[WASHINGTON, DC] – Jamaicans throughout the United States, including the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, California, Seattle, Illinois and New York, are set to celebrate “Jamaica 60” with a range of activities beginning in July.
The events have been organized by the Embassy of Jamaica, the Consulates in New York and Miami. In addition to various Honorary Consuls, alongside various Diaspora organizations.
“Let’s Connect with Ambassador Marks”
The activities officially kick off on July 28 at 7:00 p.m. with the next online town hall meeting “Let’s Connect with Ambassador Marks”.
This Let’s Connect will feature updates of the planned activities organized by Jamaican organizations in association with the Embassy of Jamaica, Consuls General and Honorary Consuls across the United States.
Service of Thanksgiving – Maryland
On Sunday, July 31, the Embassy of Jamaica will host a Service of Thanksgiving at the Sligo Seventh Day Adventist Church in Takoma Park, Maryland, at 11:00 a.m., to mark the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence. Among the special guests will be members of the diplomatic corps, elected officials, and representatives of international organizations.
Former President of the Jamaica Baptist Union and Baptist, warden and tutor at the United Theological College of the West Indies, the Rev. Mrs. Karen Kirlew, will deliver the sermon. The Service will be moderated by Dean of the Howard University School of Divinity Dr. Bertram L. Melbourne. Ambassador Marks will give the official welcome and deliver the Prime Minister’s message.
Jamaica 60 Gala – Maryland
On August 13, the Jamaica Association of Maryland will stage its “Jamaica 60 Gala” under the patronage of Her Excellency Audrey Marks, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States. The event will be held at Martin’s West ballroom, commencing at 8:00 p.m. Former Maryland State Senator, Jamaican-born Shirley Nathan-Pulliam will receive the organization’s “Lifetime Achievement Award”. Meanwhile Dr. Basil Buchanan will be given the Marcus Garvey Award.
Annual Jamaica Diaspora Day of Prayer and Fasting
The 18th annual Jamaica Diaspora Day of Prayer and Fasting (JDOP), a global prayer service for spiritual renewal and transformation of Jamaica, will be on Saturday July 30 2022, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The online event will bring together Jamaicans in the Diaspora in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and elsewhere. Coordinated out of New York, JDOP 2022.
DC World Reggae Festival
The 2-day DC World Reggae Festival, endorsed by the Embassy of Jamaica, will take place on Saturday, August 20 and Sunday August 21. It will be held at the RFK Festivals ground in Washington, featuring some of Jamaica’s top entertainment acts, including Beres Hammond, Beenie Man, Third World, and Etana.
Flag Raising Ceremony – Philadelphia
Led by Jamaica’s Honorary Consul in Philadelphia, Christopher Chaplin, Jamaicans in Philadelphia will celebrate “Jamaica 60” with a flag raising ceremony on Friday the 5th of August at the City Hall in Philadelphia commencing at 10:00am
On August 14, the “Jamaican Diaspora Pastors” of the Great State of Pennsylvania will hold a “Jamaica 60” church service at the Brand-New Life Christian Centre on German Town Avenue in Philadelphia, commencing at 4:00 pm.
New York Celebrations
In New York, the Jamaica 60 celebrations will begin on Independence Day, Saturday August 6, with a flag raising ceremony at 10:00 am at the Brooklyn Borough Hall. New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul will declare August 6 as Jamaica’s annual Flag Day.
On Sunday August 7, the Consulate General of Jamaica will host its annual Independence church service at the Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene beginning at 4:00pm. The sermon will be delivered by the Rev. Richard Griffiths.
The Consulate will continue its Independence activities which will feature a grand Independence Gala on August 20 at the New York Marriott Hotel in Manhattan. The function is expected to recognize six outstanding Jamaicans including world-renowned jazz pianist, Grammy nominee Monty Alexander.
Over in New Jersey, the Jamaica Organization of New Jersey will stage their Independence Gala on Saturday the 30th of July at the Pines Manor in Edison, commencing at 7:00 pm on Sunday, July 31.
Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving – Florida
Jamaicans in Florida will Commemorate Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of independence with an Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving hosted by the Jamaica Consulate General in Miami, at the Faith Center at 95th Street in Sunrise Florida on Sunday, July 31 beginning at 4:00 pm.
The officiating minister will be Pastor Andrew Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Seventh Day Baptist Missionary Society.
Jamaica’s Diamond Independence Jubilee Gala
On Saturday, August 6 at 7:00 p.m. , the Consulate General in association with Jamaica United Relief Association (JURA) will host Jamaica’s Diamond Independence Jubilee Gala at the Marriott Fort Lauderdale, where veteran entertainer Dr Jimmy Cliff, OM, will be honoured. The Inner Circle Band will provide entertainment.
Flag Raising Ceremony
On Sunday, August 7 beginning at 2:00 p.m. there will be an official Jamaica Flag Raising Ceremony Lauderhill Sports Club, Oakland Blvd., in Sunrise, while the Consulate General will host the Jamaica Independence Motorcade with civic officials of Lauderdale Lakes and Lauderhill city.
For more Jamaican Independence events happening in South Florida, click here.
In Atlanta, the Jamaican community will attend an Ecumenical Thanksgiving Church Service. It will take place at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church on August 14, starting at 3:00 p.m.
Independence activities in Atlanta culminate on August 13, when the Atlanta Jamaica Association will stage its annual Independence Ball and Scholarship Awards at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway Hotel.
Jamaican Embassy Celebrations
The Jamaican Embassy will be hosting and collaborating on the Jamaica 60 Celebrations in the United States until December 2022.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity to facilitate these events, along with our partners and friends who have contributed to Jamaica’s development over the years” said Ambassador Marks. “I hope that all Jamaicans in the Diaspora will continue the great traditional of sharing the Jamaican spirit. I encourage all Jamaicans and friends to embrace this year’s theme, ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness,’ in celebration of Jamaica, land we love.”
Likkle but we Tallawah
Surveying the Independence celebration activities, Ambassador Marks added: “Sixty years in a nation’s history may not immediately conjure up significant moments of historic events or remarkable achievements worthy of global attention. However, any scrutiny of our relatively short existence as a nation will surely bring to attention the Jamaican slogan “we likkle but we tallawah,” which we enthusiastically embrace and perpetually seek to inject into our personal and national endeavours.”
“Over the past 60 years, as a small island developing state, we have demonstrated a capacity to contribute to the human family and we continue to defy expectations in many spheres, including in academia, the arts and culture, diplomacy, sports, tourism, science and technology and entertainment, to name just a few. In so doing, the name “Jamaica” resonates in pioneering efforts in some of these areas, gaining plaudits in others, while at the same time becoming synonymous with great quality and high performance, much to the benefit of the nation,” she said.