Diaspora Encouraged to Build Capacity and to Stand Against Injustice
Jamaican member of parliament, the Hon. Lisa Hanna, MP, Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade with responsibility for Diaspora Affairs, in marking Diaspora Day 2020, issued a statement in which she called on the Jamaican diaspora to build its capacity to “Stand up and use their voice as a collective call to action to eradicate all forms of injustice.” Ms. Hanna also paid tribute to the Jamaican diaspora for its “trailblazing leadership … toward nation building.” The parliamentarian lauded the diaspora’s benevolence in responding to Jamaica in times of crises, and stated that “in challenging times, our diaspora must be able to count on us to provide moral and diplomatic support.” She said further that Jamaica’s “deliberate advocacy” on behalf of the diaspora “when these negative circumstances arise must never be abrogated or compromised.”
The Hon. Lisa Hanna’s full statement appears below:
DIASPORA ENCOURAGED TO BUILD CAPACITY AND TO STAND AGAINST INJUSTICE
KINGSTON, JAMAICA, June 16, 2020
Diaspora Day – June 16, 2020
As we appropriately recognize Diaspora Day, June 16, 2020, we salute the trailblazing leadership of our Jamaican diaspora toward nation building. Our Jamaican patriots on the global stage have made us proud as they engage in every facet of human development and continue to exemplify extraordinary achievements in their areas of operations.
The conscious benevolence of members of our Jamaican diaspora keeps our hope alive in times of despair. Time and again, when problems besetting our nation seem intractable and beyond the capacity of our local expertise, our diaspora resources are given unconditionally in an effort to assist us at all levels.
As we continue to look to our diaspora for nation building support, especially during crises, we must recognise that Jamaicans overseas also face many struggles and challenges and are subject to negative practices and policies which they have to overcome in order to succeed. As people of colour, they are forced to overcome prejudices and discrimination as they strive to survive. However, in our finest tradition, they always prevail and have never faltered in their support of their families, friends, and charities in Jamaica.
Therefore, in challenging times, our diaspora must be able to count on us to provide moral and diplomatic support. Our deliberate advocacy on their behalf when these negative circumstances arise must never be abrogated or compromised.
As we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, we must forge ahead in pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals and strengthen our bond with our diaspora.
We must continue to work with and encourage our Jamaicans abroad to sharpen their roles in all economic, civic, and political activities of their host countries. In doing so, they will continue to carry our flag and purposeful identity as shining examples for the world to follow.
I encourage our diaspora to increase efforts to build capacity and shape policies in foreign capitals that redound to the best interest of ALL people, no matter colour, class or creed.
I encourage our diaspora to lead the world towards unity, where our shared humanity is placed at the centre of the global development agenda.
I call on our diaspora to Stand up and use their voice as a collective call to action to eradicate all forms of injustice.
As Jamaicans, we must always stand together and stand up for each other no matter where we are in the world. Together, as a people, we are powerful!
Thank you for all the work you do. Have a good diaspora day, today.
Ms. Lisa Hanna, MP
Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
© 2020 Curtis A. Ward/The Ward Post