JIS News

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Her Excellency Audrey Marks, will host Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus Professor Dale Webber on her monthly series, Let’s Connect with Ambassador Marks, on Thursday (May 26) at 7:00 pm EDT.

Ambassador Marks stated that the upcoming virtual town hall will highlight the opportunities being created by UWI in collaboration with America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for exchange programmes and scholarships for students at UWI Mona and students attending HBCUs.

The Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Howard University Dr. Tashni-Ann DuBroy will also join the programme as a special guest. She will highlight the opportunities being created by Howard University for exchange programmes for students at UWI Mona and students attending HBCUs.

The UWI is also holding discussions with the top rated HBCUs and diaspora members to expand scholarships to facilitate participation in the exchange programmes.

Ambassador Marks said she is very pleased that Dr. Webber and Dr. DuBroy have accepted her invitation to have a direct conversation with members of the diaspora, given the important role that HBCUs continue to play in educating members of the Jamaican diaspora in the United States.

HBCUs are higher education institutions within the United States that were originally established with a mandate of providing opportunities to African-American students. This was done in the 19th century to offset the historical injustices of slavery and later segregation and their resulting impact on education within the Black community.

Jamaican students will be identified to launch the exchange programme which is expected to eventually include 1,000 students annually.

Ambassador Marks said there are currently just over 100 HBCUs in the United States, representing approximately three per cent of US higher-education institutions. These institutions are concentrated around the south-eastern United States. While predominantly catering to Black/African-American students, non-Black students make up approximately 24 per cent of enrolment at HBCUs.

The Pro-Vice Chancellor along with UWI’s Campus Registrar, Dr. Donovan Stanberry and Bursar Mrs Catherine Park Twaites, are in Washington this week to hold discussions aimed at strengthening the bonds between the UWI and the HBCUs.

They will also be meeting with the US Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs as well as the president of various universities. These include Dr. Mark Wrighton, President of Georgetown University; Dr. Wayne Frederick, President of Howard University and Dr. Tony Allen, President of Delaware State University, and Chair of President Biden’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs among others.

‘Let’s Connect with Ambassador Marks’ enables members of the diaspora to communicate directly with the Ambassador about matters affecting their lives in the USA and stay up to date with the government’s policies and programmes, as well as the Embassy’s activities.

Ambassador Marks is occasionally joined by distinguished guests, including US government officials, key players in various local and international organisations and prominent members of the Jamaican diaspora.

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