Developing support for the rule of law: creating a culture of lawfulness – That was the theme of a two-day workshop hosted by U.S. Embassy Kingston, on July 21-22, 2015 in Kingston and Montego Bay respectively.
The workshops were conducted in collaboration with USAID’s Community Empowerment and Transformation Project (Comet II), giving support to the Project’s efforts to empower members of the National Police Youth Club who are from communities in Kingston and rural Jamaica.
Over the two days, approximately 150 young people between the ages 15-29 years engaged in interactive discussions with U.S. guest speaker/journalist, Matthew DeRienzo. The sessions were held at the University of the West Indies’ Mona and Western Campuses respectively.
In support of the U.S. mission’s goal to embolden responsible and democratic governance in Jamaica, participants were equipped with tips on maintaining ethics in reporting, the fundamental principles and techniques of contemporary journalism and the process of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information through the use of social media platforms.
Counselor for Public Affairs, Joshua Polacheck greeted participants, and encouraged them to embrace leadership roles and involvement in the democratic process, becoming champions of a culture of lawfulness. National Integrity Action representative, Jamie-Ann Chevannes expressed similar sentiments, and included ways in which NIA is involved in the process. Local journalists, Abka Fitz-Henley of Nationwide News Network and Albert Ferguson of IRIE FM also addressed participants on the importance of eye witness reporting and ways community members can share information confidentially, using social media technologies.
Participants expressed thanks for the very frank and practical discussions, which provided a platform for increased conversation on the rule of law. They were also happy to receive tips on ways responsible citizens can use social media as a tool to shed light on their communities and help tell their stories.
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