JIS News

With just days to go before the first ever conference of Jamaicans in the United Kingdom (UK), the organisers (Jamaica Diaspora UK), are pleased with the response from Jamaicans across the country.
Over the past week the number of persons registering has doubled and the Secretariat has fielded hundreds of enquiries.
The conference is set for Saturday, April 1, at the Bethel Conference Centre in West Bromwich. More than 500 delegates are expected to attend.
“We are very pleased so far with great interest and enthusiasm being shown by the community. Community groups and organizations from across the UK have already organised special coaches to transport their delegates and we have been inundated with enquiries, suggestions and lots of good wishes,” Paulette Simpson, Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board member, told JIS news.
Both Miss Simpson and fellow Advisory Board member, Travis Johnson, in a special message for the conference, said this meeting represented a significant milestone for the UK Diaspora movement and all Jamaicans.
“We have reached this very important signpost by the sheer resolve, determination, hard work, goodwill and a lot of personal sacrifices. Many groups, organizations, individual groups and organizations have freely and generously given their time, efforts and skills to ensure that the conference is a reality,” they said.
Minister with responsibility for Jamaicans overseas, Senator Delano Franklyn, will be among the list of high-powered speakers slated for the conference. The keynote speaker will be Sir Bill Morris, Chancellor of the University of Technology. Other speakers include High Commissioner, Gail Mathurin; Opposition spokesman with responsibility for the Jamaican Diaspora, Ed Bartlett; Commissioner of Police, Lucius Thomas; Managing Director of the Gleaner Voice 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.
The theme of the conference is: ‘Local Focus, National Impact’, and it aims to widen participation in, and strengthen the impact of the Jamaica Diaspora UK.
A range of matters will be discussed at the conference, including Jamaica’s image, immigration issues, and entrepreneurship within the Jamaican community. The main issues affecting the Jamaican Community in the UK and the key areas in which the Diaspora can impact on national development, both in the UK and in Jamaica, will also be explored.
The conference will seek to influence public policy in the UK, and encourage closer networking between Jamaican organizations across the United Kingdom.