Jamaican Diaspora Southern United States Elects New Leadership And Plans For Continued Engagement

On Sunday, December 11, 10:00 a.m., the public is invited to participate in worship service at the Holy Family Episcopal Church at 18501 NW Seventh Avenue in Miami Gardens to celebrate the new leadership to the Advisory Board of the Jamaican Diaspora Southern United States and provide an opportunity to learn more about this ongoing community building initiative.   The Service will also be broadcast live online at http://www.irietimes.com.

At a recent community forum, on Saturday, November 5th, Jamaican nationals across the South Florida community elected new leadership for the region while new discussing plans for moving forward under the new leadership team.

Following an open nomination process, the large audience of Jamaican nationals elected Dr. Susan Lycett Davis as the Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board member for the Southern United States.   Former Miramar Commissioner, George Pedlar and attorney, Pamela Gordon, past President of the Florida Bar Association, garnered the second most equal number of votes to serve as the alternate board members in the event of the absence and in support of Dr. Davis in carrying out her duties on the Board.

The recent meeting titled “Next Steps in Diaspora Engagement” was held at the Holy Family Episcopal Church and welcomed the participation of a cross section of community leaders to elect new leadership for the region and to discuss the next step in the process of continued diaspora engagement.

Dr. Davis, a faculty member at Nova Southeastern University School of Education campus in North Miami Beach, replaces attorney Marlon Hill who has served on the Advisory Board for five years.  He indicated that he will assume a new strategic role on organizational development of the Diaspora focusing on leadership development, marketing, and fundraising.
The Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board presently consists of seven representatives drawn from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America with the primary responsibility of engaging with the respective community regions and advising the Government of Jamaica on issues of critical interests to the overseas Jamaican communities. The Advisory Board meets twice annually to convey and discuss matters of importance to Jamaicans in the diaspora.  The next meeting of the Advisory Board is scheduled for the end of January, 2012 in Kingston.
Who is Dr. Davis?

Dr. Davis is a full-time faculty member at Nova Southeastern University’s, Abraham S. Fischler School of Education, North Miami Beach, Florida and a partner in Para, Davis and Associates LLC, a mediation business.

A skilled professional with over 30 years of business experience in administrative and instructional management with several multi-national corporations, Dr. Davis has worked in the United Kingdom and the USA having demonstrated success in managing organizational growth, employee and student development, diversity awareness, workplace violence prevention, and conflict resolution initiatives.

Dr. Davis is also known in the cultural arena as a performing artist extending her talent as a poet, writer and motivational speaker.  Her personal catch phrase is “British by birth, Jamaican by choice and American by naturalization”, having been born in Britain, and grew up in Jamaica and the USA.  She pursued tertiary education at the South Bank University and the University of Greenwich in London, and has lived in South Florida since 1996, emphasizing “I get involved in everything Jamaican”.

Affectionately known as “Dr. Sue” in the entertainment arena, her extensive and diverse work and life experiences make her material and delivery rich, humorous and educational.  Recently, she launched her first CD of poetry called “Ode to Miss Lou” a compilation of performance pieces that span Jamaica, USA and the UK.

In the 1980s through the early 1990s, she worked as a professional actress and an esteemed arts administrator; and as a member of the British Actor’s Equity, she worked and toured extensively in the UK.

Dr. Davis brings to the new Diaspora position a wealth of knowledge and experience as she assumes the role of continued community organization for the Southern USA region.  A devote Christian and active church member, she is currently involved in the Worship and Arts Ministry of her home church, Cooper City Church of God.  She is an advocate for leadership, youth development, programs for employee advancement, while embracing and encouraging change for personal and community development. “My purpose in life is to serve others and help them grow through the facilitation of learning, professional and personal development” she added.

As she addressed the supporting audience, Dr. Davis described her new role as “a divine appointment, and as such, I approach the challenge without fear, but with confidence and passion.”  She vowed to continue to build on the infrastructure already in place; creating awareness of the mission for the Jamaican diaspora – foster engagement and generate funds to support initiatives. “We are all in this thing together” she reiterated.

As he welcomed his successor, immediate past advisory board representative, Marlon Hill called for the continued support of Jamaicans in the Diaspora stating that “we are entering the phase of greater organizational development and awareness.”  Elaborating on his supporting role, he pointed out that the important tasks ahead are to procure the financial resources to build an organizational infrastructure, and to build on the understanding and awareness of this community engagement movement – the Jamaican Diaspora.