Jamaica’s Ambassador to the US, His Excellency Anthony Johnson has challenged overseas Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica to become more concerned about their future and legacy.
Addressing an audience of Jamaicans and friends of the island nation at the 20th Anniversary Ball put on by the Committee for the Economic Redevelopment of Jamaica – CERJ – at Brooklyn’s Grand Prospect Hall, NY on Saturday night, November 29, 2008, Ambassador Johnson said that the time was opportune for persons of colour to consider, ‘moving up the value chain’.
Speaking against the background of what he termed, ‘the word changing events of the past month’, Ambassador Johnson noted that nothing was impossible if individuals and communities use the system to their advantage.
He said that collective enterprising and entrepreneurship is the way forward as the reported slowdown in the global economy will not last forever.
Ambassador Johnson who was deputizing for the Governor General, H.E. Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, told the audience that to move up the value chain, would require, ‘emancipating yourselves from mental slavery and removing the invisible rope from around your neck that is leading you in the same direction, all the time”.
He thanked the overseas community for its continued demonstration of patriotism with a reported 7% increase in remittances to the island over the corresponding period, despite the general outcry of economic doom and gloom.
President of CERJ, Professor Hugh Dawes in his remarks, noted that the mission of the organization – assisting Jamaica in regaining and maintaining sound economic health since the devastation of Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 – continues to guide the way forward.
He said that the last 20 years have been among the most dramatic in the history of the human experience, most notable, “the breaking of the gender and race barriers at the highest level of government in the USA”.
Three persons; former Governor General of Jamaica, His Excellency Sir Howard Cooke (Regal Award); Attorney Trevor G. Usher (Community Service Award) and Dr. Cynthia Richards, co-founder of CERJ (President’s Award), were recognized for their professional excellence and devotion to the cause of CERJ. Ambassador Johnson accepted on behalf of Sir Howard Cooke.