Outstanding diaspora activists win 2017 GG Achievement Award

Author:  G. Williams
KINGSTON, Jamaica - Six members of the Jamaican diaspora were last month honored with the 2017 Governor-Genera’s Achievement Award.

GG winnersErin A. Lue-Hing and Joan O. Pinnock of the United States; Donika A. Jones and Bishop Glenroy G. Duffus of Canada; and Tanesha Avagaye Westcar and Vendrys D. Henry of the United Kingdom were recognized for outstanding contributions on behalf of Jamaica and its diaspora and their communities.

The awards were presented at last month’s opening of the 2017 “Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference” with the nation’s 55th anniversary of Independence - and its theme “Celebrating Jamaicans At Home And Abroad” - just days away.

“Their lives mirror what is dear about our country,” Jamaica’s Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen said of the award winners.

The following is a profile of the winners:

 Pinnock - This United States attorney is a graduate of Excelsior High School. Pinnock has been president of the Jamaican American Bar Association since 2010 and is a member of the Northeast Diaspora Advisory Board.

In Nov. 2016 she convened the Jamaica Diaspora Immigration and Deportation Prevention Task Force to assist Jamaicans resolve immigration issues. She was also influential in the launch of the Trail Blazer Award, which honors Jamaicans in the diaspora, and the Tallawah Awards Gala, which recognizes Jamaican for excellence in politics and sports.

Jones - Based in Canada, Jones has volunteered in various activities to promote Jamaica. She is an executive member and communications chair of the Jamaican Diaspora-Canada Foundation Future Leaders Chapter and a board member and secretary of the Nunavut Black History Month Society.

Westcarr - A former student of Wolmer’s High School for Girls, United Kingdom-based Westcarr is involved in supporting educational and school refurbishing projects in Jamaica, raising money for schools with assistance from the Jamaica Education Task Force.

Lue-Hing - In 2015 she received the Jamaica Independence Celebration Foundation Leader Achievement Award. U.S.-based Lue-Hing has worked to assist the homeless and promote health care.

Henry - A former assistant to Clerk of the Courts in Jamaica, he migrated to the U.S. and conducts immigration seminars hosted by the Jamaican High Commission in London, England. Henry also promotes the rights and entitlements of immigrants.

      Duffus - Was not able to attend the awards ceremony, but was recognized for leading outreach programs. A trained teacher, Canada-based Duffus is superintendent of education in the Toronto District School Board and directs educational initiatives of the Jamaican and Canadian Clergy Alliance.