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CERLAC Director, Dr. Andrea Davis speaks on Jamaican Canadian realities and Jamaican PM Simpson Miller's visit to Canada

CERLAC Director, Dr. Andrea Davis speaks on Jamaican Canadian realities and Jamaican PM Simpson Miller's visit to Canada

Image courtesy of the Ontario Council on University Research

 
Dr. Davis spoke with Radio Canada International's Wotjek Gwiazda about Canada-Jamaica relations and the reality of Jamaican Canadians.

Of PM Simpson-Miller's visit to Jamaica in October 2012, Davis states "It was timely and appropriate that she should visit [marking the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica's Independence], and it was good that this was her first official visit. It was a wonderful opportunity for both countries."
 
Regarding Jamaican immigrants, Davis discusses that she has found that it is the second, third and fourth generation immigrants that have the hardest time fitting in because they are unable to locate or identify themselves within Canadian society.
 "For young people in Canada, racism is the most debilitating form of violence they experience, especially in the educational system ...in the way that they feel. They don't see education as a pathway to success. The young people in Jamaica understand education as the pathway to success, but, they also understand that they don't have all the resources they need  to access that education and so they desire those resources. So in some way they can see a way in which their problem can be fixed. Toronto youth are, most of them, in schools that, by Jamaican standards, are resource-rich, but they don't feel involved in the curriculum; they don't see their history, their stories, themselves represented in the curriculum. They think that their teachers don't have high expectations of them and so they're allowed to get through with little support, little motivation and so they don't have a lot of hope about the pathway from education to civic life & citizenship [and] its the young people that are here that are most affected."
 
 
 
Listen to the interview here.
 
Official Canada-Jamaica joint statement issued by the office of the Prime Minister
 
PM Stephen Harper and PM  Portia Simpson-Miller sit with President & Co-Founder G987 Fitzroy Gordon.
 
For more on Dr. Davis’ research, visit the Ontario Council on University Research site: “Research matters because youth violence doesn’t have to remain an enigma.”
 
Dr. Davis and Dr. Carl James are co-editors of the book “Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence