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Join us for Jamaica 55 Events! 

It's Jamaica 55! 55 years of hard work and 55 years of many achievements, so join us as we celebrate Jamaicans at home and abroad!


Jamaica celebrations are global and designed to leave legacies for future generations of Jamaicans, so come raise your flags and build a vibe with us in New York!


The highlight of Jamaica 55 in New York is the grand black tie Gala on Saturday, August 26, 2017 at the New York Hilton Hotel. This year we proudly welcome for the first time two of our Prime Ministers, The Most Honorable Andrew Holness, ON, MP and The Most Hon. Edward Seaga, ON, PC among our special invited guests and  this will therefore be the major finale Gala of all the events. 


Your Gala will be hosted by Singer Estelle and Actor & Singer Leon with a special performance by Lovers Rock Reggae artistes Romain Virgo backed by The Unit Band directly from Jamaica. During dinner, guests will enjoy dinner music by local New York performers, The Likkle Big Band and the popular deejays of Road International will culminate the evening. The annual silent auction will offer a plethora of exciting and interesting mix of items to choose from at prices that will be unmatched!


This year's charities are the Woman Inc., Crisis Center, which falls under the purview of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports and the Garvey Elementary School in the Bronx, New York. Net proceeds and contributions from the Gala are earmarked for these charities.


We look forward to celebrating Jamaica and her years of achievements with you! 

About Us

Jamaica Independence Foundation, Inc (JIFI)

The Jamaica Independence Foundation, Inc. was established in 2017 primarily to manage the annual celebratory activities for Jamaica’s independence in the NE region of the United States.

Proceeds raised from this year’s events will support the following charities:

  • Jamaica 55 Legacy Project/Woman Inc.
  • The Garvey School

JIFI is a non-profit corporation recognized by the State of New York.  All directors and executives are volunteers and all net proceeds go to charity. 

Jamaica Independence Gala Committee Members 

Trudy   Deans  - Honorary Chair   

Normadelle   Rose  -  Gala Chair     

Diane L. Samuels  - Steering Committee     

Joy  Crichlow  - Steering Committee     

Aretha Blake  - Steering Committee     

Julie  Brooks -  Steering Committee     

Irwine  Clare, Sr.  - Steering Committee     

Ann-Marie  Grant  - Steering Committee     

Richard Lue  - Steering Committee     

George Patsalos  - Steering Committee     

Marcia  Skyers  James  - Steering Committee  

Paulette  Willoughby  -  Steering Committee

Marie Walker - Advisor      

This is a presentation of the Jamaica Independence Foundation Inc. and produced by Turnstyle Marketing Inc.,  NY.

Grand Independence Gala

The Jamaica Independence Foundation, Inc 

& The Jamaica Tourist Board


Under the Distinguished Patronage 

Of The Consul General of Jamaica 

Honourable Trudy Deans   

Request the pleasure of your company at the Grand Independence Gala    


Jamaica’s Fifty-Fifth Anniversary of Independence

Guest of Honor

Most Hon. Andrew Holness, ON, MP

Prime Minister of Jamaica

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hosted by Estelle, Artist & Leon, Actor/Singer

The Grand Ballroom

New York Hilton

1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019

Cocktail Reception:  6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Silent Auction: 6:30 p.m. -- 10:00 p.m.

Dinner, Awards & Dancing: 8:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.

Featuring: Romain Virgo and The Unit Band

Likkle Big Band & Road International

          Black Tie Required

Our Charities

Jamaica 55 Legacy Project/Woman Inc.


The only crisis center for women in Jamaica who are victims of rape, incest, domestic violence and sexual harassment is operated by Woman Incorporated (Woman Inc.), a registered charitable organization offering counselling, referral services and a 24 hour hotline. The Crisis Centre also offers short-term shelter to battered women.


The Government of Jamaica is committed to the establishment of a minimum of three regional emergency shelters to provide a safe space and a comprehensive program of support for victims and survivors of gender-based violence for a longer period of time to facilitate their rehabilitation and self-sufficiency. The long-term goal is to establish at least one center for each of Jamaica’s fourteen parishes. www.mcges.gov.jm


The Garvey School

Named after Jamaica’s first national hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey to immortalize the philosophy of education and economic dependence, The Garvey School is a private co-educational institution which utilizes traditional and progressive teaching strategies.  The school prides itself on its ability to provide a nurturing and supportive environment where students are encouraged to take intellectual risks.  Instilled in each child is a sense of community and ethical duty.  Students are encouraged to express excellence through academic achievement, but are also charged to use their specific attributes to create change. www.garveyschool.org

 AFUWI is a 501 (c) (3) entity; all donations are tax deductible to the full extent of state and federal laws. Mail to: Jamaica Independence Foundation, Inc. 767 Third Avenue – 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10017 


Most Hon. Andrew Michael Holness, ON, MP

Prime Minister of Jamaica

Recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award

Most Hon. Edward Phillip George Seaga, ON, PC

Former Prime Minister of Jamaica

Recipient of the Nation Builder Award

Mr. Patrick A. Ewing

Head Coach, Georgetown University

Hall of Fame Basketball Player, NBA New York Knicks 

Recipient of the Son of the Soil Legacy Award