Shari Waldrich, has worked and served in several roles that involve the community for the last 25 years such as board of directors for the Black Community Resource Center, The Black Theatre Workshop and the LaSalle Black Community Resource Center. She is currently working as a Student Life Coordinator with the Lester B. Pearson School Board, and is an active member of the Jamaica Association located in Montreal. She is committed to inclusivity, expansion and collaboration, and hope to be part of an institution that will serve as a major tool for Diaspora outreach across the world.
What is your connection to Jamaica? Have you been involved in the Jamaica Diaspora Movement or Jamaican related organizations before?
My parents were born in Jamaica, and I have had the privilege to visit Jamaica over the last 45 years. I consider Jamaica to be my second home filled with friends and family. I have been heavily involved in the Diaspora movement, as well as Jamaican related organizations. The organizations are called Black oriented organizations where Jamaicans and other countries are represented. Because I am born in Canada and of Jamaican heritage, my experiences dealing with programs and activities that gear towards “Black” people provides me with a broader understanding of the expectations that those of the Jamaicans in the Diaspora have.
If elected what will be your main goal in this role for your constituencies?
If elected, my main goal will be to become an important vehicle to assist in the transformation of Diaspora relations for my constituents. I feel that with my efficient communication skills, I can assist in contributing to the development and national awareness of the Jamaica Diaspora movement.
Many in the Jamaican community abroad do not know much about the Jamaica Diaspora movement and its goals. What will you do to change this perception and get all Jamaicans in the Diaspora involved?
If elected, one of my first priorities would be to recommend that the Jamaica Diaspora movement be linked (virtually) to other institutional mechanisms, networks and partnerships where the Diaspora is represented. This will enhance service delivery and increase Diaspora engagement instantaneously.
Recently there have been some who have expressed concerns about the lack of funding of The Global Jamaica Diaspora Council and if the position has any power without direction from the Jamaican Government. Do you have any thoughts on this?
If elected, I would investigate on where the concerns derived, and recommend that an inquiry be made to facilitate the increasing development of the Jamaica Diaspora movement. If the development requires funding, than a recommendation would have to be made to request financing from a government body. Substantial evidence would be essential in such a development.
Is there a goal that you believe the global Jamaican Diaspora can rally around?
I believe that the ultimate goal that the Global Jamaican Diaspora can rally around, is to focus significantly on communicating the national development that benefits the social, agricultural and cultural expertise of Jamaica.