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 Speech deliverd by our Queen at a program recently....

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candygirl
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PostSubject: Speech deliverd by our Queen at a program recently....   Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:50 pm

Mr. Gaye Sleh, President of Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA)
and representatives of ULAA present,
Mr. Anthony Kesselley, former president of ULAA and former officers,
Board members of the Liberian Association of Pennsylvania (LAP),
Mr. President and Officers of LAP, distinguished guests, fellow Liberians, ladies and gentlemen.


It is great to be back in a city that I call Home!!! I grew up in Philadelphia and completed high school in Philadelphia. I have been privileged to have many mothers but my biological mother was buried in Philadelphia; therefore, although I don’t live in Philadelphia anymore, I have many ties to this city that will keep bringing me back for the rest of my life.

I was born in Monrovia, Liberia and I received my educational foundation in Liberia. I was privileged to have attended B. W. Harris Episcopal High School and St. Teresa’s Convent High School before leaving for the United States of America. These schools gave me the solid foundation that I needed to excel in my career; therefore, I support the alumni association of both schools because I want to see other boys and girls get the same quality education that has enriched my career.

I beg your indulgence to permit me to speak to you tonight on the topic:
The Contributions of Liberians in the Diaspora Towards the Growth and Development of Liberia.

Our country, Liberia is blessed with human and natural resources. Let me elaborate on the relevance of the human and natural resources. Years ago, because of Liberia’s intellectual capital, many countries used to send their diplomats to Liberia to tap into our intelligentsia political reservoir. Furthermore, our graduates from the University of Liberia – The Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, The Science College, The Achille Mario Dogliotti Medical College and The Engineering College were easily accepted and acclimated into the Ivy League Universities and other universities in the United States of America. I have many examples that I can cite.

Liberia as we know is Africa’s largest producer of natural rubber. Besides rubber, we have been blessed with iron ore, timber, gold, diamond and most recently, oil, etc. These resources with the exception of oil that I have mentioned were very functional up to the time of the senseless civil war. For the natural resources, some Liberians including elected officials exploited these natural resources for their self-aggrandizement or illegal business maneuvering, eventually bringing the production of these natural resources to a complete halt.

Liberia has some of the best educated people in the world. Besides the demise of some, we have suffered and continued to experience brain-drain as a result of the civil war, lack of security and immunities commensurate with the requisite qualifications.

As Liberians in the Diaspora, those that came here before the civil war, those that came during the civil war and after the civil war, we all have daunting challenges to contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of our dear nation. I’m cognizant that the call to make meaningful contributions to our nation seems insurmountable. The question that lingers on my mind is: if not us then who? Should we look to the donors to make contributions to our national endeavors with constraints of demands? The million dollar question is what can we do as individuals and as organized groups? The responses are embedded in our nationalistic callings.

I have several thoughts that I think could serve as the roadmap to the plight of our national problems. Some of the problems that I think are the core hindrances to our national development are corruption, illiteracy, poverty, unity, etc. I can recall during the administration of the late President Tolbert, he declared war on corruption, illiteracy and poverty that seemed to be the bedrock of our problems at the time. I cannot judge the extent of his achievements in that declared war as I was a little child. However, in the past and in recent times, our national leaders have attempted and in my view, have failed miserably in their ventures of trying to solve these problems.

In recent times, peace and unity have crawled to the top after a bitter and brutal civil war that destroyed the fabrics of our national existence in many directions. The call for Liberians to unite has become a prevalent challenge. After the civil war, Liberians have been yearning for peace and unity. Thank God that with outside support, we had our first peaceful elections in which a female, Dr. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was elected president. This act glittered our image in the world especially with the scars and wounds of the civil war. Our people have been enjoying relative peace for six years, with outsiders monitoring the peace in our country. This has given our people the opportunity to resume their normal routine of life.

In October of this year, our “watch dogs” decided to test our maturity and dependability by allowing us to conduct our national elections. As we are aware, this was a path that was not smooth and problem-free. With a population of @3.6 million people and 16 political parties, this seemed to be an attribute to an envisage problem. Some political parties have questioned the composition of the election commission, the election laws and interpretations. Some individuals have questioned the rationale of many political parties and they have requested the reduction of the political parties. Some individuals and groups took the election commission to court for violation of the constitution by qualifying candidates that did not meet the residency clause. With all of these claims and challenges, the first round of the election was held in October with no political party meeting the required number of votes. The election process and results were deemed free and fair mostly by credible international observers. It was learned later that the National Election Commission (NEC) erred during the process and the boss was forced to resign.

With these wrangling which time will not permit me to analyze the details, there are few salient points that I would like to touch on. They are peace, unity, the part of our national constitution which has to do with the residency clause and citizenship. In my view, there is a need for us to muster our energies to ensure that our country and people enjoy peace and unity. Furthermore, I want to challenge all of us to make these issues our concern. As Liberians in the Diaspora, being opportune to benefit from the resources of our host nations, we should positively work towards transmitting similar benefits and opportunities to our mother land.
There are many Liberian organizations in the Diaspora. To the best of my knowledge, these organizations are vibrant and influential, and they have been making significant impact on Liberia. These organizations should not allow the “creeping heads” of disunity to enter their midst. For an example, there have been some ups and downs with our mother organization, ULAA, because of what I will consider to be trivial disagreements. These disagreements extended into some small county and district organizations. I thank God, so to speak, we have reconciled our differences by the election of the current leadership in a peaceful and transparent election.

The residency clause which was previously challenged could be attributed to the unstable political situation in Liberia which led to people migrating to other countries for safety, security and shelter, etc. That clause in my thinking needs to be revisited by our lawmakers. Also, I’m of the opinion that the idea of the dual citizenship should constitute a major national legislative agenda.

