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USA Jamaica Regional Diaspora Conference For Florida, October 3-4, 2009, Florida

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The first USA Jamaica Diaspora Conference will convene next Saturday (Oct. 3) through Sunday (Oct. 4) at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in Fort Lauderdale.

The theme for the two day conference is “Responding to the challenge: Jamaicans unite for Progress.”  Some 150 delegates representing Jamaican organizations and community interests in the Northeast, Midwest and Southern regions of the United States will convene in plenary sessions and workshops to discuss a wide range of topics relating to ongoing efforts to facilitate the strengthening of relationships between Jamaica and its Diaspora.

“The inaugural USA regional conference is a critical organizing step for our community,” stated Marlon Hill, Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board member for the Southern USA, the host region of the event. He continued that throughout the Diaspora we must begin the process to foster a shared vision for governance, financial sustainability, and a consistent message to galvanize the talents and resources of Jamaicans, first, second and third generations.

A series of topics will provide a forum to discuss issues to effectively mobilize support for Jamaica’s economic development in areas of trade and investment, education, health and disaster preparedness.

The summit is being coordinated by the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board and the Embassy of Jamaica, Washington, D.C.

Officials expected to participate in the two-day sessions include Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Anthony Johnson; the Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade with responsibility for Diaspora Affairs, Dr. the Hon. Ronald Robinson; the Leader of Opposition, Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; Professor Hon. Rex Nettleford of the Jamaica Diaspora Foundation and Professor Neville Ying of the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, Jamaica’s Consuls General to Southern USA and Northeast USA respectively, Mrs. Sandra Grant Griffiths and Mrs. Genevieve Brown Metzger.

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