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About Us

The Jamaican American Association of Central Florida  (JAAOCF) is dedicated to promoting opportunities for advancement to and empowerment for Jamaicans and people of Jamaican American descent through access to financial resources and education with an emphasis on community, history, culture, health, music, and the arts, etc.

Our Mission

To preserve, enhance and promote our cultural heritage by and through our focus on education, our youth, community service and emergency assistance both locally and internationally.

President's Message

Dear members and potential members of the Jamaican American Association of Central Florida Inc. (JAAOCF).


Welcome to 2024! My name is Joan Edghill.  I am a Christian, a past business owner, a retired stockbroker, a retired OCPS teacher, a cancer survivor, and a poet and author.  I was elected to serve as president for a second term this year and look forward to continuing the important work of the JAAOCF.  As we navigate the economic, environmental, and social changes in the communities we serve, we plan to leverage ourselves as a leader in creating pathways that enhance the lives of people in Central Florida and Jamaica.


Our goals include promoting equity and inclusion. All members will be empowered to engage in shaping the development of the JAAOCF.  Newer and younger members will be given equal opportunities to share their skills and expertise for the benefit of the association.  In doing, so we hope to foster a truly collaborative, and inclusive process.


In 2023 the JAAOCF supported communities both locally and internationally. We provided nine (9) Scholarships to students of Jamaican heritage at our Annual Independence and Scholarship Awards Celebration.  We also collaborated with “This is Jamaica” (TIJ) as Title Sponsor for the TIJ poetry scholarship competition, where we funded the scholarship prizes.


We donated funds to a young child in need in Jamaica, and to the Kids Conquering Sickle Cell Foundation. We collaborated with schools in Central Florida, provided Thanksgiving food baskets, and Christmas gifts for victims of domestic violence at Harbor House.  We planned several cultural events and attended the events of our sister associations in support of their goals.  We hope you will consider joining us in our effort to build stronger communities in Central Florida and Jamaica. 


Your financial support is very much appreciated. You can support us by sponsoring an annual scholarship, or by donating to a particular cause. Our website allows you to make a one-time donation or rotating donations of any amount. 


By attending our various ticketed events you are contributing to our charitable causes. Thank you for your continued support. 



Joan Edghill, M.Ed.

President, (JAAOCF)


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Ms. Joan Edghill

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Ms. Mea Allman, MCC
Vice President / E&D Chair

Mrs. Margaret Tate

Mrs. Margaret Tate
Recording Secretary

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Mrs. Karen Fortune
Corresponding Secretary

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Mr. Lionel Williams
Treasurer / Finance Chair

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Ms. Winsome Newland
Assistant Treasurer


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Mrs. Marjorie Bown

Founder / Membership Chair

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Dr. Barbara Dawkins, Ed.D.

Immediate Past President

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Mr. Carroll Grant

Building Chair

Ms. Cannetta Bukola-Patterson

Member At Large

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Mrs. Danna Hall

Outreach Chair

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Ms. Grace Powell

Member At Large

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Dr. Patricia Smith


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