Who are the 2021 Jamaica Diaspora Champions Awards winners? After hundreds of nominations and thousands of votes, the Nominees with the most votes by sector were awarded and twelve have emerged as the Jamaica Diaspora Champions 2021, without further ado:
The Jamaica Diaspora Champion in Agriculture and Climate Resilience is Yaad Market, founded by Steve Mcdonald.
The Jamaica Diaspora Champion in Art and Culture is Miramar Commissioner, Alexandra P. Davis
The Jamaica Diaspora Champion in Community Development is Keri-Ann Knight
The Jamaica Diaspora Champion Community Development Organization is the Association of Jamaican Nationals in France, accepted by current President, Oneil Madden
The Jamaica Diaspora Champion in Education is Dr. Beverly E Rowe-Mullings
The Jamaica Diaspora Champion Alumni Association is Immaculate Conception High School Alumnae Association – NY Chapter, accepted by current President, Karen Wilson-Robinson
The Jamaica Diaspora Champion in Faith-Based Leadership is Bishop Michael A. Hutchinson
The Jamaica Diaspora Champion in Health and Mental Health is Sylvanus Thompson
The Jamaica Diaspora Champion in Legal Sector Support and Immigration is Latangie A. Williams
The Jamaica Diaspora Champion in Media is Xavier Murphy
The Jamaica Diaspora Champion in Technology and Entrepreneurship is David P. A. Mullings
The Jamaica Diaspora Champion in Taskforce Leadership is Dr. Beverly Gordon
It was very competitive, in many cases only a handful of votes separated the winners, special mention to those who also received the second-highest number of votes: Trees That Feed Foundation, Susan “Dr Sue” Davis, Dr. Binzie Roy Davidson, Michelle McKenzie-Dolly and Charles Matthews Jr. as well as the remaining 60 final nominees. The profiles of the winners and all honorably mentioned nominees can be viewed on www.jdafca.org.
The Jamaica Diaspora and Friends Champion Awards (JDAFCA) is the first global and virtual Jamaica Diaspora peer award with completely open and online nominations and voting. It was created to recognize individuals, organizations, and friends in the Diaspora who make exceptional contributions to the development of Jamaica. JDAFCA was launched in 2017 at the 7th Biennial Diaspora Conference and honors hardworking volunteers, all those unsung heroes, who give freely in service to the growth of Jamaica’s national development, Her culture, economy, people, and communities.
JDAFCA Sponsor, GraceKennedy Group, extended congratulations to the winners. Senator Don Wehby, Group Chief Executive Officer stated “GraceKennedy is a proud supporter of the Jamaica Diaspora Taskforce Action Network and sponsor of the Jamaica Diaspora and Friends Champion Awards (JDAFCA). We are happy to know that notwithstanding the challenges which continue to be presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the JDTAN has found new ways to continue its important work to recognize individuals and organizations in the Diaspora and friends of Jamaica who make exceptional contributions to the development of our country. Congratulations to all the JDAFCA nominees for the amazing work you are doing in this regard, and for everything you do for Jamaica, land we love. I encourage all Jamaicans overseas to become Diaspora Champions in their own right, by doing what you can to help our country rebuild coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
JDTAN Chairman, Leo Gilling, added, “Congratulations to all the Champions! JDTAN’s aim was to present an award to the Diaspora, in which no one person or committee but the community, the general public nominates and votes for those candidates based on their accomplishments in Jamaica, their community and across the Diaspora. I am encouraged by the massive response during the nomination and voting process. Thank you for supporting these Champions and making JDAFCA a success.”
Kimone Gooden, JDAFCA Chair and JDTAN Operations Officer commented: “The 2021 Jamaica Diaspora Champions are a true example of service and commitment to country. I am blown away by the work of all the nominees as well as the winners. They are great models of the extraordinary work that ordinary Jamaicans do in service to Jamaica every day. They are truly inspiring.”
Ms. Gooden also thanked sponsors: Grace Kennedy, Union of Jamaican Alumni Association (UJAA), The Fanger Law Firm PLLC, Compass Consulting and Training Solutions, and Media Partners: Dervan Malcolm, host of Diaspora Live Online on Power 106, South Florida Caribbean News, Jamaicans.com, Caribbean National Weekly News and Carib Press. With special thanks to the JDAFCA Awards Committee for all their hard work behind the scenes: Event Chair, Tashaka Wynter as well as Antonette Brown, Rachel Dolcine, Karlene Largie, Roymane Robinson and Lesleyann Samuel.
The public can watch the Jamaica Diaspora Champions 2021 accept their awards on Diaspora Day, Wednesday, June 16 at 7 PM US ET on Jamaicans.com’s Facebook Live: @onelovejamaica and jdafca.org. The Jamaica Diaspora Champions Awards presentation will include Master of Ceremonies, Professor Neville Ying, a stalwart in the Jamaica Diaspora Movement and the first Jamaica Diaspora Champion; As well as entertainment by Papa Michigan and Dr. Sue. The replay of the virtual ceremony will also be available on jdafaca.org along with the profiles of the Champions and all the honorably mentioned final Nominees.
The Jamaica Diaspora and Friends Champion Awards (JDAFCA) is presented by the Jamaica Diaspora Taskforce Action Network (JDTAN.) JDTAN is a network of sectoral focused Taskforces with members across 23 countries. Taskforces have been operating for the past seven years as a collaborative approach to engage and mobilize the Diaspora to join forces and support Jamaica’s national development.