Respect Jamaica is an anti-discrimination programme, launched in 2014, aimed at promoting inclusion and equality for all Jamaicans, regardless of social identity and status. The Programme aims to tackle stigma and discrimination by raising public awareness of how both affect the individuals. They have mobilized and trained over 100 youth in social advocacy to improve public understanding of discrimination/human rights. Youth form critical component of their anti-discrimination activities across Jamaica as they use their networks to highlight and challenge incidents of stigma and discrimination.
Since its inception in 2014 Respect Jamaica has signed thirty-six corporate partners to support the initiative. The programme has garnered wide-scale social media following with monthly engagement averaging upwards of 60,000 and monthly reach averaging over 40,000. In recent months Respect Jamaica raised its public profile and legitimacy within the youth space through two major projects. January and February saw the Respect Youth Ambassadors submitting weekly articles to one of the country’s premier newspaper, The Jamaica Gleaner, outlining well researched views of Jamaican youth on the state of education, democracy and governance. Each article presents challenges and solutions to these problems, and afterwards a meeting is scheduled with Members of Parliament on how these solutions could be actioned.
Additionally, the Respect Ambassadors have participated in a number of school tours to target their peers and engage in debates and conversations on how to encourage greater respect for all Jamaicans.
The eight (8) pillars of Respect are: