Letter from the Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board in response to an editorial

Mr. Editor,

We want to commend you for highlighting the matter of the current
status of the engagement of Jamaican Diaspora and its importance and
relevance to Jamaica at this time in our history. We believe that the
discussion of a “Greater Jamaica”, both those home and abroad, is a
critical one in meeting our mutual challenges and delivering on our
dreams. For this reason, we are appreciative of the bi-partisan
support of our government and supportive private sector in moving the
Diaspora engagement along during changing administrations.

In contrast, as inferred from your commentary, we do not embrace the
notion and attitude that Jamaica’s relationship with its Diaspora
community is primarily premised solely on needy times. We are
convinced that nurturing our Diaspora engagement is based on
deliberate strategic measures to meet our country’s challenges and
also to partake in positive opportunities. While we make no qualms
about giving to our homeland, we do not believe that our country has
taken full advantage of the relationship on many levels.

Over the years, we have had numerous community forums with public and
private sector leaders to discuss initiatives and commitments, but
have encountered more frustrations with follow through than expedited
closure. Notwithstanding, we also share the blame for not being more
vocal and demanding and furthering our community organizing in our
various jurisdictions.  All parties recognize that it is time to bring
substance and purpose to this relationship.  Given the global identity
of our country’s personality, we cannot avoid our inevitable path to a
“Greater Jamaica.”

As such, we commend the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade
for listening to our urging through the voice of the Jamaican Diaspora
Advisory Board.  We are ready to provide further testimony and, as
requested, to speak directly to our family and peers at home.  In
addition, we are also looking forward   to the next Jamaican Diaspora
“Convention”, scheduled for June 2010.

This is not only an exciting time for deepening this relationship, but
also vital in addressing the myriad of fiscal obstacles and societal
regressions that we fail to recognize openly.  We hope that all
Jamaicans will recognize that our population is not only 2.8 million,
but actually a powerful statistic of a total of 5 million worldwide
and growing.  We have yet to tap our true potential.  This Committee
is the catalyst for a Sunday dinner conversation that is well past its
time.   Thank you for setting the table and hearing the alarm.

Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board

Patrick A Beckford (USA, North East)
Marlon Hill (USA, South)
Wayland Richards (USA, Mid West/West)
David Mullings, (USA, Future Leaders)
Sharon Abrahams (Canada)
Claudette Cameron-Stewart (Canada)
Leo Campbell (Canada, Future Leaders)
Celia Grandison-Markey (UK)
Derek Douglas (UK)
Saffron Jackson (UK, Future Leaders)

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One Response to “Letter from the Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board in response to an editorial”

  1. Jheanelle Duhaney says:

    ‘GET RID OF CRIME, GET RID OF POVERTY” Dear Editor, Modern statistics show that around 14.8% of Jamaicans are below the poverty line. This means 85.2% are in some way capable of helping in some way shape or form. Though the percentage does fluctuate, the fact that this small island cannot come together to help a cause, troubles me, and it should with you. Everyday we wake up and go about our daily routines, we actually can see the poverty at every street corner and every city. From Constant Spring to Red Hills there are children not in school. Walking around with window wipers trying to get chump change to buy a patty is not right. From half way tree to New Kingston, we have to keep our windows up or our car doors locked, while desperate people get violent because they haven’t eaten in days. What jamaicans don’t seem to understand is that we are why our island is so violent. We as a nation, can if we try, fight crime by evacuating poverty. Poverty is the route to this evil.Since this fact is visibly available for thought of change, and still not much happens is the exact reason why we as an island is struggling to unite. As of now, poverty is a big cause to the crime and violence in jamaica. We do have a selfish take on things, we are greedy and we are stereotypical. This is why the poor and the which are separated in location. Concerned on have enough money to do things that only benefit our wants and needs are natural but still selfish. I do struggle with this selfish concept, but i know there is never a time in which I would work at a food bank or give my unwanted attire and pocket change to poor person and not feel even selfish. Selfish to keep such a rejuvenated spirit on a daily basis. Noticing the problem is an issue, but not helping the problem is a bigger issue. This only comes with good results. I can imagine that it would be nice for a parent to know that their child will come home safely. Not worrying on purchasing expensive security systems to sleep better at night, and knowing that you can be safe and content. It is obvious that we cannot depend on foreigners to keep up on our feet Tourism is on a downward slope due to recession. We cannot sit back and allow our beautiful island to sink. Notice, help make a change.

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francineb Posted by: francineb December 4, 2009 at 12:13 pm