JIS News

State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Delano Franklyn will headline a list of high-powered speakers for the first ever conference of the Jamaican Diaspora United Kingdom, slated for April 1 at the Bethel Conference Centre at West Bromwich in the West Midlands.
The keynote address will be delivered by Sir Bill Morris, Chancellor of the University of Technology, who is one of the most influential men in Britain. Other speakers will include High Commissioner Gail Mathurin; Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Ed Bartlett; Commissioner of Police, Lucius Thomas; Managing Director of the Gleaner Voices Group, Kingsley Thomas; General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, Dame Karlene Davis; Members of Parliament Dawn Butler and Dianne Abbott; Bishop Eric Brown and Immigration Specialist, Jawaid Lugmani.
High Commissioner Gail Mathurin, who gave the details of the conference at the High Commission in London on Monday (Feb.13), said that the event was part of the preparatory process for the June Diaspora Conference in Jamaica.
“It will also be a historic occasion, as it will bring together Jamaicans from all over the United Kingdom and from parts of Europe.under one roof, to network and to identify issues of common interest and concern, to take to the conference in Jamaica,” she said.
Sir Bill Morris said the conference would put right some of the negative perceptions of Jamaica and Jamaicans. ” We have to rebuild this brand. The brand that is Jamaica and we have to reclaim our heritage as mass contributors to this society and this community”.
The theme of the conference is: ‘Local Focus, National Impact’ and UK Diaspora Advisory Board member, Paulette Simpson said the event was aimed at widening participation in, and strengthening the impact of the Jamaica Diaspora UK.
The conference will look at a range of issues including improving Jamaica’s image, and immigration and entrepreneurships within the Jamaican community. It also hopes to identify the main issues affecting the Jamaican community in the UK and the key areas in which the Diaspora can impact on national development.
The event will also look at influencing public policy, and encourage close networking between Jamaican organizations across the UK.
Air Jamaica, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary in the UK, is the main sponsor, while the Gleaner Voices Group is the media partner.

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