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Outstanding member of Jamaican diaspora in Atlanta on mission to empower Jamaica’s youth

by Carmen Miller

ATLANTA – Outstanding member of the Jamaican Diaspora in Atlanta, Georgia, Elaine Grant-Bryan and her husband Gregory Bryan are on a mission to actively participate in Jamaica’s national development process.

As Georgia’s 2011 Counselor of the Year, Elaine Grant-Bryan is a well-known educator and business woman, who has received numerous awards for her contribution to Education and Civic Leadership as well as in Real Estate. She is also a Financial Columnist and empowerment speaker, who has written numerous articles for the Gleaner’s Flair Magazine and highlights the success of Jamaica and especially our country’s women in her published articles.

As someone who has played a leading role in youth empowerment in Atlanta, Mrs. Bryan believes she’s eminently poised to assist Jamaica particularly in the achievement of “World-Class Education and Training”, a key outcome of Vision 2030 Jamaica, and in general, towards transforming the country into “… the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”.

Mrs. Grant-Bryan seized the opportunity when she received a Vision 2030 Jamaica Diaspora Survey, disseminated recently to members of the Jamaican Diaspora— by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade— for their input in selecting the priority issues for Jamaica over the next medium term (three-year) period, 2012 – 2015. This initiative forms part of the ongoing thrust by the PIOJ to engage our Diaspora members in the process of national transformation.

Subsequently, she met with the Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat, PIOJ on June 5. These meetings involved preliminary discussions with PIOJ Director General, Dr. Gladstone Hutchinson and members of the Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade with Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Paul Robothom, Mr. Lloyd Wilks, and Ms. Leonie Livingstone, Director and Assistant Director of the Diaspora and Consular Affairs Department; and the Ministry of Youth and Culture, with the Minister, the Hon. Lisa Hanna, Permanent Secretary, Mr. Robert Martin, and Director of Culture Mr. Sidney Bartley.

The Bryans meet Minister Hanna; L-R: Gregory Bryan, Jamaica’s Ministry of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna,and Elaine Grant-Bryan

Discussions focused on ways of strengthening the synergies between the Diaspora and Jamaica; how best to tap into the energies of highly placed and highly skilled members of the Diaspora who might not be part of a larger group, as well as the need to create linkages among disparate groups, with special reference to Atlanta; proposed consultations with the Diaspora community in the major cities of the USA, UK and Canada on the issue of a Diaspora Bond, how it can assist in marketing the Jamaican culture globally, and the promotion of the Legacy Programme as part of the Jamaica 50 celebrations. Cultural exchanges and twinning of schools in Jamaica and Atlanta, as well as a strategy for meeting key investors there, were also areas of focus during the discussions.

As a direct outcome of the talks, Elaine Grant-Bryan promised to submit a detailed plan outlining the general areas in which she and her husband— who is a successful Mechanical Engineer & Computer programmer, writer and producer of music— can contribute, as well as to examine ways in which they could begin to make an immediate impact in empowering the Youths of Jamaica.

L-R: Ambassador Paul Robothom, Elaine Bryan, Gregory Bryan, Mr. Lloyd Wilks, and Ms. Leonie Livingstone, Director and Assistant Director of the Diaspora and Consular Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade

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