Liberia: CWA Alumni Announces Diversity Symposium

The College of West Africa Alumni Association, USA (CWA-AA, USA) today announces the launch of its 1st Annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Symposium.  This first of its kind symposium for students at the Nation’s second-oldest educational institution will take place at the YMCA Liberia on Crown Hill in Monrovia on March 24 - 25, 2022.  

The DE&I symposium seeks to advance an inclusive culture where all students work together with dignity and respect to create more equitable and engaged places where everyone feels valued, appreciated, accepted and respected for who they are, believes they belong and can contribute to their full potential to help sustain a safe, healthy, and high performing academic center of excellence for students, faculty and staff.

Bringing together a variety of speakers, presenters, and panelists across the public and private sectors inclusive of multiple industries, academia, and the non-profit space, this unique symposium also celebrates Women in Leadership in Liberia by highlighting and providing a platform for Liberian women in leadership roles to share their journeys to success in their current organizations.  

The two-day symposium highlights women in leadership from multiple industries including Ms. Harbelda J. Williams (Brussels Airlines), Ms. Gbomai L. Bestman (EgyptAir Airlines), Ms. Ethel Knuckles (International Bank Liberia Ltd), Mrs. Marion Wreh-Socree and Ms. Louise Caesar (Firestone Liberia), and Hon. Dr. Rosana GDH Schaack (Representative Rivercess County and Chair of the House Committee on Gender Equity, Child Development and Social Services; and Chairperson of Women’s Legislative Caucus of Liberia).  The keynote speaker is Mrs. Brenda Brewer Moore (Kid’s Education Engagement Project).  

In addition, the symposium will also include a historical perspective of Liberia’s rich history presented by Dr. C. Patrick Burrowes.  Dr. Burrowes brings a rich perspective on Liberia’s history that aligns the essence of the symposium to the diversity and life experiences of all people who played a role in the founding of the Republic of Liberia during this 200th anniversary of the arrival of freed slaves from the United States of America.

CWA-AA, USA has made diversity, equity, and inclusion the cornerstone of its path forward.  The Association’s President, Mr. Samuel Wolo, Jr., a career diversity, equity and inclusion professional who was named a 2018 Top Executive in Corporate Diversity by Black Enterprise Magazine, says one of the key goals is to “grow and advance an inclusive and engaged culture where every CWA student, alum, and staff member feels valued, respected, appreciated and accepted for their uniqueness, feels as though they belong, and can be their full authentic self and thrive.”  

The Association believes every member of the CWA family can make a meaningful contribution to improving the educational experience and quality of life of current and future CWA students.  CWA-AA, USA is celebrating its 30th year anniversary this year, a major milestone, and this first of its kind DE&I path forward for the historic institution aims to help leapfrog CWA into the future as a national leader not only in academic excellence and servant leadership but also diversity, equity and inclusion and gender balance achievement.  

The plan seeks to equip CWA to grow and sustain staff and student gender balance, including the launch of a Women and Girls Leadership Forum. Other complementary platforms include a Change Leadership Academy, Guidance Counseling and Teacher & Student Accountability Office, Student Career Services Office, and a Landmark Preservation Campaign. 

CWA-AA, USA is fully committed to leveraging the power of inclusion to unlock the diversity within its Alumni body so that every alum brings their full potential to bear to achieve exceptional outcomes for the students of CWA, as well as the faculty and staff. The DE&I symposium is one key step in CWA-AA USA’s roadmap in support of implementing the platforms highlighted above in its path forward.