July 25, 2023-Philadelphia
This week marks exactly 176 years since our beloved country Liberia took a leap toward freedom. As difficult as it was, it reminds us of the bravery, persistence, and commitment, we as a people share irrespective of where we reside.
That is why, the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) is exceptionally proud of the gains made over the years despite numerous challenges comforting our global village. These gains, which include peace and democracy, have since helped move our country from a once failed state, to an emerging beacon of hope in Africa, an achievement credited to all Liberians home and abroad. Nevertheless, our nation today faces an array of challenges ranging from a broken economy, poor health delivery system, rampant corruption, lack of rule law, underdevelopment, nepotism and sectionalism among others. What a 176 years of mixed feelings!
Unarguably, we must ensure that our nation’s promise is shared by everyone and that everyone experiences our country as a great place of possibility, prosperity, and happiness. Everyone deserves the opportunity to live their best lives, from citizens by birth and others naturalized. We believe in our country, shared promises and dreams are abundant and interconnected, and can be realized when we all work together.
By supporting our neighbors, empowering those furthest from opportunity, advocating for equity and justice for all, and loving one another, we breathe life into the future we want for our children and unleash the full potential of our nation’s rich, diverse fabric. As a Union representing thousands of Liberians across the United States, we take pride in the recently passed Dual Citizenship Bill by our government. Additionally, the lunched and operationalization of the Liberian Diaspora Initiative Funds (LDIF) established in 2022 by ULAA, are all steps forward.
These two instruments seek to protect the rights and voices of Liberians returning home and aim to improve the lives of Liberians living in poverty, irrespective of ethnicity, language, religion, and gender. As a Union, we believe that all Liberians should have equitable access to living a life of dignity, equality, justice, and economic success. Though a lot of work lies ahead of us, ULAA commits never to losing sight as a people moving towards the common good of Liberians and our country.
ULAA will continue to lead the charge towards advocating and advancing programs, suggestions that befit all Liberians living abroad. This holiday, as we raise our flag in our respective communities, or play our anthem at family reunions, may we pause to remember this day and reflect on who we are and who we can become when liberties and freedoms envisioned by our forefathers at the inception of our great country are shared and fully realized by all.
This Independence Day is not the time to rest on the progress we have made. This is our time to lean into the opportunity we have as a country to make greater progress for everyone. This is particularly important as we go to the polls on October 10, this year. As one inseparable, indivisible nation, this is our moment to recommit ourselves to the critical work that we must do together to fully live up to our nation’s creed of liberty and justice for all.
In community and gratitude, Happy Independence Day to all Liberians
Hon. J. Shiwoh Kamara