Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks joins in celebrating the 15th Jamaica Diaspora Day, today, June 16.
First commemorated in 2005 following a recommendation made at the first 2004 staging of the Jamaica Diaspora Conference, Jamaicans at home and abroad have come to embrace Diaspora Day as an occasion to highlight the achievements of the Diaspora and celebrate their common heritage.
In a special diaspora day statement, Marks sent a heartfelt message to all Jamaicans who, in some way, have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
“This year Diaspora Day 2020 is also a somber occasion, as Jamaica and the rest of the world engage in an ongoing battle with a formidable enemy, the COVID-19 global pandemic”, she said. “I express my deepest sympathies to the families struck by COVID-19 with the loss of family members and colleagues. I also acknowledge the hard work and incredible sacrifice of our frontline workers, whose dedication remains a powerful testament to their fortitude as we work to recover and regain our footing from the pandemic’s impact.”
She also continued by highlighting worldwide protests taking place: “This Diaspora Day is also taking place at a time of great social turmoil driven by international anti-racism protests. I am, however, heartened by the strong resolve and determination of my fellow Jamaicans in the Diaspora, to not allow these challenging circumstances to deter you or dampen your spirits. The theme of Diaspora Day 2020 is “Unity and Resiliency,” and thus is more relevant now than ever. Our history, dating back to the era of slavery, has been characterized by triumph over challenges. I am therefore confident that we will overcome, as always, by God’s grace.”
“I also take this opportunity to convey heartfelt appreciation to members of the Jamaican Diaspora who provided enormous support, in tangible and intangible ways, towards enhancement of the welfare of fellow Jamaican nationals who were stranded in the United States as a consequence of the closure of Jamaica’s borders in March. Please know that your generosity was truly appreciated!
Please accept my best wishes for fruitful discussions and tangible outcomes which will inure to the benefit of Jamaicans in the Diaspora and Jamaica, land we love”, she added.