Celebrating Our Story

THE WEE KLY GLEANER | FEBRU ARY 16 - FEBRUARY 22, 2021 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | I COVID-19 study examining the coro- navirus within the African-Canadian community to see to what extent it was impacted more than other communities. Led by Jamaican Dr Upton Allen, di- vision head of infectious diseases atThe Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), the researchers are investigating the epi- demiological and sociological factors, andwhat contributes to the higher rates within theAfrican-Canadian community. He also plans to be involved in a community awareness project about the COVID vaccination. “Within our community there is always this reluctance for vaccination, not just for COVID, it was always there. For a number of reasons, there’s always this hesitancy about vaccines and for quite a bit of that, especially when it comes to COVID. In my opinion it’s due to other factors, including limited in- formation about the vaccine, lots of conspiracy theories …” The Clarendon College alumnus was one of two Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board members for Canada and a member of the Board of the Jamaica Diaspora Canada Foundation. He is also involved in other commu- nity projects, like a recently held Health and Wellness Fair in Bull Bay, where healthcare volunteers provided various health services to residents free of cost. Two years ago, in 2019, there was a similar health fair in Clarendon. Amazon Order: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B08LYZHFJY Photo Credit: Nat Valentine 366 Days of Liberation By Claudette Joy Spence Author, Educator, Community Organizer “This latest work by Sister Claudette Spence serves as the latest remedy for ‘mis-education’ as it apprises us of those whose contributions are not in history books but may be recognized as local heroes and sheroes, known to their families and in their local communities. 366 Days of Liberation provides a new voice for the Diaspora, 366 days to read and learn who and what was done in various ways, means and forms. This book tells our stories about the lives of our people. As an educator and activist, I recommend 366 Days of Liberation as these profiles fill a void in our knowledge base of prominent as well as common men and women who made a difference, made sacrifices and for the betterment of their families and communities future, and for our People. Ashe!” - Andrew P. Jackson (Sekou Molefi Baako) Professor Black Studies, York College, CUNY. Email: csolutionsinfini@yahoo.com Website: csolutionsinfini.wixsite.com/sustainablejoy Facebook: @366 Days of Liberation Lester Hinds/Contributor A GROUP of Jamaican men in Florida has come together to form an organisation to create a legacy of community empower- ment for the next generation. FORMED INMarch last year, Jamaican Men of Florida has as its mission the empowering, transforming and impact- ing communities across generations inspired by the culture, identity and the personal and professional excellence of men of Jamaican descent. According to the organisation, its core values are Respect; Excellence; Mentorship, Cultural Identity and Integrity. Membership in the organisation is open to Jamaican men, either born in Jamaica but living in Florida or of Jamaican descent. The aim is to target young men to lead them in a direction of service and excellence. Its founder, Dr Allan Cunningham, says the organisation has provided a number of scholarships to deserving students both in the United States and Jamaica, as well as carried out mentor- ing for young men. Jamaican Men of Florida, according to Dr Cunningham, has over 40 mem- bers plus a number of honorary mem- bers, notably including the Jamaican Consul General in Miami Oliver Mair. The honorary chair of the association is Dave Holness, former mayor of Broward County. But their services are not limited to assisting young men, Dr Cunningham notes. “We seek to take care of people who are in need, in addition to our normal functions of providing mentorship, scholarships and other resources,”said Dr Cunningham. Dr Cunningham was born in Rose Town, St Andrew, and attended Whitfield Primary School before going on to Camperdown High School. His involvement in the community of South Florida led him to initiate the People Profile Awards in Florida to honour outstanding Jamaican men and women for their community involvement. Last year, he was elected as the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council Member for Southern Florida. He wants to see more young men become involved in their communi- ties, and believes that Jamaican Men of Florida is the vehicle through which they can achieve this end. “I believe that involvement in the community is paramount, especially to young people,” he said. January 5 each year is recognised as ‘Dr Allan CunninghamDay’in Broward County. Jamaican Men of Florida Allan Cunningham. CONTRIBUTED Reaching out, making a difference LEADER CONTINUED FROM 37 38 BL ACK HISTORY MONTH FEATURE FEBRUARY 16 - MARCH 15, 2021 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | CELEBRATING OUR STORY - AWEEKLY GLEANER L FEATURE