November 24, 2022
My Fellow Compatriots,
Thanksgiving is easily one of the favorite holidays of the year. It is a time to pause, reflect and count our many blessings in life. Unlike other holidays, it’s not about hunting down the perfect gift. Rather, it is a time for families, friends, and relationships, both old and new. It’s about slowing down from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Recalibrating and recharging as well as refocusing on what is important in life. It is a time for expressing gratitude; and indeed, we all have much to be grateful for.
For us at the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), the last two years, permanently changed our lives in profound ways. Many experienced loss, fear, and challenges that were previously unimaginable. However, as we continue to successfully emerge from the very real challenges we endured together, the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday season could not come at a more opportune time.
As we look forward, there is indeed tremendous reason for hope, optimism, and genuine happiness. This is particularly so as we celebrate for the first time in history the passage of a Dual Citizenship Bill-a legislation that sets the tone for out of country voting for all Liberians in the United States and elsewhere.
Additionally, we celebrate the launched of the ever-first Liberian Development Initiative Funds (LDIF), a ULAA vehicle professionally designed, adopted and approved to address poverty and inequalities in Liberia. This year’s thanksgiving also comes on the heels of the extension and adjustment of status of thousands of Liberians on Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) by the Biden Administration. These legislations provide deep relieve for thousands of Liberians across the United States battling deportation and residency issues.
All of these positive and record breaking moves, cannot be concluded without mentioning the historic election win of dozens of Liberians to various federal capacities in the just ended November 8, midterm US elections.
These successes and historical moves represent a positive reflection point in so many ways. It is once again, a time for giving thanks. As we celebrate this year’s thanksgiving, I want to express my heart felt gratitude to you, our more than 250,000 dedicated Liberians across the United States.
ULAA wish you and your families, best of health, success and a rewarding 2022. May you never forget the work you do daily matters in the lives of many. You are the reason ULAA strives daily. Our Liberian culture is uniquely special and that will never change. ULAA remains committed, resilient, compassionate in all its dealings. Once again, I wish you and your loved ones holiday blessings and a very heartfelt Happy Thanksgiving.
J. Shiwoh Kamara