In July 1987, a group of dedicated individuals, under the leadership of the late Mr. David Haughton, formed Jamaica Awareness Association of California. The other founding members include Wilcox Bodden, Keith R. Campbell, Errol Darnell, Phyllis Davis (deceased), Rose Lanam, Hope Miller, Dr. Marian Miller (deceased), Dane Kamou Herukhuti, Jackie Small, Sharon Small, Antonio Waite and Elise Waite-Waters. The primary objective of the organization is to make a positive difference in the lives of the underprivileged and serve the needy in our local and international communities. As part of its growth process, JAAC has expanded its goals to promote Jamaican culture in a positive way, creating opportunities for cross-cultural interaction within the larger community.

The organization has responded to many requests for assistance from groups and individuals within the local California community and abroad and has provided toys, food and financial assistance those in need.  In addition, JAAC conducts an annual mission trip that provides medical, educational, mental health, and technology services to underprivileged areas of Jamaica. We continually strive to improve our fundraising efforts through active group participation as well as on an individual basis. Its members treat each other with mutual respect and trust through honesty and candor as embodied in our Core Values.

Our Mission

To work with the community at large in a joint effort to aid the less fortunate and also to have a better understanding of each other’s culture.

Our Vision

To promote awareness of and provide support to the underserved communities in the areas of health and education. We realize our goals by bringing the community together, increasing our active membership, and hosting several fundraising activities each year.



A grant from the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department in 1992/1993, allowed JAAC to conduct an art competition that involved students at Dorsey and Crenshaw High Schools (in collaboration with Bernard Hoyes). The theme “Out of Many One People” was adopted to embody the spirit of the reconciliation efforts which were underway in the City after the 1992 riot. An exhibition of participants’ work was held at the Kenneth Hahn Building, County of Los Angeles, at the invitation of Supervisor Yvonne Braithwaite Burke.
In August 1993, JAAC hosted the JamCarib Fest in Pasadena. Many aspects of Caribbean Culture were featured at this festival; including food, music, dancing, fashion show, sports, and arts and crafts.


One of the high points for JAAC in 1995 was the visit of the Honorable Burchell Whiteman, Minister of Education, Youth and Culture. He was well received by the City of Los Angeles, the Inglewood School Board and Santa Monica City College. His message was very inspiring to many as he outlined his vision for Education in Jamaica. Since then, the organization was pleased to host Jamaican Ambassadors from Washington at the annual fundraising gala.


JAAC was also part of the AllState volunteers that participated in the local community “Helping Hands” 1999 and 2000 annual paint-a-house project in South Central, Los Angeles. JAAC also joined a coalition of Africans, West Indians and Americans to promote and register residents for the Census 2000. The effort proved instrumental in increasing the number of registrants for the Census. In that same year, JAAC received over three thousand books from Retired Congressman Mervyn Dymally, who was the catalyst for our involvement in the Census 2000.