Whiteman Urges Young People to Help Change Perception About Jamaica


High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Burchell Whiteman, has urged young people to promote a change in perception and stereotype about Jamaica and to enhance the brand by which the country is identified.Speaking with students and young professionals of Jamaican heritage at the High Commission recently, Mr. Whiteman said that, “we must not allow ourselves to be stereotyped by others and contribute to that stereotyping.”
“I would like to be able to celebrate all Jamaican achievements and promote them, and I think any opportunity we can get to celebrate these achievements, we should grasp. I would like to celebrate the achievements in a wide variety of fields, including our intellectual achievements and our performances in the arts.What we are known for primarily is track and field and music, and while this is fine, it seems to me that we sometimes sell ourselves short in what we promote about ourselves,” he said.
Mr. Whiteman urged them not to allow themselves to be pigeonholed, as Jamaicans could excel in any field, while they applied themselves.
The meeting, which discussed a variety of topics, including the concept of Britishness, discrimination and stereotyping and the role of young people, also raised the issue of the University of the West Indies and other Caribbean certification not being afforded equal status under the UK regulations.
There was general consensus for more networking among Jamaican students and young professionals. On the question of the image of Jamaica, the meeting agreed that it was their responsibility to educate and promote a true picture of Jamaica, its history, culture and lifestyle.
How to change media perspectives and how to highlight the achievements and contributions of Jamaicans, particularly young Jamaicans to British society, were also discussed.
High Commissioner Whiteman said he hoped the meeting would enhance the dialogue between young people of Jamaican heritage. He also encouraged the participants to get involved and work together on areas of common interest.

JIS Social