WASHINGTON, DC – Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks, has expressed deep gratitude to the Jamaican diaspora, whose ceaseless contributions in a number of areas have enhanced our nation’s progress.
Addressing the Jamaica Association of Maryland Jamaica’s 61st anniversary independence Gala at Martin’s West in Baltimore on Saturday August 19th 2023 Ambassador marks said “through initiatives in business, health and education, and generous donations of time and resources, our diaspora has significantly enriched Jamaican communities, leaving a lasting impact that will resonate far into the future.”
“As a nation, we have achieved steady progress, surpassing economic forecasts and social benchmarks. Financial barometers, such as our debt-to-GDP ratio and unemployment rate are at historic lows of 78% and 6% respectively, paving the way for enduring financial stability and sustainable growth. It is the indomitable determination of our people that has propelled us towards these goals,” Ambassador Marks noted.
We are renowned for our heritage, culture, and prowess in sports. Our athleticism and resilience as a people are exemplified by the Reggae Girlz’s performance in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the fight put up by our Reggae Boyz in the recently concluded Gold Cup and the performance of our athletes now underway in Budapest, Hungary.
“As we pay homage to our ancestors for their invaluable contributions in securing independence, let us celebrate all our accomplishments in the areas of sports, music, art, academia, and politics,” Ambassador Marks declared.
She has lauded the Jamaican Association of Maryland (JAM) as a shining example of a robust, change making diaspora organization helping to move Jamaicans and Jamaica forward.”
It is against this background that Ambassador Marks proposed that the organization consider implementing a youth travel and mentorship programme; Upliftment, Learning, and Intervention through Foreign Travel (UPLIFT).
She explained that this program is aimed at exposing young Jamaican boys from age 7 to 18, by hosting them and their parents with families in the United States who will expose them to different experiences over a two-to-three-week period.
She emphasized that the genesis of UPLIFT was to intervene and cauterize what is happening in the society as it relates to our young boys. The programme will be aimed at giving them an opportunity to change their environment affording them a different experience. Quoting Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ambassador Marks stated that ‘Once the mind has expanded by a new experience, it can never regain its original dimensions”.
“This is one area that I know this organization can assist with that will make a tremendous difference in the lives of our young boys. I am asking the JAM president and its members to join me in launching this pilot project in Maryland.
The organization will need to form a committee to assist with the recruiting, vetting and monitoring of suitable families for the programme. The participants will spend at least two weeks with a host family that has been qualified as a safe, nurturing environment and I know that will start a transformation,” Ambassador Marks advised.
The Jamaican Ambassador commended President of the association Ricardo Nugent, his executive team, and the members of JAM for the remarkable work they are doing in and for the community.
Marcus Garvey Award
Emmy award winning journalist from the CBS channel 9 station in Washington DC Jamaican born Larry Sindass was awarded the Marcus Garvey Award for his outstanding contribution to journalism.
Mr. Sindass is the News Producer Chief Editor for CBS channel 9 and he is also the producer for “Carib Nations’ weekly news magazine television programme which is syndicated to 21 countries.