JCA recognizes that the future of Jamaican culture relies on each succeeding generation of Jamaicans ensuring that traditions never die. As such, one of its prime objectives is the encouragement of cultural activities and the cultivation of the talents of Jamaican youth. Under the “I Can Fly” program, JCA facilitates cultural youth exchanges, mentors new and emerging talent, and nurtures the artistic creativity of the next generation of Jamaicans both here and abroad. This program is also a vehicle for JCA members to give back to the country in a way that supports the youth who follow in our footsteps, but whose achievements come under conditions which have long since become more adverse. “I Can Fly” is a catalyst for identifying and developing youthful Jamaican talent.
Additionally, “I Can Fly” is designed to address the insurmountable challenges and culture shock faced by young Jamaicans who migrate to other parts of the globe. In many instances these young people often find themselves faced with the harsh realities of deportation with no recourse as a result of association with the wrong company and having no where to turn. The building of the future Jamaican Cultural Center will further address these issues with mentoring programs that reach out to these young people and by providing for after-school interests such as athletic activities, homework and research, and direct participation in cultural activities.
As Jamaica Cultural Alliance continue to bring Jamaicans located in Los Angeles and surrounding areas together, frequently the statement “I have been living here for years and had no idea there were so many Jamaicans on the west coast” is heard or the question “Where are the Jamaicans in California living?” asked.
JCA’s Alumni Center serves as an additional means of reuniting old friends and creating new ones while building a network focused on a united Jamaican community to enhance our local diversity and make an undeniable difference in the lives of Jamaicans at home. In particular, it presents an opportunity for accomplished Jamaicans to give back to the community by demonstrating that as Jamaicans we do succeed wherever we may be in the world, and by encouraging young Jamaicans to continue to dream and realize those dreams.
A regular occurrence at JCA mixers and events takes place during introductions of new attendees to other Jamaicans. There is always at least one instance of someone recognizing a long lost friend or discover that someone they have just met not only attended the same school in Jamaica but in many cases was also in the same graduating class, and have been living just across the City from each other for many years.
While the idea of an Annual Class Reunion function as a means of bringing Jamaicans together had taken a second place to other more urgent matters, the re-occurrence of amazing scenes such as these have encouraged us to revive idea and establish an annual function.
Projects undertaken by JCA Alumni Center will include: