JIS News

Jamaicans in Florida will come together to celebrate the first anniversary of Jamaican Diaspora Day on June 16, with a reception at the Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale.
Professor Rex Nettleford, Chairman of the Jamaica Diaspora Foundation will be guest speaker at the event, being held under the patronage of the Consulate General of Jamaica and the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board in Southeast USA.
Jamaican performers in South Florida will also mark the event with a host of cultural presentations.
Annual celebrations to mark Jamaican Diaspora Day resulted from the historical conference held last June (2004) to strengthen relations between Jamaicans overseas and the local Jamaican community in the areas of economic development, trade relations, and political empowerment for the benefit of the country’s development and also for Jamaicans in their respective overseas communities.
Jamaican nationals will also participate in an inaugural Symposium on Saturday, June 18 at the Florida Atlantic University. The one-day event will take the form of three panel discussions on philanthropy, economic empowerment and political galvanization.
Guest speaker at the symposium will be Chairman of GraceKennedy and Company, Douglas Orane, who also chaired the historical June conference last year in Jamaica.
The topics for discussion will include civil society’s development in Jamaica, alternate dispute resolution, strategies for good governance and philanthropic activities. An update on economic development and avenues for personal investment in Jamaica will also form part of the discussion.
Immigration issues will also be discussed, with an emphasis on citizenship status in the United States, and encouraging Jamaicans to become a force in the decision-making policies of their overseas communities.
Panelists will include officers from JAMPRO, Jamaica National Building Society, the Jamaica USA Chamber of Commerce, Hands Across Jamaica for Righteousness, Dispute Resolution Foundation and MSI-CIV JAM, and the Southeast American Financial Group.
Jamaican Diaspora Advisory member in the Southeast USA, Dahlia Walker-Huntington said that the goal of the symposium was to further the mandate of last year’s Diaspora conference, as attendees would gain positive information impacting Jamaica’s economic development, and to benefit them as effective citizens in their respective overseas communities.
She expressed appreciation to the sponsors and co-ordinators of the celebrations, and for the overwhelming response of members of the Diaspora in their commitment and on-going support.
“The key message that we hope to impart is that the Jamaican Diaspora is every Jamaican living outside of Jamaica,” she said.

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