The ULAA Council of Eminent Persons, Inc.
was officially launched on Saturday, October 30, 2010 in Collingswood, a Borough in Camden County, New Jersey. Collingswood was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 22, 1888, from portions of Haddon Township. The Collingswood community has similar tradition and pride that former leaders of ULAA have for the Liberian community in the Diaspora. As part of the organization's ongoing commitment to honor its history and serve the community, ULAA Presidents and former Chairmen of the Board spanning all eras-from number 6 to number 22 – met and carved out a Constitution to govern the functioning of UCEP.
The Eminent Persons (EPs)
in attendance were: EP Mydea Reeves-Karpeh, Chairperson, EP Siahyonkron Nyanseor, Vice Chairperson/Interim Secretary, EP Bai M. Gbala, EP Jucontee T. Woewiyu, EP Arthur Watson, Sr., EP Dr. Jesse Cooper, Treasurer, and Emmanuel S. Wettee.
Since March 2008
the ULAA Council of Eminent Persons (UCEP) has operated as a sort of ‘Un-Organization’, eschewing the formality and legality in order to simply enable former Chairmen of the Board and former Presidents of ULAA to share their knowledge and lend a helping hand when called upon. These individuals have operated as an informal group of individuals working together for the common good. UCEP was incorporated in 2008 in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, USA in order to have the basic framework for fulfilling our original promise of operating as an advisory group. We are now transitioning to become a member owned professional association with two types of members – Permanent and Honorary. This means that the time has come for us to take this important step forward — to a more structured organization, at least at the core.
felt the need to expand the membership base and establish a solid governance structure of the organization from a co-operative sort of structure to provide basic services that enable us to focus on serving our local Liberian communities. The structure we are designing here should strike the right balance between providing Liberians with the flexibility it needs for their unique community, while ensuring basic consistency in key areas such as knowledge sharing, co-promotion, and social good. For democracy to become more deeply rooted, it is imperative that citizens and communities have the opportunity to effectively voice their concerns by engaging in peaceful and constructive dialogue with their elected leadership and as former leaders of ULAA and Liberian communities in the Diaspora it is important to encourage changes in attitude, nurturing citizenship and facilitating democratic behavior within our communities. The launching of UCEP is an exciting milestone!
UCEP is policy oriented
and will work in collaboration with other international organizations to address issues of peace, governance and development. Our goal is about promoting integrity, human rights, and to improve the quality of life of our people at home and in the Diaspora. We propose advocacy activities that demonstrate a strong commitment to extending and strengthening human rights, enhancing good governance, and empowering the disadvantaged by giving them more control over their lives. This program will focus on strengthening governance, management and operations of Liberian communities and ULAA in particular.
On Saturday, UCEP
finally completed and approval its 2008 Draft Constitution & By-Laws. Also, the organization confirmed its current leadership and will move forward to fill the other positions in the not too distant future. Officers include EP Mydea Reeves-Karpeh as Chairperson, Siahyonkron Nyanseor as Vice Chairperson/Interim Secretary and Dr. Jesse Cooper as Treasurer. The occasion was climaxed by a fellowship-social at the residence of Dr. & Mrs. Jesse Cooper, which was attended by Liberians from Philadelphia, Atlantic City and as far as Maryland.