December 13, 2009 – The Honorary Consul General and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter’s (NCBW) Sisters Helping Sisters program attend “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” with the film’s producer Abigail Disney and 20 Liberian refugee women living in Georgia. This award‐winning film chronicles the amazing but little known story of a small band of unarmed women who risked their lives to bring peace to Liberia. The Honorary Consul General facilitated discussions on the movie with the women and other attendees. A special thanks to NCBW-MAC, the Allstate Foundation, Georgia State University, Maryalice Moses and others for their support in working with Liberian women and their children to help improve their quality of life. Several women have received their citizenship and children have received scholarships and awards to further their education.
June 2009 – The University Consortium for Liberia (UCL) was launched by the Honorary Consul General as a framework through which colleges, universities, and other organizations with an educational, research, or service interest in Liberia can streamline their work and pool various resources to increase the impact of their work in Liberia. Dr. Layli Phillips Maparyan, an Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at Georgia State University, was appointed by the Honorary Consul General for a two-year term. Three Memoranda of Understanding have been signed under the UCL umbrella including Georgia State University, Morehouse College and the University of Georgia to conduct joint research, study abroad programs, student, faculty and staff exchange programs, workshops and symposia. UCL is open to other colleges and universities who wish to partner with Liberian institutions of higher learning including the University of Liberia, Tubman University and Cuttington College.
September 2010 – Mission trip to Liberia a success
In collaboration with the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter (NCBW-MAC), the Honorary Consul General facilitated a mission trip to Liberia with a focus on trade and investment, education, health and service learning. Teaming-up with CARE Liberia and Cynthia Williams, the President of NCBW-MAC and mission participants, vegetable seeds were provided to help plant a community garden near the Fendall Campus in Liberia. CNN also traveled with team to Liberia to tell the great story about the country.
Summer of 2010 – Jr. Diplomatic Fellowship Program- The Junior Diplomatic Corps (JDC) Fellowship Program was launched in the in an effort to develop a pipeline of new young professionals interested in the Foreign Service. Two students from Morehouse College participated in the program including Melvin Sirleaf, the President of Liberia’s grandson, who recently graduated from Morehouse College and Glenn Harris, Jr. a Senior at Morehouse College. Applications for new Fellows will begin in March 2011 for a summer fellowship program. Applicants should have an interest in international relations, Foreign Service, and diplomacy and should be eager to find new solutions in the green economy, solar energy, climate change, and peace and micro-enterprise development.
April 20, 2010 – In collaboration with the Deputy Commissioner for Agriculture for the State of Georgia, Mr. Terry Coleman, the Honorary Consul General along with Dr. Layli Phillips Mayaryan, an Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at Georgia State University and Malcolm Ashley, a Yale University educated economist, co-hosted “Georgia First” for Liberia, an agri-business briefing at the Georgia State Department of Agriculture. More than 100 people were in attendance to learn more about the agricultural needs of Liberia and how Georgia businesses, farmers and other investors can provide products and services that are mutually beneficial. Liberia currently imports more than 80% of their food stock, including rice, chicken and eggs. Georgia First is a market based strategy that has been created to help position the State of Georgia as the leading force in Liberian agricultural development and agri-business. Georgia First for Liberia has established itself as a newly formed non-profit in the State of Georgia and will be open for business in the spring 2011.
The Honorary Consul General received a Proclamation from the Georgia State House of Representatives presented by the Honorable Randal Mangham, State Representative proclaiming “Liberia Day” in the State of Georgia.
- The HCG Received the 2009 Georgia State University Martin Luther King Peace Award
- The HCG Received the Atlanta Business Leagues 2010 “Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence” Award
August 2010 – The HCG, in collaboration with the Atlanta West End Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Monrovia, applied for a $30,000 Rotary International Vision Grant to help support Project Fistula Liberia. This grant will help support the Fistula Reintegration and Recovery Center in Liberia and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital with a specific focus on women and girls who have been impacted by obstetric fistula, rape, and cultural rituals. Funds will be used for a water tower, latrines for men and women, washing stations, media campaigns and medical supplies. A special thanks to Dr. Layli Maparyan, Dr. John Mulba, Connie Bracewell, Cynthia Williams, Yamin Farhat, Dr. Wannie Scott and Dr. Jallah and others for their outstanding leadership and support of Project Fistula Liberia.
March 2010 – In collaboration with the Liberian Association of Metropolitan Atlanta, the Honorary Consul General and local immigration attorneys launched a Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED) Campaign and Hot Line to assist Liberian families who had immigration issues. A special thanks to President Obama who extended DED for another 18-months.
December 5, 2009 – The Honorary Consul General hosted the first United for Liberia Prayer Breakfast at the International Christian Fellowship (ICF) Church. Pastor Peter Paye of Hope for Life Community Church served as moderator for the breakfast where more than 80 attended.Chair of the Liberian Ministers Association of Georgia, President Pastor William Diggs, was in attendance along with other members and Cynthia’s pastor, Dr. Gerald W. Durley, Pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church. The President of Liberian Association of Metropolitan Atlanta (LAMA), Mr. Walter Skinner brought greetings. Special thanks to Dr. James E. Hightower, Greater Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church, JLane Media and Dr. Harris of ICF for their sponsorship support.
Speaking Circuit and Events- The Honorary Consul General was pleased to participate as a guest speaker at the following occasions and conducted the following interviews:
- May 9, 2009 – The HCG was the Mother’s Day speaker at International Christian Fellowship (ICF) Church.
- January 1, 2010 -Attended The Liberian Old-Timers Sports Association of Atlanta 1st Annual Red Carpet community awards program Friday.
- On March 2, 2010, the Honorary Consul General spoke to the Georgia State University African Studies students about Liberia and encouraged students to participate in the GSU Study Abroad Programs being hosted by Dr. Layli Phillips Maparyan.
- April 18, 2009, the Honorary Consul General was the keynote speaker at the Ricks Institute Alumni Association, USA, Inc., Georgia Chapter’s 5th Annual Empowerment Breakfast at the Valley Restaurant in Norcross, Georgia.
- May 7, 2010 – Participated in the Liberian Town Hall Meeting with Ministers of Government to discuss Liberia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.
- June 21, 2010 –“In Contact” interview with Angela Robinson on Liberia.
- July 24, 2010, the Liberian Association of Metropolitan Atlanta, in collaboration with the Honorary Consul General Republic of Liberia, Honorable Cynthia Blandford Nash, celebrated Liberia’s 163rd year of Independence with a dinner-ball and a soccer match.
- November 17, 2010, Georgia State University and the Honorary Consul General’s Office celebrated “Feed Your Senses” Liberia at The Rialto Theater where song, dance and Liberian food were experienced by all.
- In November 2010, the HCG, friends and GSU Liberian students volunteered to help decorate the Liberian Christmas Tree at Fernbank’s Winter Wonderland Celebration & Traditions around the World Exhibits.
- On December 4, 2010, at the invitation of the Bahamas Consul General, the Honorable Katherine Smith, Honorary Consul Nash joined the HCG of Barbados and Jamaica at the Allen Institute to give remarks to students from the Florida A & M University General School of Pharmacy and Business School.