Adaoma Patterson was elected president of the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA) last Sunday.
Patterson, whose late father Horace Patterson came to Canada to pursue studies at the University of Manitoba in the 1960s was born in Winnipeg and, with the exception of six years which her family spent in Jamaica, was raised in that city.
She also serves as vice-president of Horace Patterson Scholarship Foundation a charity dedicated to her father’s memory and is a recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award from the JCA.
JCA Director of Communications Alton Brooks noted the impetus for creation of the association was the emergence of Jamaica from colonial status to becoming an independent nation in August 1962. Jamaicans formed a committee comprised of Roy G. Williams and other dedicated members.
“It started out as a patriotic and social organization but very soon of necessity, it added an advocacy role and then later, again due to necessity, it added social and community services, in order to address the varied needs of a rapidly expanding diverse population – Jamaican, Caribbean and other nationalities,” Brooks said.
The JCA to date has awarded 800 scholarships, held 4,000 community events, mentored 1,200 youth and provided 700 community talks.
Patterson told The Camera “Our mission is to deliver programs and services, provide a physical hub and to advocate to improve the well-being and equity of Jamaican, Caribbean and African-Canadian communities within the Greater Toronto Area.”
Her work includes being a specialist with Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy. The former NDP candidate for Brampton West boasts a long history of of community and public service.
“I am humbled and excited to embark on this new journey, as JCA’s 17th president. Additionally I am very excited about launching the JCA / Jamaica Project.”