History of Activities  
COJO Community Forum at RCC
COJO Community meeting held at Roxbury Community College (above) and Kit Clark (bottom)
COJO Community Meeting at Kit Clark

Host to Jamaican Consul General of New York

COJO’s first series of public events began with the Jamaican Consul General, Dr. Basil Bryan’s visit to Boston, which included several activities.

  • A community meeting at Roxbury Community College attended by approximately 150 Jamaicans and Friends of Jamaica.
  • A series of meetings with Jamaicans who are Boston business leaders at Codman Square Health Center; Massachusetts Legislative Black Caucus; residents at the Kit Clark Senior Center; Jamaican and Friends of Jamaica educators at Northeastern University; and finally Caribbean community leaders at the Caribbean Cultural Center (CCC).
  Congressman Charles B. Rangel   New York Cityi Councilor Una Clark
Congressman Charles B. Rangel (right) at COJO's third annual dinner and dance..

New York City Council, Una Clark, (far right) address COJO Awards Function.

Awards Dinner and Dances (Held at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletics Center)

  • June 12, 1999, the Consul General, Dr. Basil Bryan was our honored guest.
  • June 3, 2000, the honored guest was Mrs. Una Clarke, Jamaican councilwoman extraordinaire from New York.
  • May 5, 2001, honored two individuals. Congressman Charles Rangel (Dem. New York), for his tireless efforts in the US Congress and for his leadership on the passage of the US-Africa/Caribbean Basin trade bill. Mr. Leaford Williams, an outstanding Jamaican who triumphed from his beginnings as an immigrant farm worker to International Diplomat for the US, and his achievements as an author.
  • May 4th, 2002, Ambassador Seymour Mullings OD, Jamaican Ambassador to the USA and his wife, a Health Advocate was our honored guest. The Ambassador met with Community and Business Leaders in the Greater Boston area.
  • May 5th, 2003 Dr. Dennis Morrison, Director General, Office of the Prime Minister of Jamaica was our honored guest. He met with Business leaders from the Black Diaspora and members of the Jamaican Trade Mission to Jamaica.
  • May 1, 2004, Dr. Beverly Anderson-Manley, Former First Lady of Jamaica, Former representative of Jamaica to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, Vice President of the Third World Foundation, a political scientist, a Gender and Development Consultant and Talk Show Host, Kingston, Jamaica
  • April 23, 2005 a Fundraising Dance with Byron Lee and the Dragonaires in association with Cleopatra Promotions and Caribbean Queen Organization.
Beverly Anderson-Manley

Community Meetings

  • November 15th 1999, issues on Immigration & Citizenship at Caribbean Cultural Center (CCC), Blue Hill Ave.
  • April 7, 2000, the topic “The Caribbean Community Under Siege,” addressed issues: Racial Profiling by Police in Massachusetts and Crime in Jamaica and USA, with special guest, Dr. Anthony Harriot of the University of the West Indies and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Central University of New York (CUNY), held at CCC.
  • October 2001, Community Forum held at CCC  with speaker, Mrs. Portia Simpson-Miller, member of the Government of Jamaica and Minister of Sports.
  • African Diaspora Roundtable on Reparation – Dudley Thompson, former Foreign Minister and Ambassador to Africa, held at CCC
  • April 23, 2005 - Immigration and the African Diaspora, held in conjunction with the Boston Pan-African Forum, held at the Cultural Café, 76 Atherton Street, Jamaica Plain
  Dr. Beverly Anderson-Manley address COJO Awards Function
Mrs. Mullings, wife of Ambassador Seymour Mullings
Mrs. Mullings, wife of Ambassador Seymour Mullings address

Legislative actions

  • December 1999, COJO sent letters to the Massachusetts congressional delegation urging them to consider the potential damage of pending legislation on trade in Jamaica and the Caribbean, in general.
  • Several COJO members met with representatives of Senator Kerry’s congressional staff to discuss said legislation and its impact on the Caribbean.
  • Successful Letter campaign to Senators and Congressional representatives on migrant workers in the USA. This was done in association with The Central Labor Organization (Caribbean) and North East Diaspora Movement involving organizations from Maryland, New Jersey, Washington, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

COJO welcomes Air Jamaica

  • Air Jamaica comes to Boston; COJO was there! COJO, along with the Office of the Jamaican Honorary Consul Boston, welcomed Air Jamaica to Boston on February 14th 2001. To date, many Jamaicans have invested in Jamaica by choosing Air Jamaica for their travel to the islands.

Jamaica Reggae Boyz; Football(Soccer) at the Foxboro Stadium

  • COJO was there along with many Jamaicans and Friends of Jamaica. Despite the defeat, we are all proud of the accomplishments that a small country continues to make on the world stage.

Trade Mission to Jamaica

  • Exploring ways to invest in and help strengthen the Jamaican economy was the primary goal behind the December 9 -16, 2001 trade mission to Jamaica led by Kenneth I.  Guscott, Honorary Consul for Jamaica in Massachusetts.  Other members of the delegation were Ms. Patricia Farr, Assistant to the Honorary Consul and COJO member, Mr. John Francis, expert in alternative energy sources, Mr. Keith McDermott,  Executive Director, Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center , Mr. Clayton Turnbull, local business owner and Dunkin Donuts franchisee, Mr. Leo Williams, financial consultant, and COJO member.
  • The group also met with various private sector organizations including the Jamaican Chamber of Commerce, Grace Kennedy & Company Ltd., Jamaica Producers Group, Ltd., Jamaica Money Market Brokers Ltd. and the Gleaner Company.  The Chairman of the Gleaner Company, Dr. Oliver Clarke, was the recently elected President of the Private Sector Organization in Jamaica.  Mr. Keith McDermott & Ms. Farr met with Mr. Howard Aris of the Sports Development Foundation and discussed their plans for sports development in Jamaica and ways that Mr. McDermott could help to facilitate these ventures. 

Caribbean International Trade Fair

Caribbean International Trade Fair was hosted by Roxbury Community College, Jamaican Consulate of Boston and COJO on Friday May 3, 2002 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, with Ambassador Seymour Mullings, OD Dr. Richard Taylor of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, as special guests.

The Trade Fair had David Hickelman of Bear Stearns giving a presentation on the “Investment Potential of the Caribbean,” Dr. Kenneth Guscott on “Investment Opportunities in Jamaica.” Also in attendance were Michael Morris, JAMPRO and Glenton Bucknor of the Jamaica Tourist Board. Workshops were held on Renewable Energy, Information Technology, Credit Unions, Remittance Services, Development and Franchise Opportunities. Additional resource was provided by the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, www.state.ma.us/mobd.

Hurricane Relief

November 2004, Fundraising Dinner Fashion Show and Dance for Hurricane Relief in the Jamaica, Grenada, and Haiti, jointly with Jamaica Associates, Jamaica Progressive Society. The show was billed as “A Caribbean Extravaganza – A night of Fashion, Music, Food and Fun.” Music was supplied by Gemini Productions; Food by Irie Restaurant, P & R Restaurant, The Only One Restaurant, Boston Pepper Pot, Dennis G Restaurant, Tropic Food Market, Nice “N” Nuff Restaurant, and Silver Slipper Restaurant. Other sponsors included Winston Watson, House of Nahdira, Caribbean Cultural Center, Devon Plumbing & Heating WMBR, WZBC FM 90.3, Sandra Arjune (Caribbean Tastes) Mass Xplosion, Hoon Industries, Karibu Cottage – Treasure Beach, DeMatteo Management Co. Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Marini Construction, Stephen Richmond & Associates and Haitian Public Health Initiative, Grenada Consul.

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