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Join us for Jamaica Events! 

It's Jamaica 57! 57 years of hard work and 57 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  was a grand black tie Gala held on Saturday, August 26, 2017 at the New York Hilton Hotel. 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  that was  the major finale Gala of all the events. 


The  Gala was 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  enjoyed dinner music by local New York performers, The Likkle Big Band and the popular deejays of Road International culminated the evening. The annual silent auction offered a plethora of exciting and interesting mix of items to choose from at prices that were unmatched!


The charities were 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. is 501c(3) accredited and 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 that and future 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 Former and Present Committee Members 

Julie A. Brooks - President

Trudy   Deans  - Honorary Chair   (Former)

Normadelle   Rose  -  Gala Chair    (Former) 

Joy  Crichlow  - Steering Committee     (Former)

Aretha Blake  - Steering Committee     

Irwine  Clare, Sr.  - Steering Committee     (Former)

Ann-Marie  Grant  - Steering Committee     (Former)

Richard Lue  - Steering Committee     

George Patsalos  - Steering Committee     (Former)

Marcia  Skyers  James  - Steering Committee  (Former)

Paulette  Willoughby  -  Steering Committee  (Former)

Marie Walker - Advisor      (In Loving memory of our Advisor who rested with the angels July 2019)

This is a presentation of the Jamaica Independence Foundation Inc. and produced by VIP Connected Entertainment Group of Companies.

Grand Independence Gala


The Jamaica Independence Foundation, Inc 

& The Jamaica Tourist Board


Under the Distinguished Patronage 

Of The (Former) Consul General of Jamaica 

Honourable Trudy Deans   

Request the pleasure of your company at the Grand Independence Gala    


Jamaica’s Fifty-Eight Anniversary of Independence 2020

Guest of Honor

To be Announced 

Save the date!

Saturday, August  2020

Hosts coming soon! 

Proposed  Venue (TBC) 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.

Featured Artist to Be confirmed at later date. 

          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.


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.

 JIFINYC 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.,

P.O. Box 312493, Jamaica, (Queens),  New York, NY 11432


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 at Jamaica Independence 55 in 2017

**In Loving Memory of our beloved Former Prime Minister

The Right Honorable Mr. Edward Philip George Seaga ON, PC .  He was the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica, from 1980 to 1989, and the leader of the Jamaica Labour Party from 1974 to 2005. He served as leader of the opposition from 1974 to 1980, and again from 1989 until January 2005.

Born: May 28, 1930, Boston, MA    |  Died: May 28, 2019, Miami, FL

Buried: June 23, 2019, National Heroes Park, Kingston, Jamaica

Children: Christopher Seaga, Gabrielle Seaga, Anabella Seaga, Andrew Seaga

Spouse: Carla Vendryes (m. 1996–2019), Mitsy Seaga (m. 1965–1995)

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