President’s Corner Message March-April 2020

Dear Members & Supporters:

In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please continue to be vigilant and mindful of your own well-being and treat yourself with kindness and care. Follow the CDC’s recommendations to protect yourselves, your loved ones, and our community. See COVID-19 resources below.

Thanking our local healthcare community

At this challenging time, I also want to thank our healthcare professionals, many of whom are of Jamaican heritage, serving in various capacities in our local healthcare organizations. I would also like to thank those organizations for their continued vigilance and dedication in saving lives and keeping their patients and employees safe.

Supporting our local food banks, food service and other businesses and their employees

Please continue to support our local take-out businesses, many of which sell or serve our cherished Jamaican foods, and continue to support our local food banks. Please help ensure that together we will make it through the economic and cultural tragedy we are also experiencing as a result of the pandemic.

Helping individuals in our community and in Jamaica facing economic hardships

We know the hardships we are facing and that this will also impact Jamaica as “Jamaicans in the Washington area probably remit more money per capita than Jamaican enclaves elsewhere.” Jamaica is also facing the pandemics’ impact on tourism. Please do what you can and as you are able. Please see the Jamaican Embassy and The Global Jamaica Diaspora Council-Northeast sites for information on how you can help.

Supporting JNA programs and activities during this period of uncertainty and change

Social distancing resulting from the coronavirus pandemic has challenged JNA as to how it operates. We will rise to this challenge and adapt. This Newsletter reflects part of our new reality of finding new ways to stay connected. We hope you enjoy it.

JNA’s major focus continues to be our outreach, leadership training, and educational support to college students of Jamaican heritage in the Metro Area. We know there is a great need now and in the future for economic support. To this end, we are beginning to fundraise for our annual scholarship awards which is scheduled for October. Please send donations via our JNA PayPal portal. Please support JNA by becoming a member, volunteer or donor. 

Participating in the 2020 Census

Please also ensure that you are counted in the 2020 Census to make sure our community gets the resources and funding we need over the next decade! Remember, you can now identify your Jamaican heritage and for the first time, you can choose to respond online, by phone, or by mail. See 2020 Census resources below.

Thanking Everyone who made JNA’s Black History Month Program a Success

Thanks to everyone who took the time to attend this historic event. Thanks to Dr. Anderson for his enthusiasm and expertise in making this a memorable experience for the members and supporters of the sponsoring organizations. Thanks also to the JNA Cultural, Heritage and Social Activities Committee, Montgomery County Executive’s Caribbean-American Advisory Group, the Jamaican Association of Maryland, and all our volunteers. 

Let’s all take care of each other. Stay safe and healthy.


Elaine V. Knight, PhD, President, JNA

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