In 1962 the Jamaican-Canadian Association (JCA) was formed to advocate for black immigrants in Canada. Roy Williams was the first JCA president. Its first mission statement was:
- “To develop and maintain closer relations between Canadians and Jamaicans.
- To better acquaint Canadians with Jamaican opinions (social, immigration, political, economical, racial, etc.)
- To establish closer relations with all Jamaicans living in Canada and to mold this group into an effective and influential voice in community affairs.
- To cooperate with West Indian and other national or territorial groups in pursuing common aims and objectives.
- To establish official contact with the Jamaican High Commissioner in Ottawa.
- To establish and maintain a scholarship fund to assist Jamaican students in Canada.
- To give assistance to newcomers wherever possible
- To establish a centre for social and cultural activities.1” ( Conville 2004, p. 45).
The JCA have many initiatives to address social issues in the black community; particularly the education of Canadian black children. These include an after-school tutoring program, seminars for parents, and a scholarship program. The JCA also advocated for changes to the educational system when they found that Caribbean students were being streamed into vocational and special education programs.
The JCA also formed a credit union in 1963 for blacks who were less likely to be approved for loans from Canadian banks.
Conville, V. (2004). The Jamaican Canadian Association in a multiracial and multicultural society: Four decades of service. Dissertation Abstracts International, 64, 3856.
Well I thought this Jamaican Canadian Association one was interesting simply because JAC was one of the earliest island organizations to have a building or to own a building and also to have credit union and to have some activities join the economic activities. And so I think this was from one of the activities there; notice the flag of—the Canadian flag is there as well as their building and the hands reaching out to the community, I thought that was an important one to keep and I felt it was historical.