In celebration of Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of independence, Leader of the Opposition and President of the People’s National Party (PNP), Mark Golding, MP, will tour the diaspora from July 14-21. He will visit the New York Tri-state area July 20-21 after making stops in South Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, and Washington, DC. Mr. Golding, in partnership with the Caribbean Research Center at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York (CUNY), will deliver a lecture on the Caribbean diaspora’s impact in the United States.
The event, which is being offered as part of the Medgar Evers College Caribbean Lecture Series, will be held on Thursday, July 21, at 6:00 pm, in the Edison O Jackson auditorium, 1650 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225, under the theme: “Jamaica 60: Reigniting a Nation for Greatness.” This will be a signature activity for the Opposition Leader as he tours the diaspora with a contingent which includes Opposition Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Lisa Hanna, MP; Chairman of the PNP and Opposition Spokesperson on Labor and Social Security Dr. Angela Brown-Burke, MP; Opposition Spokesperson on Information and Justice Senator Donna Scott Mottley; PNP General Secretary Dr. Dayton Campbell; Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate and Opposition Spokesperson on Security Senator Peter Bunting, and Party Treasurer Kisha Anderson.
Explaining the significance and timing of the tour, Mr. Golding said:
“The contribution of our diaspora is immense. During good times and bad, you step forward to continuously support our country from wherever you are. When times get rough, for example as it did during the peak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, your contribution to our country, to our children and their well-being, once more demonstrated in undeniable ways, that no matter how near or far you are, no matter your own sacrifices, no matter your own challenges, that you will stand up, dig deep, and demonstrate in undeniable ways, your tremendous love, skills, experience and capacities in support of the development of our beloved Jamaica.”
According to a 2019 population data compiled by CUNY Baruch College, there are 163,680 Jamaican immigrants living in New York City, out of the 817,082 Caribbean immigrants who call the city home. Jamaicans continue to distinguish themselves by proudly contributing to the richness and diversity of the most famous city in the world, across all sectors including healthcare, politics, entrepreneurship, law enforcement, education, culture, and sports. The conversation will focus on issues that are relevant to Jamaicans in New York City and will provide a platform for the sharing of ideas to reignite Jamaica’s greatness.
“The heart of Jamaica beats within you wherever you go, and so no 60th Celebration would be complete without the involvement, engagement, and great Jamaican passion of our diaspora members as we seek to Reignite our Nation for Greatness. Save the dates of our Diaspora tours and see you soon,” Mr. Golding stated.
The Opposition Leader regards the members of the diaspora as central to Jamaica’s growth and development, and integral to any conversation on reigniting our greatness. The diaspora tour comes at a crucial time as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and various market disruptions take a toll globally. Opposition Leader Golding aims to engage members of the diaspora in meaningful dialogue to explore potential solutions so that Jamaicans in New York City are heard, and their views respected.
Opposition Spokesperson on Information and Justice Senator Donna Scott Mottley, in sharing an overview of tour and the importance of the diaspora, stated:
“The People’s National Party has always recognized and respected our brothers and sisters who reside in the diaspora and as we celebrate Jamaica’s diamond jubilee, the party would like its celebrations to include the Jamaicans in the diaspora. We as a party acknowledge the contributions which they have made to their homeland and the resources they have committed to its economic, social, and spiritual development. We salute their achievements in their adopted countries as they assume positions of leadership and we wish to engage and partner with them in building a Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.”
The lecture will be livestreamed on the college’s YouTube page and is open to the public. A free reception will be hosted at Brooklyn Commons after the event. Registration is required and Covid-19 protocols will be observed.