Jamaican American Youth Alliance, otherwise known as JAYA, is a New York based 501 (c) (3) Jamaica diaspora membership organisation that targets 1st- 4th generation young Jamaicans in the USA (18-35 years). The idea for the organisation was conceptualized by Patrick Maitland, former Community Relations Officer at the Consulate General of Jamaica in New York and Dominic Christopher, Founder of Deh Abroad and Bickle, Inc. out of a clear need for a youth organisation that supports the needs of the diaspora by centering them in the discussions around Jamaica's national development. Jénine Shepherd was appointed Founding President in November of 2019 to bring the organisation to life and plan our roadmap. JAYA was then incorporated in January of 2020 and since then has held numerous forums with heads of government in Jamaica and the USA that has reached an average of 10,000 participants, fundraised for COVID-19 relief in Jamaica and collaborated with Jamaican embassies to fundraise for repatriation flights of Jamaicans stranded in Europe due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
JAYA boasts an impressive membership of US politicians, academics, entrepreneurs, activists, athletes, journalists and many others who are all at the forefront of their fields and most importantly, love Jamaica and want to empower other Jamaicans. Through our social programming we help persons in the diaspora to connect with each other and get in touch with the Jamaican culture. Through our lobbying, forums and education campaigns, we help to raise awareness around the issues that affect the persons in our community among key decision makers and the general public. Our mentoring and networking initiatives help young Jamaicans progress professionally so that they too will pay it forward and help Jamaica to grow.
We believe the empowerment of the diaspora is crucial to Jamaica's national development and it is our job to do so
Mission: Jamaican American Youth Alliance (JAYA) is a membership organisation comprised of young Jamaicans in the diaspora (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation), aged 18-35, dedicated to uplifting each other and Jamaicans on the mainland by providing mentorship, networking opportunities and advocacy around issues affecting the diaspora.
Vision: To help Jamaica achieve Vision 2030 through the development of the diaspora.