The Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council (GJDYC), is a youth-led initiative with the aim of increasing the affinity for and connection of young Jamaican descendants of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations in the Diaspora, to Jamaica. The GJDYC was formally established in March 2020. Its conception arose out of the recognition that Jamaica needs to enhance its Diaspora youth engagement mechanisms; specifically, to ensure that there is a sustainable Diaspora movement geared towards the achievement of the principal goals and deliberate focus on the thematic areas outlined in the National Diaspora Policy.
The GJDYC serves to engage, empower and organize the youth of Jamaican heritage in the Diaspora and mobilize them to connect and contribute to Jamaica’s development. The GJDYC will shape a more strategic relationship with the Jamaican Diaspora which will bring benefits both to Jamaica and its global community.
Membership is open to all youth of Jamaican heritage between the ages of 18-35.
The leadership of the GJDYC is comprised of an Executive Board of 15 members. This will include 7 Regional Youth Council Leaders residing in Canada (2 Regional Leaders), the United Kingdom (2 Regional Leaders from the North and South Regions), and the United States of America (3 Regional Leaders from the North-East, West Mid- West and Southern Regions).
The Executive Board is comprised of 4 members of the Secretariat from the three major regions, a representative of the Diaspora Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, as well as 4 heads of Jamaican Youth Organizations (Jamaica National Youth Council, Youth Advisory Council of Jamaica, Youth Ambassadors Programme and Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students.
WHAT WE DO
The GJDYC was launched in 2020 with the specific mandate to increase youth engagement and to assist in the development of affinity towards Jamaica among young adults in the age cohort 18-35 years old. The group participated in numerous activities aimed at fulfilling these objectives across the major Diaspora Communities in the UK, Canada, and the USA. Please see below a list of some of the activities carried out by the Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council during their 2020-2022 tenure.
Convened and participated in various meetings and consultationCOVID- 19 Relief Initiative: Distribution of Relief Vouchers and food: In collaboration with the Jamaican High Commission, the Jamaican Missions in the United States of America, and Victoria Mutual Group, the GJDYC assisted young families that were stranded in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, during the COVID-19 Lockdown period and distributed seven boxes of patties courtesy of Port Royal Patties, the United Kingdom-based Jamaican owned company. s with multiple stakeholders including Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, the private sector in Jamaica as well as Community, business, and religious leaders in the Diaspora, to discuss various government priorities and in furtherance of the GJDC Work Programme.
Earth Day 2020 Social Media Campaign: The GJDYC Regional Youth Council Leaders in collaboration with GirlsCare Initiative, launched a social media campaign in support of Earth Day 2020: Climate Action.
Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Summit: The Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Summit which was held 15th -20th June 2020, featured a number of Diaspora Youth Leaders, who, through a series of focused panel discussions examined the impact, innovation and opportunities that have arisen during and post COVID-19 pandemic across various industries and provided actionable recommendations.
The Jamaica Diaspora Sustainability Symposium: The Symposium, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, on Diaspora Day 16th June – 17th June 2021, featured a Youth Forum led by the GJDYC. The Forum explored ways of engaging Diaspora youth under three of the five strategic pillars of the National Diaspora Policy namely, Planet, Peace, and People.
Southern USA Laptop Contribution to JUTS Education Drive: In support of the Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students Education Drive, the GJDYC through contributions, donated a laptop.
Southern USA - Jammin: The Impact of Reggae Music on ‘Youtz’ in the Diaspora: In observance of Reggae Month, the Southern chapter of the GJDYC hosted a celebratory event that featured a Reggae Historian, a panel discussion on the impact of reggae music on youths in the Diaspora.
Virtual Session: Ending Violence against Women in Jamaica: A virtual session on the audio based social media app, Clubhouse, was hosted and facilitated the discussion on how Jamaicans located in Jamaica and the Diaspora can support the advocacy to end violence against women in Jamaica.
Leadership in Turbulent Times Online Event (GJDYC Canada Chapter): Five Regional Youth Council Leaders of the GJDYC participated as Speakers at the Leadership in Turbulent Times Online Event organized by the Lifelong Leadership Institute and the Leadership by Design Program in Canada. The aim of the event was to inspire leadership and share stories of Young Black Leaders in the Diaspora.
Black History Month Campaign: In honour of Black History Month, the GJDYC led a social media campaign to bolster awareness for a range of Black Owned Businesses.
Exonerate Marcus Garvey project by the GJDYC in the USA: a social media campaign was launched to garner support for the petition to exonerate the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
Canada Farm Workers Father’s Day Treat: In celebration of Father’s Day in Canada, the Canadian chapter of the GJDYC honored Jamaican Fathers in Ontario on the Farm Worker’s Programme by hosting a Father’s Day Dinner.
GJDYC Young Diaspora Session- Jamaica 60 Diaspora Conference: The Jamaica 60 Diaspora Conference convened 14th – 16th June 2022, featured a Young Diaspora Session designed and hosted by the GJDYC. This generated dialogue on the following focal areas: community development and healing (such as: community outreach, trauma responses, mental health, skills training), the youth and the economy (such as entrepreneurship), and engagement.