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Assistant professor gets UNIA Award

Tuesday, August 12, 2014    

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WASHINGTON, DC, USA — Jamaica born Dr Basil Morgan, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University, is the recipient of the 2014 Marcus Garvey Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) Award.

The award was presented at Saturday's annual Independence Ball of the Jamaica Association of Maryland (JAM) at the Martin West Ballroom in Baltimore, Maryland.

Presenting the award, Maryland House of Delegates representative and founding member of JAM, Shirley Natham-Pulliam, said Dr Morgan has given much to Jamaica and the Caribbean Diaspora in the areas of general health and eye care. She added that the award was presented for Dr Morgan's outstanding achievement in medicine and that he was a well-deserved recipient.

Accepting the award, Dr Morgan, who hails from the parish of Clarendon, said he was honoured to be recognised in such a way and was committed to serving the people of Jamaica as well as the wider Caribbean.

The Marcus Garvey Award is presented annually by JAM to a Jamaican who has distinguished him or herself in his or her chosen career.

In his message, lieutenant governor for the state of Maryland, Anthony Brown, called on Jamaicans to take the opportunity to reflect on the struggles of independence and how that journey and the 52 years of freedom have shaped the story of the people.

"For so many of us, it is a reminder of our own family's journey to the United States. It is a celebration of freedom that allows us to share our rich culture and heritage with our friends and neighbours, both here in Baltimore and throughout Maryland. It was this freedom along with the chance to obtain an education and pursue the American dream that assured my father when he left Kingston and came to the USA so many years ago," said Brown, who is of Jamaican heritage.

Meanwhile, president of JAM Noel Godfrey said that, "as we celebrate Jamaica's Independence this year, it is important for us to reflect on the past achievements while looking towards the future".

He argued that if JAM is to survive as an association, it must now turn its attention to attracting the younger generation.

For his part, president of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organisations, Rick Nugent, commended the association for the deep commitment it continues to demonstrate in seeking to provide scholarships for needy students in the USA and Jamaica.

The final curtain will come down on Independence celebrations in Washington on Friday, August 16, when the Washington-based Jamaica Nationals Association (JNA) will host its Annual Independence Ball, under the distinguished patronage of Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States Stephen Vasciannie.

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