JIS News

The Inaugural Future Leaders Diaspora Conference, held from August 4 to 9, is being hailed as a success by the young overseas nationals, eager to plan its successor.
Future Leader representative for the United States Diaspora, David Mullings, told JIS News that he is “extremely pleased” with the staging and the outcome of the conference held on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies.
Coming out of the meeting, the Future Leaders will be publishing an e-newsletter and setting up a dedicated website (jadiasporafutureleaders.com), where young Jamaicans can have an opportunity to source information about Jamaica.
“The idea is, we wanted to turn this (website) into some form of hub. We collected the information on everyone, who came to the conference, as well as the areas of interest or skill set, so we’ve now created a database and we’ll be able to grow,” Mr. Mullings informed.
The Future Leaders also agreed to establish a mentorship programme, where local and overseas nationals, will provide guidance and advice to local youth. “We’re going to set up a mentorship committee to ensure that contact is followed up regularly,” he told JIS News.
He said that these action plans will be posted on the website “for all to see what we’re working towards.”
Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Dr. Ronald Robinson, who has portfolio responsibility for Diaspora Affairs, also expressed pleasure at the outcome of the conference.
He said that the event provided the opportunity to reach “the second, third and fourth generation Jamaicans involved in the Diaspora movement (who), at some point, will be significant players in the Diaspora.”
Dr. Robinson stated that the conference was part of the ‘One Jamaica’ concept, which aims to foster more meaningful engagement of all Jamaican nationals in the country’s development, including influencing policy.
“Although they (overseas nationals) might not be able to sit (in Parliament) they should be able to interface with the lawmakers and be able to shape policy and that, in my mind, is a step in the right direction,” Dr. Robinson told JIS News.
The Future Leaders conference, an offshoot of the Jamaican Diaspora Movement, provided the opportunity for young Jamaicans, from the main Diaspora areas, to meet in a forum, to share ideas to help shape the future of the Diaspora movement and Jamaica.

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