JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS: February 14th – 20th, 2015

LISA MILLS SAYS SHE WILL ATTEND STANFORD—02/14/15
Jamaica’s Lisa Mills has always dreamed of attending Stanford Law School in the United States, and at 21, she has shown she has the academic background to make her dream a reality. Her father is working to ensure this as well and is putting all his resources toward her goal. Lisa, who is studying politics, is in her second year at Marymount College in New York and is one the Dean’s List. She also attended Havering College in London. A former student at St. Hilda’s High School, she received the Most Academic Student Award for 2013, beating 1,500 students for the prize and receiving a scholarship to Marymount.  Mills says it is a challenge studying in a foreign country, but she is doing well and continues to work to fulfill her dream.

FILM IN U.S. PROVIDES VOICE FOR GAY JAMAICANS—02/15/15
A film by American film director and journalist Micah Fink is providing gay people in Jamaica with a voice. Fink received funding from the Pulitzer Center of Crisis Reporting to produce his documentary, “The Abominable Crime.” He says the film is meant to expose serious human rights violations against homosexuals in Jamaica. The film was scheduled for screening at the Afropop Film festival in New York.

JAMAICA NATIONAL DIASPORA CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN MONTEGO BAY—02/16/15
The Sixth Annual Jamaica National Diaspora Conference will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Center in St. James from June 13 to June 16, 2015. The theme for the 2015 conference is “Jamaica and the Diaspora: Linking for Growth and Prosperity.” The special focus of the conference will be on investment and trade opportunities, as well as social services such as health and education. The conference is open to all individuals of Jamaican descent who live overseas and will feature a business and cultural exposition and other activities.

JAMAICAN AMBASSADOR TO MEXICO’S RESIDENCE ATTACKED—02/17/15
The residence of the Jamaican Ambassador to Mexico was attacked, and the Ambassador Anita Grant asked for support from Mexican authorities when she realized that things in the home were in disarray, as if someone had been searching for something. According to police, there has been increased activity from residential thieves in the area. It was found later that jewelry had been stolen from the Ambassador’s residence.

DIASPORA ENCOURAGED TO NOMINATE HONORARY CITIZENS—02/18/15
Jamaicans in the Diaspora are being urged to put forth candidates for awards at Jamaica’s yearly national civil honors event. There is a deadline for nomination of March 13, 2015, set by the Jamaica Consulate. Those interested in consideration for the highest national honors in Jamaica must meet specific guidelines as well. Awards include the badge of honor for gallantry, meritorious service and faith service. Both Jamaica-born and foreign-born nominees may apply.

SEARCH IS ON TO FIND SUCCESSOR TO KACI FENNELL—02/19/15
Karl Williams, the national director of the Miss Universe Jamaica organization, is looking to find a new candidate to fill the position left open by Kaci Fennell, whose showing in the Miss Universe pageant was widely praised. Fennell’s performance showed what can be accomplished via hard work, said Williams. He also mentioned numerous other pageants from which finalists may be selected, including the Miss Jamaica Diaspora pageant that includes women from the United States and Canada.

SCHOOL GIRL IN UK MISSES FAMILY FUNERALS DUE TO PASSPORT DELAY—02/20/15
Amina Musa-Whyte’s family asked authorities in the United Kingdom for the teenager’s passport to be renewed in July 2014, but an unprecedented delay caused her to miss the funerals of family members in Jamaica. The 15-year-old’s father is an influential member of the Walsall community, Rev. Moses Whyte. The family has investigated the delay, but has received no informative answers from passport authorities in the UK.

INNOVATION, DIVERSITY CELEBRATED DURING BLACK TECH WEEK—02/20/15
The first annual Black Tech Week is scheduled for February 23 through 28, 2015, at Miami Dade College north Campus in South Florida. The event is designed to celebrate black innovation and will feature a pitch competition, hackathon, and other networking opportunities in the area. The summit seeks to alter the narrative that sounds the black community, replacing it with characteristics of creativity, innovation, and technology, says co-founder Derick Pearson, who, with his wife Felecia Hatcher, created the firm Feverish Pops and the organization Code Fever that teaches minority youth how to code.