Thursday, January 23, 2014

Quality Citizenship Jamaica ............ One Year on

On January 22, 2013 Quality of Citizenship Jamaica was ‘born’, after discussions with J-FLAG to be the fiscal sponsor until the group had a bank account.

The QCJ mission at the start of the year was for ‘the improvement of the lives of young lesbian, bisexual (LB), and other women who have sex with women (WSW), working with LGBT youth and the ageing LB and WSW population’.

Despite being unable to undertake any programming initiatives, QCJ through the support of two organisations (St. Paul's Foundation for International Reconciliation and AIDS Free World) was able to become incorporated as Jamaica’s first and only lesbian and bisexual organisation.

The reputation of QCJ is not limited to LGBT issues, this was a deliberate move for as an organisation we wanted to be part of the whole move for human rights and fight alongside others rather than separately for it is only when we fight together as a team can we truly achieve our fullest potential and goals.

In this short period, we have positioned ourselves as an organisation that represents the lesbian and bisexual community - an under-served community, as well as a partner for the rights of women and girls; we are known locally and internationally and have been called on for insight and information.

Our key achievements for this year were:

 The revival of the local silent stands for LGBT rights with the help of Maurice Tomlinson; organising and/or participating in a total of 10 stands, the organization of the largest silent stand/protest in Jamaica for LGBT rights, following the murder of Dwayne Jones (close to 40 total participants)  The only organisation from the LGBT community to have participated in the Jamaicans for Justice Nelson Mandela stand: “Lift Up NOT Lock Up Our Children”. A QCJ representative was one of three persons chosen to hand deliver a letter to the office of the Minister of Youth and Culture  The only Jamaican organisation (at the time of writing) to have participated in Human Right’s Campaign ‘Love Conquers Hate Campaign’

We built and improved on individual and organisational friendships and relationships, giving us opportunities for which we are grateful. We look forward to strengthening these existing relationships and building new ones with your help and support.

As we write the last few lines in the chapter of our first year, we want to say thank you, a really big hearty THANK YOU! To every individual and organisation that has helped QCJ; from words of advice and encouragement to funding for incorporation and donation of organisational material, we say thank you, for without your support QCJ’s year one would not be what it was. Come, turn the leaf with us and let us begin year two.

The QCJ Team



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