As part of our ongoing series of interviews with representatives from the African Community Network, DefendersLIVE will focus today on Liberia, a west African nation with Virginia roots. Our guests are Levi Johnson, President of the Liberian Association of Virginia (LAVA) and fellow member Davidson Nagbe. On Sunday, November 7, 2010, LAVA hosted a worship service at Virginia Union University for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia.
This event followed her appearance on the Richmond Forum the night before, the first time a standing head-of-state had been a speaker at the Forum.
Elected in 2005 to a post-war nation with a devasted infrastructure, 85% unemployment and an exhausted, but determined population, President Sirleaf has pushed through debt relief, early childhood education programs, reforms in the judicial system regarding women's rights and the prosecution of abusers and rapists, added many women to government positions, and plans to run for office again. Alternately called "The Iron Lady" and "Ma Ellen", Prsident SIrleaf has been named one of Newsweek Magazine's Top Ten World Leaders and Glamour Magazine's Top Ten Women of the Year. The interview with LAVA will cover culture, education, economic and development realities of the country as well as the shared 19th century history of Virginia and Liberia that led to the 14-year 20th century civil war.
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November 7th, 2010