Imagine Jamaica 50

Imagine Jamaica

January  10th


Dear Aunty:

With all the challenges Jamaica faces, this year of Golden Jubilee is also a call to arms.  As we are outnumbered by the naysayers internally, and the external global economic challenges, we will be required to engage in a guerilla war against the enemies of: self-doubt, crass partisanship, crab-in-the-barrelism and international laws made to favor the wellbeing of our former colonial masters.  We are a tallawah people – only the strongest and fittest survived the trek through the jungles, the Middle Passage and the back-brukking labor of the midday canefield sun.

Now that the election is behind us– we can turn our attention to the bashment for the Jubillee.  The Imagine Jamaica 50 Birthday Wish List is my contribution to the party planning process.  I believe that enough of us can step up and make bold and seemingly impossible claims about what we will do, we can change the direction of this nation.   Nanny showed us this power of the mind when she devised her strategies for battleground success.  Marcus Garvey showed us this power of the mind when he launched a movement and three ships a sailing.   Bob Marley showed us this power of the word with his message of self-emancipation and social justice which continues to reverberate throughout the world today.

Take the vision of  planting 50,000 Trees in Jamaica (Wish #7).  It is alive – because  the Visioneurs from Farmville Jamaica Live  have told me that they can taste the  ackee and breadfruit and mangoes that will bear from the 50,000 trees they want to help plant in yards across the nation.   Now  with all the mention of the diaspora in speeches during the swearing in and aftersince,  I am longing to see what  the  diaspora activists are planning on doing.   I am hoping that someone will take up my   Wish#4  —  Support the Development of 50 Community Based Development Corporations  or  Wish #9    Organize Hometown Development Summits to result in Five Year Development Plans for each Parish. My girl who run the Hanover Homecoming Foundation – must be have something in mind…I cant wait to hear what she planning.  And as a matter of fact,  so too the Elizabethans and I understand there is a Trelawny group.  What a thing if they could all come together and plan for each of them to come home between July 27th and July 31st and then on AUGUST 1st across the nation – we could launch a Grand Emancipation Celebration with runners lighting the torch and running a relay around island from parish clock to parish clock.  My heart can’t stop quivering.   I longing to hear what they are planning.  Please  Let me know if you hear anything!

Walk Good,


About the author

Dr. Claire Nelson

Dr. Claire Nelson has been actively engaged in the business of international development for more than twenty-five years. She works in the area of project development and management, with a particular focus on private sector development. A renaissance woman, she has been described as a Social Entrepreneur, Futurist, and Change Leader.

The first Jamaican woman to earn a Doctorate degree in an engineering discipline and the only black in her graduating class, Dr. Nelson holds Industrial Engineering Degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Purdue University, and a Doctorate in Engineering Management from George Washington University. She has served on numerous boards and committees including: US Department of Commerce US/Caribbean Business Development Council Advisory Board; Black Leadership Forum; DC Caribbean Carnival Association; International Think Tank Commission on Pan-African Affairs, Office of the Prime Minister of Barbados; African-American Unity Caucus; National Democratic Institute/Carter Center Election Observer Mission to the Dominican Republic; Black Professionals in International Affairs; and the International Committee of the National Society of Black Engineers-Alumni Extension.

Dr. Nelson is sought after as a speaker on issues pertaining to economic development, globalization, and issues concerning the Caribbean and its peoples. She is a frequent guest on the television talk show CARIBNATION seen on cable TV in the Washington D.C. area, as well as CARIBBEAN EXCHANGE on WEAA, Morgan University Radio. Her speaking engagements have included: National Association of Security Professionals; Congressional Black Caucus Conference; Harvard University Black MBA Association Conference; Women & Micro-enterprise Conference, African Development Bank; Florida International University; Cincinnati Women's Chamber of Commerce; US Black Engineer of the Year Annual Conference; Howard University; Sacramento State University; National Council of Negro Women; and National Congress of Black Women.

Dr. Nelson has been a frontrunner in the challenge of placing the topic of social exclusion and diversity on the agenda of the multilateral development assistance institutions. As a result of her pioneering work, she was invited to the Salzburg Seminar as a Fellow in 1997 and 1999 of the Seminars on Race and Ethnicity, in 2000 and 2003 to the Fetzer Institute Advisory Group on Moral, Ethical and Spiritual Leadership; and as Faculty at the Seminar on Leadership Across Geographic Borders and Cultural Boundaries. Dr. Nelson was also a participant in the Bellagio Consultation on the UN World Conference on Racism (WCAR) organized by the International Human Rights Law Group, and was active on the Working Group on Globalization and Transnational Corporations.
Dr. Nelson is Ideation Leader of The Futures Forum which provides strategic foresight and development futures consulting practice. An award-winning writer and performance artiste, Dr. Nelson's OpEd pieces have appeared in media outlets such as Morning Edition, National Public Radio; WEAA FM and WHUR FM; and CaribNation TV.