The Jamaican Embassy in Washington, D.C. commemorated the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Negro Improvement Association – African Communities League (UNIA) formed by Jamaica’s national hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
At a ceremony hosted by the embassy and attended by UNIA executives, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the U. S. Stephen Vasciannie noted Garvey’s heroic status in Jamaica and other parts of the world, according to the South Florida Caribbean News.
The envoy also explored reasons for Garvey’s iconic standing, suggesting that his prominence and overall impact be explained by the “special combination of vision and commitment” that he presented to the world during his 52 years, between 1887 and 1940.
“We still look for Garvey in the whirlwind because his vision and commitment themselves created a magnificent whirlwind on behalf of the poor and the dispossessed, and because he stood firmly for the rights of all Black people, at home and abroad – under the special banner, ‘One God, One Aim, One Destiny,’” Vasciannie said.
UNIA President General Senghor Baye emphasized the continuing relevance of Garvey in the lives of people in the Diaspora, South Florida Caribbean News reported.
He also noted the significant contribution made by women to UNIA’s work and lauded the government of Jamaica for “having issues relating to Marcus Garvey placed on the school curriculum.”
Both Baye and Assistant President General Nkili Nkrumah expressed gratitude to the Jamaican Embassy for its support in commemorating UNIA’s “significant milestone.”
Nkrumah stressed the links between UNIA and Jamaica’s national motto, “Out of Many One People.”