The theme of June 2020 Diaspora Week is "Unity and Resiliency," acknowledging the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the call for equal rights and justice in response to the senseless murders of black people by law enforcement in the United States.
Dr. Karren Dunkley, Global Jamaica Diaspora Council (GJDC) Northeast, USA Representative, stated, "This is a week of action. The goal of the week is to bring the Jamaican Diaspora together to address strategic areas of community and nation-building. These areas include sustainable development, economic development and empowerment, health, education, and faith-based. The week also examines challenging issues, including domestic violence, and provides a forum to share resources such as the summer food feeding program.”
The Diaspora Week 2020 launch event will take place virtually on Sunday, June 14, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., EDT. Consul General of Jamaica, New York, Alsion Wilson will deliver the Diaspora Day message.
State Personal Contact, and leader of the Grand Finale Cultural Presentation on June 20, 2020, Mr. Michael Campbell, said, "Diaspora Week brings us together as a people in harmony, love, and unity to make a difference."
Senator Don Wehby, Group CEO of Grace Kennedy Limited, will serve as the guest speaker for the Diaspora Day Virtual International Roundtable on Monday, June 15, 2020, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., EDT. Senator Wehby's remarks will address the theme, "Reimagining Diaspora Engagement During and Beyond COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities."
Senator Don Wehby will be joined by speakers including Dr. Karren Dunkley, GJDC, NE USA; Ms. Nailah Gordon-Decicieo, Esq., GJDC, Canada; Mr. Nathaniel Peat, GJDC, UK South; Dr. Kevin Brown, GJDC, UK North; and Dr. Allan Cunningham, GJDC, SE USA. Mr. Garfield Comrie, GraceKennedy Money Services, NE USA, and Mrs. Hazel Maragh, GraceKennedyMoney Services, SE USA, will also speak. Dr. Claire Nelson, Founder/President of Caribbean American Heritage Month, will moderate this roundtable.
Dr. Dunkley emphasized that Diaspora Week is situated as a part of Caribbean American Heritage Month and intends to increase awareness and enhance collaboration, connection, and communication among various organizations and the Jamaican community. She also noted that June is an especially significant month as blacks in the United States celebrate Juneteenth on June 19, 2020. Juneteenth recognizes the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation.