JIS News

A new eight-member Board of Directors of the Jamaican Nationals Association (JNA) of Washington, D.C. has been appointed.
They are: Dr. Jacqui Payne, President; Ian Harvey, Vice President; Claudette Henry, Executive Secretary; Joyell Arscott, Recording Secretary; Denakay Brown, Treasurer; Enid Russell, Assistant Treasurer; Franklyn Burke, Parliamentarian; Rosie Parke, Public Relations Officer, and Moreen Wallace, Immediate past-President. In her acceptance speech at the Springvale Hall in Silver Springs, Maryland on February 3, President Payne said one of the main projects that the Board would undertake is to secure and dedicate a building in Washington as the JNA’s headquarters – ‘Jamaica House’.
She said ‘Jamaica House’ will be accessible to the entire community with particular focus on students, new immigrants, youth and the elderly. She added that ‘Jamaica House’ would also offer services to allow the Jamaican immigrant community to more fully participate in and contribute to the American society.
Dr. Payne said the association would promote the importance of mental health, both in the US and in Jamaica, by providing mental health awareness, screening, and facilitating mental health training for health care providers.
She also noted that emphasis would be placed on increasing the membership by at least 30 per cent over the next 24 months, as well as create a “transition outreach” programme for the children of newly-arrived Jamaican immigrants residing in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area.
Miss Wallace, in her remarks, urged the new Board and members of the JNA to stay focused on the mission of the association, which is to foster, promote and unite Jamaicans in the Washington D.C. area and in Jamaica.
She challenged the organization to increase its charitable programmes, especially the book scholarship which was established in honour of former Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, Professor Gordon Shirley, for college students of Jamaican heritage in the Washington Metro area. She pointed out that four students were awarded scholarships in October last year.
The out-going President said among the achievements by the administration during 2006/07 were an increase in membership, and raising more than US$10,000 for the establishment of an association headquarters.

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