JAMCCAR – Jamaican Civic & Cultural Association of Rockland, Inc.

History of JAMCCAR

In 1989, Lileth Gregg, Phyllis Stephens, and Sonia Tracey-McCallum, three Jamaican-American women, met by chance in Rockland County, exchanged telephone numbers, and later met socially. This progressed into weekend morning walks around Rockland Lake. At the end of a pleasant walk, they felt the need to extend the time together and so arranged to extend each walk with a breakfast, hosted in turn by each other.
The menu was of Jamaican Fare with conversations that spanned the varied Jamaican culture. They were having such a good tune enjoying these pastimes that they were moved to seek out other Jamaicans in the community to share the pleasantries. By word of mouth, the core group of eight came together, hence the Founding Members:
They all agreed to place an advertisement in the Rockland Journal News inviting Jamaicans to contact them to explore the interest in forming an organization to promote Jamaican culture. Resulting from the overwhelming response, a meeting was convened. The Honorable Derrick Heaven, who was then the Jamaican Consul-General in New York, was in attendance and other folks who strongly supported creating a Jamaican organization in Rockland.
In 1990, the organization JAMCCAR was formed. It was agreed that this should go beyond Jamaican nationals and include others; hence the motto:

“Jamaicans and Friends Working Together”

Officers were selected from the group, as was the committee to develop a Mission Statement and formulate By-Laws. Later other committees were formed to move the organization forward. Over the past 25 years, JAMCCAR has remained true to its mission developed at its inception :

“To foster good relations, through closer association with Jamaicans and Friends in Rockland County and its environs, developing and promoting throughout the community the civic, cultural, economic, and social aspects of the Jamaican, Caribbean, and Pan African cultures.”