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Historical Society of Liberia launched

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A group of Liberian academicians, historians and former government officials including diplomats have launched the Historical Society of Liberia (HSL).

The inaugural event, which took place virtually on August 6, was attended by 25 mostly Liberians from academia in Liberia, USA, and Europe, former Liberian government officials, USA government officials, and non-profits focusing on historical preservation.

Some distinguished guests included: Professor Ophelia Inez Weeks (Executive Director and Board Secretary for the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development) Alyson Grunder (former Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy, Liberia, and transitioning to the Congressionally-Chartered Wilson Center, Washington, D.C.; Allison James of the Center for Cultural Landscape, School of Architecture, University of Virginia and also the Lead for the Feasibility Study for the preservation of Providence Island; and retired Liberian ambassador Lorenzo Witherspoon. HSL honored Dr. Hannah Abeodu Bowen Jones—member of the erstwhile Liberian Historical Society, Liberian historian, politician, diplomat, and first Liberian woman to earn a PhD.

Through her exemplary devotion to Liberian history, HSL seeks to preserve and share the unique history of Liberia. During the launch, committees were formed to identify Liberian archives and artifacts overseas, advocate repatriation, establish a communication strategy to build membership, and publish quarterly newsletters. Over the coming months, HSL aims to build on the organizational structure, engage with other historical societies, and build online presence and social media network.

The organization’s calendar year runs from August 2021- August 2022. HSL’s Board of Directors: Dr. William E. Allen (Chair), Dr. Cassandra Mark-Thiesan, Dr. D. Elwood Dunn.

About

HSL The mission of the Historical Society of Liberia is to preserve Liberian history through four core objectives: (1) Promote Liberian history in educational institutions, (2) Make Liberian history more accessible to the public, (3) Become part of the national voice mediating historical matters, (4) Ensure Liberian history is grounded in research. The Motto: “Know and Preserve” HSL’s emblem consists of the ceramic bowl and the book to denote the totality of Liberia’s oral and written history.

For more information and to become a member of the Historical Society of Liberia, please contact chantal.victoria.lib@gmail.com; or allenulhist@gmail.com.

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