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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS: March 21st – March 27th, 2015

Written by Staff Writer

MEMORIAL FOR SLAVERY VICTIMS TO BE UNVEILED—03/21/15
At the United Nations, the Permanent Memorial to honor victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade is scheduled for unveiling on March 25, 2015. The winning design of an international competition in 2013, the Ark of Return, has been in the construction phase for several months. When it is completed, the memorial will be the first of its kind at the UN. CARICOM and African Groups were the impetus for the erection of the memorial.

HEALTH MINISTRY BLAMED FOR JAMAICAN’S PLIGHT IN U.S.—03/22/15
Karessa Marshall, a heart patient from Jamaica, is stranded in Baltimore, Maryland, and she blames Jamaica’s Ministry of Health for not fulfilling its promise to pay for a life-saving surgery. She says she was informed just days before the scheduled procedure that there were not funds available to pay for the operation. Marshal, 34, said the Ministry promised to help her with $56,000 surgery costs if she could pay for her air fare, visa and accommodations. The Ministry of Health disputes her story, however, and says there was no agreement about payment for the operation.

CANADA SEARCHING FOR NEXT GENERATION OF BLACK LEADERS—03/23/15
In Toronto, Canada, black leaders are looking for young people to take their place in moving race relations forward in that city and developing future activism. Valerie Steele, the president of the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation, noted that there has not been enough activism in the last few years, and not enough attention given to holding certain entities accountable for the situation. The group has held meetings to encourage the development of a younger generation of leaders to help the black community improve its material condition.

JAMAICAN DIASPORA SUPPORTS BIENNIAL EXHIBIATION—03/24/15
At the end of the 2014 Biennial Exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica, Dr. Veerle Poupeye, executive director of the museum, said that some 8,000 individuals saw the exhibit in Kingston. A lesson learned during the staging of the exhibit is that the Jamaican Diaspora is ready and willing to be more involved in local culture and projects. Suggestions for future staging include more satellite locations, exhibitions curated by guest curators, and invitations to smaller regional galleries and museum, as well as greater encouragement of the Diaspora to support these initiatives.

PRIME MINISTER SAYS U.S. BLACK CAUCUS HELPED GET IMF AGREEMENT—03/25/15
According to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller of Jamaica, it was the United States Congressional Black Caucus that helped to convince the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to sign on to an agreement with her country in 2013. The Prime Minister expressed her gratitude on behalf of Jamaica’s people to the U.S. lawmakers who lobbied the IMF to develop the agreement.

JAMAICAN HIGH COMMISSIONER VISITS WATFORD IN UK—03/26/15
In the United Kingdom, Jamaica’s High Commissioner Ndombet-Assamba visited the town of Watford and was presented with a book about the town’s theater. The Commissioner, who previously served as the Minister of Culture in Jamaica, is very interested in the cultural assets of the UK. The book was written by Ian Schleater and is called “The Story of the Palace Theatre Watford.”

JAMAICAN-BORN SINGER GETS NO RADIO PLAY IN LAND OF HIS BIRTH—03/27/15
Canadian Tony Anthony was born in Jamaica, but he is not receiving much attention in his home country. Anthony is popular around the world, being one of several break-out reggae acts on the performance circuit. His album “Million Chance” hit the Italian reggae charts and won several awards in the 2011 Canadian Reggae Music Achievement Awards. His songs are on several play lists in various countries, but he does not get much air time on Jamaican radio.

MILLS HAD EXTRAORDINARY PUBLIC SERVICE CAREER—03/27/15
The career of Professor Donald Owen “Don” Mills was extraordinary in every sense of the word. He won many awards for his public service in international relations and diplomacy. He received the Order of Jamaica, the honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of the West Indies, and the Norman Manley Award for Excellence. He was a permanent representative from Jamaica to the UN and headed the Jamaican Mission to the UN Environmental Program. He served as president of the UN Security Council and was member of the Privy Council and the Judicial Service Commission.

About the author

Staff Writer