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Chairman’s Report   2010 – 2011

Although there was little financial activity during the year, there was still a good range of activity.

The very successful Heritage Lottery Funded project “The Roots and Development of Rastafari in the West Midlands” was followed up by another application to research “Rastafari Works”. However this was not successful and further work on another application took place. The Rastafari Heritage Team have remained focused and thanks got to Moqapi Selassie, Habte Wold, Liz Millman and Yasus Afari, who respond to queries and maintain the focus. Links were established with the HM Prison Service and a request to make a presentation at the British Library to the British Archivists Association was received.

The past year has also seen a significant development in the development of links with a range of organisations, and especially in developing ways to work with Learning Links International CIC, which has been set up and is led by Liz Millman to try to develop projects with other British Commonwealth countries, especially in West Africa. There has also been significant development in our work locally.

Jamaican Language and Culture

A series of meetings and negotiations have been held during the year to try to move forward with developments to better recognise and respect Jamaican as a language in its own right. The University of the West Indies, Jamaica Language Unit, published “Ow fi rit Jamiekan”

During 2010 Liz and Natalie joined forces with specialists from other Caribbean and African communities to set up the Caribbean and African Languages Network (CALN) which is chaired by Dr Morgan Dalphinis, author of the classic book “African and Caribbean Languages”.

An invitation to attend the Caribbean Languages Conference held at the University of the West Indies in January 2011 came from the Jamaica Language Team at UWI to Liz Millman and Natalie Fagan Brown.  Sponsorship from Learning Links International enabled both Liz and Natalie to attend to represent the developments relating to Jamaican in the UK.

“J2K Enterprise and Education”

As part of the review undertaken during the year in terms of our response to supporting local services in Wolverhampton, we have developed work under the name “J2K Enterprise and Education” to respond to local youth and business needs.

In managing the transition “J2K Enterprise and Education” took on the franchise for Wolverhampton Black Boys Can under the patronage of former Wolverhampton MP Rob Maris and moved to take a more active role within Wolverhampton Youth Services, taking a lead role in the Wolverhampton Black and Mixed Race Multi Agency Forum. In October 2010 the Jamaican High Commissioner launched the Wolverhampton Black Boys Can at an event held in Stewart Street.

Jamaica Wolverhampton School Links

Activities continued during the year to attempt to develop links between schools in Hanover, Jamaica and Wolverhampton. There were several staff changes at the  DfID in Kingston, but eventually the DfID offered to support Wolverhampton Local Authority to apply for Local Authority Visit Funds to enable 3 teachers to exchange and establish links. The application was submitted for a link with Hanover but this was granted as a link for Wolverhampton with Kingston Schools. However some schools have kept a focus on Hanover links.

Three staff from Wolverhampton visited Kingston in November 2010 and plans were put in place for the visit back to Wolverhampton to prepare to launch the Local Authority school links project.

As ever, we extend grateful thanks for the support of the Jamaican High Commissioner as Patron of Jamaica 2000 and for all those who have taken an active role or been active in any way in their support.

Stephen Brooks
Chairman Jamaica 2000


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