Mr. President of ULAA, Mr. President and officers of LAP, all organizational leaders, distinguished ladies and gentlemen. As leaders of our various Liberian organizations and as individuals, we should embrace the challenges of peace, unity, illiteracy, corruption, residency clause and dual citizenship to be part of our daily concerns until we can boast of our accomplishments in these areas. Mr. Dennis, the challenge is yours to exhibit your leadership in bringing peace, unity and accountability in your administration. Furthermore, Mr. President, you can constitute a collaborative effort with ULAA to address those issues that are not within your means such as the residency clause and dual citizenship. I also charge you to be an ambassador of LAP and to take this message to the administration of ULAA. In my opinion, Mr. President of ULAA, you should within your purview in consultation with the Liberians in the Diaspora, champion the residency clause and dual citizenship for constitutional review to allow Liberians in the Diaspora unlimited opportunities to make meaniful contributions to Liberia. As we all know, Liberians in the Diaspora, have been making and are making significant contributions towards the growth and development in Liberia in many ways. I wonder why Liberians in the Diaspora should be denied their franchise as citizens of Liberia only because of reasons which caused them to leave their mother land. Let us take into consideration, Liberians in the Diaspora children’s and grandchildren’s future fate. As individual Liberians in the Diaspora, we need to play our role of helping to bring about peace, unity and of course, the issue of dual citizenship.

Before I take my seat, Mr. President and members of your association, I want to thank you for the honor bestowed upon me to share my thoughts with you tonight. I want to challenge all Liberians in the Diaspora to have love for our country, and to have unity and peace in our own midst. In this light, I’m confident that we can challenge and make the government of our country accountable to our people, thereby closing the unchallenged alarming gap of corruption that seemed to be the cancer of our society. Furthermore, we have the potential to make momentous impact on our government if we speak with one voice. With this being said, the issue of dual citizenship will come to closure quietly and unchallenged by our lawmakers. We all know as I speak tonight, there are scores of Liberians who are citizens of different countries, yet as Liberians, are serving our people in Liberia.

Once again, I want to say thank you for this opportunity. God bless Liberia, our host nations and may God bless us all!!



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For how can love attain true appreciation
if it has never weathered tribulation?

~MHK
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candygirl
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PostSubject: Re: Speech deliverd by our Queen at a program recently....   Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:52 pm

nice speech Queen... th_yes-1

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~MHK
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candygirl
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PostSubject: Re: Speech deliverd by our Queen at a program recently....   Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:53 pm

about the Guest Speaker....

Dr. Rowena Y. Kelley is a plant molecular geneticist/genetic engineer from Liberia whose research interests are in genomics, plant tissue culture and genetic engineering, molecular biology and biochemistry. During the last ten years, Dr. Kelley has focused her research skills on aflatoxin and its tremendous negative impact on maize (corn), which is used as a staple diet or addition to many food products and animal feed in the world. Only 20 ppb (parts per billion) levels of aflatoxins are tolerated in US food consumption because higher levels can result in liver cancer in humans and animals. Working along with the USDA/ARS and Mississippi State University scientists, Dr. Kelley has made major progress in identifying candidate genes that can be used to create many resistant or tolerant agronomic corn lines for food and feed purposes. Her research has the potential to a worldwide impact because it could help the US and other countries create healthy food products with minimum or no aflatoxin for human and animal consumption.
In addition to her research activities, Dr. Kelley has served as a guest lecturer at Mississippi State University (BHC 8243, Molecular Biology of Plants) and at Alabama A&M University (NRE 537, Principles of Plant Tissue Culture and NRE 541, Phyto Physiology), and a Conference Representative at the Leadership Training Conference organized by Alabama A&M University, Auburn University and Tuskegee University, leading to the creation of a new course: “AGB 418, Agricultural Leadership.” She has also worked for USDA/ARS, Cornell University, Stine-Haskell Dupont and Mississippi State University.
In 2010, Dr. Kelley was selected to serve on the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture 1890 Capacity Building Grant Research Panel as a Peer Review Panelist. Dr. Kelley has authored or co-authored over 100 publications, presentations (oral, written), proceedings and two book chapters in her young career.
Dr. Kelley has also received many high honors and awards. She is a member or a former member of many distinguished academic and professional affiliations including The Mississippi State University’s Digital Biology Learning Community; The American Society of Plant Biologists; Sigma Xi Professional Society; Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society; Crop Science Society of America; Agronomy Society of America; The Minority in Agriculture, Natural Resources & Related Sciences (MANRRS) and The Minority Biomedical Research Support Program (MBRS).

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~MHK
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candygirl
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PostSubject: Re: Speech deliverd by our Queen at a program recently....   Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:54 pm

i am proud to know we have female liberian with this kinda qualification and experience.... in this kinda hard field.....hats off to you!

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Queen_AKA



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PostSubject: Re: Speech deliverd by our Queen at a program recently....   Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:18 am

Thanks Candy!! Collectively, we can rebuild Liberia!!
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bellah



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PostSubject: Re: Speech deliverd by our Queen at a program recently....   Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:39 am

What a great Speech Queen AKA...Keep up the good work.
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bellah



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PostSubject: Re: Speech deliverd by our Queen at a program recently....   Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:43 am

What was the occasion?
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Queen_AKA



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PostSubject: Re: Speech deliverd by our Queen at a program recently....   Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:01 pm

Thanks Bellah!! On November 12, 2011, I was invited as a guest speaker for the Liberian Association of Pennsylvania's Inaugural Program. The speech is above.
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