Addressing the Social Issues of Crime, Violence, Youth Empowerment and Creating a Better Future for Our Communities


Topic Summary: According to Vision 2030, Jamaica must become a “place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”. This, however, has and will continue to be difficult to achieve if garrison communities have not been transformed.  Many garrison/under-resourced communities face complex issues that span decades of poverty, corruption, hopelessness and social, economic and civic exclusion. To improve the quality of life of its residents and enhance public safety, a multi-sectorial approach must be employed. Given its unique and consistent position in communities, the church must own and play its role in working with community members, the state (and its agencies) and private sector to help in community development to address issues. This panel will discuss practical ways of working in partnership to address social issues and facilitate better communities.

Addressing the Social Issues of Crime, Violence, Youth Empowerment


Dr. Leroy Logan (Moderator)

Leroy Logan is a retired Superintendent who served 30 years in the Metropolitan Police Service, UK. He was a founding member and former chair of the National Black Police Association (BPA). A past member of the Lawrence Steering Group, his contribution to diversity in UK policing has been extensive.

Currently he is the Chair of the London Independent Youth Safety Advisory Board (LIYSAB) working for an All Party Parliamentary Commission on Youth Violence. He is also Chair of VOYAGE (Voice of the Youth and Genuine Empowerment) Youth and the leader of the Jamaican UK Diaspora Task Force on Crime.

Donovan Tait

Mr. Fitz Bailey

Assisstant Police Commissioner

Rev. Pastor Ian Muirhead

Rev. Ian Muirhead is the founding and senior pastor of Upper Room Community Church. His early career was in the biological sciences and he worked as a research analyst for 15 years before being called into full time ministry. His passion for the transformation of lives and communities primarily leads him to serve the communities of Shortwood, Grants Pen and Barbican in Jamaica but has also led him to share their learning in Trinidad.

Mr. Omar Sweeney

Omar Sweeney is an engineering professional with a wealth of experience in the areas of Civil and Construction Engineering as well as Project Management. He is a former President for Administration at the Wolmer’s Alumni Association, South Florida Chapter. He was recently elected to Chair the Professional Engineers Registration Board in Jamaica. Omar Sweeney is the Managing Director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund which is a lead project management arm of the Government of Jamaica. He also serves as the Deputy Chairman to the Prime Minister of Jamaica for the Zones of Special Operations in Jamaica.

Prof. Rosalea Hamilton

Professor Hamilton is an international trade expert who has been at the forefront of public education on trade, governance and other socio-economic matters. She is now the CEO of the LASCO Chin Foundation leading an innovative approach to breaking the cycle of crime and poverty among at-risk youths in high-crime communities. In May 2018 she concluded her 10-year tenure as Vice-President of Community Service and Development at the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, JA).

Creating a Better Future for Our Communities


Albertine Henry (Moderator)

Rev. Dr. Benjamin Agard

Rev. Dr. Benjamin Agard has been in full-time ministry for over 34 years. He is the Founder and Senior Pastor of the Open Bible Church on the Rock in Morvant and that congregation has grown since 1994 from less than 50 to over 500 members. On April 9, 2011, Rev. Agard was duly elected as the National Elder/Director of the organization and re-elected for a second and third term on April 12, 2014 and April 22, 2017 respectively.

Bishop Everton Thomas

Lionel Francis

Bishop Llewelyn Graham