Nominations open on Valentine’s Day for the Jamaica Diaspora and Friends Champion Awards (JDAFCA)

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On February 14th nominations will open for the Jamaica Diaspora and Friends Champion Awards (JDAFCA): The first global and virtual Jamaica Diaspora peer award with completely online public nominations and public voting.

The award was first launched in 2017 at the 7th Biennial Diaspora Conference and was created to recognize individuals and organizations in the Jamaican Diaspora as well as friends of Jamaica who make exceptional contributions to the development of Jamaica. Those in the Diaspora who have delivered proven projects, initiatives, and programs that support the growth of Jamaica’s culture, economy, people, and communities. The first Jamaica Diaspora Champion, Neville Ying, was awarded at the 8th Biennial Diaspora Conference in Jamaica in 2019 for his contributions to the growth and development of the Diaspora movement.

This year the pandemic has created new opportunities to expand the delivery and reach of the awards. For the first time and moving forward, the  Jamaica Diaspora and Friends Champion Awards will be global, virtual, and completely online with public nominations and public voting; Commencing with a virtual awards presentation.

Nominations can be made by sector: Agriculture, Arts and Culture, Behavioral & Mental Health, Citizen Security & Safety, Education, Entrepreneurship, Environment & Climate Resilience, Faith-Based, Health, Legal Sector, Media, Technology, Youth Leadership, and General.

Nominees will be scored based on service, impact, collaboration, and innovation. All scores will be published, and a public Diaspora vote will determine the final awardees. Winners will receive global recognition and a variety of virtual wards including an addition to the Jamaica Diaspora Wall of Fame and the JDAFCA Winners Circle. All nominees will receive an honorable mention.

Nominations will open on Sunday, February 14th, and close on Sunday, February 28th. After collecting, scoring, and publishing all nominations, public Diaspora voting will begin in May. Winners will be recognized at a Virtual Awards ceremony on Sunday, June 13, 2021 and announced via the media, globally on Diaspora Day, annually, moving forward.

JDAFCA Chair and JDTAN Operations Officer, Kimone Gooden, noted that “JDAFCA was created to show the details of the depth and breadth of the contributions of the Jamaica Diaspora and friends of Jamaica. It is a peer recognition that will highlight the many individuals and organizations who are actually delivering service to Jamaica but generally go unrecognized.”

The Jamaica Diaspora and Friends Champion Awards (JDAFCA) is presented by the Jamaica Diaspora Taskforce Action Network (JDTAN.) JDTAN is a network of sectoral focused Taskforces with members across 21 countries. Taskforces have been operating for the past seven years as a collaborative approach to engage and mobilize the Diaspora to join forces and support Jamaica Vision 2030 and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.)

JDTAN Chairman Leo Gilling added, “It’s wonderful to see how this award has developed from the initial design when we launched it in 2017. This is a great mechanism to discover the volume of projects delivered every year in service to Jamaica. JDTAN is especially happy to collaborate on this initiative with three key media partners:, South Florida Caribbean News (SFLCN), and Dervan Malcolm of Jamaica Diaspora Live Online. These media partners, in particular, have done an extraordinary job over the years showcasing the various projects to Jamaica and always providing a platform for the Diaspora to spread the word.”

“We are honored to be a part of this event that honors hardworking volunteer members of the Jamaican diaspora community.” said Xavier Murphy, founder of “I commend JDTAN for recognizing these unsung heroes in the community who give of time and treasure in service to Jamaica.”

Ian Hamilton, Founder of South Florida Caribbean News said, “we are proud to be one of the media partners of the Jamaica Diaspora and Friends Champion Awards. We look forward to learning about the unsung heroes in the Diaspora. In addition to being able to share their stories on our platform.”

Dervan Malcolm, added, “as host of The Jamaican Diaspora Live Online on Power 106 FM, Kingston, Jamaica, I look forward to celebrating the work of the Jamaican Diaspora through the Jamaica Diaspora and Friends Champion Awards.”

Get ready to nominate worthwhile projects, people, and organizations!  Nominations open on Sunday, February 14, 2021. For more information visit, or email