MIAMI – Jamaica’s Ambassador to the USA, Her Excellency Audrey Marks said that the Diaspora has a unique contribution to make to Jamaica’s development.
She was speaking to nationals at a recent Community Luncheon hosted by the Caribbean Bar Association of Central Florida (CBACF), and the Jamaican American Association of Central Florida (JAACF) at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando (Apr. 11). The event was chaired by Mr. Wayne Golding, President of the CBACF. Welcome remarks were given by Jamaica’s Consulate General, Sandra Grant Griffiths and Mrs. Sandra Fatmi, Board member of the JAACF.
Ambassador Marks urged nationals to re-evaluate their passion for Jamaica by becoming engaged and empowered in the political decision-making process of the local communities in which they resided overseas. More importantly, she encouraged those nationals who were eligible to become citizens of the United States. She informed that they would be able to better leverage for their personal development, as well as for Jamaica’s economic development.
The Ambassador who was on her first official visit to the South Florida community had also used the opportunity to visit nationals in Central Florida. During her national outreach across Diaspora communities throughout the USA, Ms. Marks observed that the passion of the nationals she encountered reflected an interest in their homeland, and simultaneously they also demonstrated a positive impact on the development of communities here in the USA.
She noted that Jamaicans have been contributing to the development of the United States more than 200 years ago with the migration of John Brown Russworm, an African-Jamaica, who became the first African-American to graduate from Bowdoin College and the third college graduate of his race. Russworm went on to become co-founder and co-editor of Freedom’s Journal, Black America’s first newspaper.
She chronicled years of migrant activities that laid the foundation for the long-standing friendship and cooperation between Jamaica and the United States.
As she commended the nationals for their outstanding contributions to their local communities abroad, the Ambassador encouraged them to celebrate their progress.
Turning to Jamaica’s economic development, the Ambassador said that Government’s focus is now on trade and investment indicating that that efforts were being made to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora.
In this light, the Ambassador added that a restructuring of all the areas of trade implementation was in progress to facilitate access to the channels of doing business in Jamaica.
Turning to the upcoming National Diaspora Conference to be held in next June in Jamaica, Ambassador Marks urged participation from all overseas community-based groups and individuals, and invited submissions so the agenda can be framed around issues concerning the Diaspora.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to USA, Her Excellency Audrey Marks (right) sharing a moment with Mayor of Orlando, Hon. Buddy Dyer when she paid a courtesy call to the City of Orlando Commission recently during a visit to Central Florida.
Earlier that day, Ambassador Marks paid a courtesy call on the Mayors of the City of Orlando and Orange County, Mr. Buddy Dyer, and Ms. Teresa Jacobs, respectively, where there was a brief exchange of information regarding the mutually beneficial relationship that existed between Jamaica and the largely populated Diasporic communities in the United States.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to USA, Her Excellency Audrey Marks (center)sharing a light moment with Mayor of Orange County, Hon. Teresa Jacobs (left) during a recent visit to the Mayor’s Chambers in downtown Orlando. At right is Jamaica’s Consul General Sandra Grant Griffiths who accompanied the Ambassador who was on an official visit to the Central Florida community recently.
The Ambassador was also accompanied by Consul Desreine Taylor of the Consulate General of Jamaica and Superintendent Vance Carter, with responsibility for Immigration and Deportation.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the USA, Her Excellency Audrey Marks (right) receiving keys to the City of Fort Lauderdale from Mayor of Broward County, Hon. Sue Gunzburger (left) at a presentation ceremony on Tuesday (Apr. 12) at the Commission Chamber during the monthly meeting of the City Commissioners. The Ambassador was also presented with a Proclamation for her accomplishments.