We are a 501 c 3 registered organization. 

Our mission is to positively promote,educate and celebrate the rich West Indian American culture and the contributions we have made to our "adopted" home! 



We strive

To advance, encourage and foster cultural, educational, and the economic wellbeing of the Jamaican and West Indian community. Our purpose is to strengthen the links between people of Jamaican descent and the community in which they now reside. 


To celebrate, promote and support the positive values and traditions of our diverse Jamaican heritage, and to improve the quality of life for our members, as well as others who subscribe to our goals. 

Our objective

To ensure and promote active and equal participation of Jamaican Americans in all aspects of family, social, economic, political and citizenship.


Trailblazer Award

Every year, we award 2 people in our community with the Trailblazer Award. We recognize people who come from Jamaican or Caribbean heritage who work to improve the lives of others in our community.

Family Fun Days

Bringing people together to have fun is a simple, yet often overlooked pleasure. We love providing a safe place for families to come together to enjoy food, games, conversation and most importantly, each other. 


Going places as a group is a fun way to create community. JAC organizes group trips to cultural events happening in the area. This is a way for us to show our support for other groups and organizations and to connect with other like minded individuals and causes. 

Organize Trips

Karaine Holness

As one of the founding members of the Jamaican American Connection, Karaine Holness became president of the organization in 2014.  Born in Jamaica, she moved to the United States in 1987 where she settled in New Haven, Connecticut. Within eight years of her move to the U.S., Karaine opened Hair’s Kay Salon, which celebrated 22 years of business in January of 2017.  In addition to owning a salon, Karaine also sits on the board of the Nathan Ebanks Foundation (NEF), Jamaica and the Nathan Ebanks Advocacy Group, NY.  

Karaine makes it a priority to be active within the greater New Haven community and has done so in many ways.  She is the founder of the New Haven Caribbean Heritage Festival and also organizes an annual Women getaway to Jamaica, called Sistahs Jammin’ which provides women with an opportunity for personal development and getting a local experience of the island. Additionally, every summer, she partners with the Jesse Homeless Outreach Project (JHOP) to give free haircuts to the homeless. Karaine is happily married with three children. 


Craig Brandon

Craig Brandon.jpg

Craig is originally from the beautiful island of Jamaica and now resides in Hamden, Connecticut. While in Jamaica, he attended Jamaica College where he recieved his High School Diploma and Portmore Community College where he received his Associate of Science Degree in Computer Application and Business Studies. After migrating to the US, He continued his studies at the Housatonic Community College and received his Associate of Science Degree in Graphic Design. He furthered his education at the University of Bridgeport, Shintaro Akatsu School of Design where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. He is also a member and Vice President of the Jamaican American Connection of Greater New Haven. Craig enjoys doing freelance graphic design, photography, socializing, playing volleyball, soccer and watching basketball.


Richard Simpson

Rich is a resident of New Haven and has been a member of JAC since 2011.  He has a BS in Biochemistry from Fairfield University and an MBA in management from Southern CT State University. Rich is a Senior Engineering Manager, R&D, with Medtronic, a leading medical device manufacturing company based in Minnesota. 

Rich is an avid photographer, cyclist, mountain biker, and loves to spend time with his two daughters.


Norris Anderson
Assistant Secretary

Born in Jamaica “Land We Love” where she lived most of her life.  A graduate of St. Elizabeth Technical High School, she worked in government and the private sector. After many years she with other family members started and built a successful business which she managed for seven years before migrating o the USA.  She has one son who is pursuing a pastoral degree in Jamaica. Noris now calls Hamden home for the past nine years where she lives with her husband. 

She has been working for FedEx Office for the past eight years.  She enjoys watching a game of cricket and football (soccer).


  • Fundraising/Marketing/Media: Communication, Website, Organization Material
  • Scholarship/Education: Mr. Richard Simpson, Lead 
  • Outreach: Health, Legal, Financial, Cultural/Civic Programming - Mr. Norm Forrester, Lead





General Body Meetings are held on the third Sunday of each month at 5pm.  During daylight savings time, meetings are held at 6pm. Meetings are located at Whalley Ave. Police Sub-station, 322 Whalley Avenue | New Haven | CT 06511


A Letter from the President

Dear Friends and Prospective Members:

Greetings to you from the Jamaican American Connection (JAC) of Greater New Haven, Inc.!  JAC was founded during the year 2010 to meet the needs of Jamaican Americans living in New Haven and the surrounding communities.  One of JAC’s primary goals and focus is to promote knowledge, understanding and respect for racial, ethnic and cultural diversity.  We also endeavor to provide opportunities for accepting and conveying scholarships, gifts of charity and donations to the local community, Jamaica, and other international locales.  We invite you to join us in support of the furtherance of these goals.

We extend a cordial invitation to you to join our membership and help us to realize JAC’s mission and objectives.  We are a dedicated group of West Indians committed to lending our strengths to collectively enhance the organization and the surrounding community.   Membership requirements are as follows:

  • All residents of the Greater New Haven Region in the state of Connecticut who subscribe to the mission, goals, objectives and bylaws of the organization shall be eligible for JAC membership.
  • The membership of JAC shall be open to all individuals, irrespective of race, color, religion, sex, political affiliation, marital status, disability, or other aspect considered discriminatory by the State and Federal laws who subscribe to the mission, and objectives of the organization, and abide by the provisions of the articles of incorporation and bylaws.
  • Only members of Good Standing (Article V, Sect 1.5) shall have the right to vote or seek nomination for election and hold offices.
  • Annual membership dues of $100.00 for the calendar year, due by January 31st, or payable at time of subscription.

JAC Membership has its privileges.  All members in good standing will receive:

  • 10% discount on all fundraising events
  • Fellowship opportunities such as Christmas Party, Father's Day Brunch and Thanksgiving Party
  • Field Trips to events that we support
  • Satisfaction in knowing your contribution goes to offset the costs associated with giving back to deserving charities and scholars

We look forward to your commitment to JAC. If you have any questions or would like to discuss our initiatives in greater detail, please feel free to call 203-903.1183. 

Kind regards,

Karaine Holness