Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Slated to Attend The Diaspora Southern USA Summit and Gala 2016

Senator, The Honorable Kamina Johnson-Smith, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affair and Trade is slated to attend The Jamaica Diaspora Summit and Gala 2016 which will be convened on June 24th-26th, 2016 in Orlando, Florida, by the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board Member for the Southern United States, Wayne C. Golding Sr. Esq. Senator Johnson-Smith’s attendance and direct participation in the Summit activities is very significant and aligns with Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ commitment during his inauguration speech to maintain and improve the partnership with the Jamaica’s Diaspora. Since her appointment on March 7th, 2016, the newly minted Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has already held a meeting with the seven member Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board who is charged with directly advising her. She has pledged a smoothed and continued interaction with the Advisory Board.

Minister Johnson-Smith is an Attorney-at-Law by profession, with approximately 15 years at the Jamaican Bar.  In 2014 she opened her own law firm, after serving as Company Secretary and Head of Corporate Affairs and Projects (Legal) of Cable & Wireless Jamaica Limited. Senator Johnson Smith holds a Master of Laws in Commercial Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in French and International Relations from the University of the West Indies, Mona. She also subsequently completed professional certificates, including areas such as Legal and Diplomatic French in Guadeloupe as well as Negotiation at the Harvard Law School Professional Programme in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Minister’s participation in the Summit events will include a Symposium exploring the strengthening and implementation of protocols and mechanics for Diaspora partnerships with the public and private sectors in Jamaica. The summit is themed “Providing a Roadmap to Power and Influence” and will be focused on “Recognizing our achievement in the Diaspora …Building on our legacy”. The Summit Gala will also feature Minister Johnson –Smith as the keynote speaker. Mr. Golding emphasizes the fact that Jamaicans have made an indelible and positive impact on life in the American Diaspora and that the staging of Gala event on night of Saturday June 25th, will highlight, honor and celebrate our Jamaican Diasporans and others who have contributed to the upward mobility, influence of the Jamaican Diaspora and its long list of success stories

Summit 2016 will compliment the successful staging of the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference held this past June 2015 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Consulate of Jamaica- Miami will also be a key participant and will be providing outreach services throughout the Summit weekend activities with the participation of the Jamaica Registrars General’s Department, The Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency and The Jamaica Land Agency.

The weekend of events begin on the evening of Friday June 24th with on-site registration and a welcome reception for Summit attendees. Saturday June 25th, will feature three main interactive Symposiums, which will highlight the intersection and interaction of our multi-generational Jamaican Diasporans. A plethora and cross section of Jamaican Diasporans will be participating in the Symposiums along with varying representatives from the Government of Jamaica, including members of both the ruing and opposition parties. Many individuals and organizations from the private sectors of Jamaica and the Jamaican Diaspora are also slated to attend and participate.

The symposiums will encompass areas ranging from Media, Elected Office, Government Service, Clergy, Education, Academia, Entrepreneurship, Philanthropy, Culture, Sports and Entertainment, etc. One key Symposium will specifically deal with the implementation of official protocols and mechanisms for improved partnership between Jamaica and the Diaspora. The event is being presented in partnership with Advance Jamaica Inc., and incorporates the Caribbean American Heritage Month Festival. The Summit and Gala will take place at the Embassy Suite by Hilton, 4955 Kyngs Heath Road, Kissimmee/Orlando, Florida 34746.

Summit 2016 will culminate on Sunday June 26th, 2016 with a massive celebration of the strength of the fabric of Jamaican Diaspora collaboration and influence that has been woven into the larger Caribbean American Diaspora. Summit participants will be embedded into the celebration at the Caribbean American Heritage Month Festival, which boasts an attendance of between 8000 – 10000 attendees annually. The Festival is free and will take place at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, Florida.

Jamaican Diasporans, Jamaican Organizations and friends of Jamaica are all invited to attend and participate in the 2016 Summit and its attendant activities. There is a cost for attendance to the Summit and Gala and those who desire to attend, book accommodations and participate can register for the Summit and Gala at or call 1-407-900-8137.

About the author

Staff Writer