Law, Bert Samuels; NCR Consultant and United Nations (UN) Human Rights Fellow, Attorney-at-Law, Nattecia Bohardsingh; Civil Rights Attorney, International Legal and Media Strategist, Jasmine Rand; and UN Human Rights Fellow, Human Rights Attorney-at-Law, Ikram Warsame.

Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, says recommendations for the revision of dress and grooming requirements for schools and public institutions are now under way.

Minister Grange made the disclosure while addressing the National Council of Reparations (NCR) webinar, ‘Jamaica Dissecting Race: Defamation, Discrimination and Development’, on Thursday (July 15).

“My Ministry, which is the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, on the direction of our Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has set about making recommendations for revising the dress and grooming requirements for schools, and also those which govern access to public institutions such as hospitals,” she said.

Minister Grange said this undertaking is in keeping with the Government’s intention to promote acceptance of positive cultural identifiers in the society.

“There can be no barrier to accessing public services based on a hairstyle or antiquated dress requirements. These are remnants of a colonial past. These are not reflective of our identity, nor are they responsive to modern trends or even our tropical climate. We are intentional in completing this aspect of the work of our independent nation,” she emphasised.

In addition, the Culture Minister expressed the Government of Jamaica’s ongoing commitment to the cause of reparations for the descendants of enslaved people of the Caribbean by former European slave-trading nations.

“We recognise you all for your dedication and deep commitment to the cause of reparatory justice. Your continued legal representation of the struggles of our people and the fight for civil liberties is well acknowledged,” she said in commendation of the NCR and its partners.

State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, echoed the sentiments asserted by the Minister and said, “Together we must advance the movement to achieve reparations and remediation for the atrocities meted out to our forbears over the years and much of which continues even now by way of systemic racism,” he said.

The webinar is the third in a series of virtual events that commenced with part one, the Zong Massacre entitled, ‘Lessons in Racial Discrimination: The Journey Continues’. This was followed by part two, World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture, ‘People of African Descent: Defamation, Race Relations and Development Institutions’.

Chair and Attorney-at-Law, NCR, Laleta Davis Mattis, said the third part of the online series is an attempt to “delve into the backbone of racism against people of African descent, its origins, what sustains it and the future of people of African descent”.

The webinar featured presentations from an international panel of experts in the judiciary and human rights – International Civil Rights Attorney, Benjamin Crump; Deputy Chair of the NCR and Pan African Attorney-at-Law, Bert Samuels; NCR Consultant and United Nations (UN) Human Rights Fellow, Attorney-at-Law, Nattecia Bohardsingh; Civil Rights Attorney, International Legal and Media Strategist, Jasmine Rand; and UN Human Rights Fellow, Human Rights Attorney-at-Law, Ikram Warsame.

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