Observing the 10th Anniversary of the Liberian Institute for Growing Patriotism (Dec. 2013 – Dec. 2023)

OluBanke King-Akerele, Executive Director, Liberian Institute for “Growing” Patriotism (LIGP)

  1. Background
  • The Liberian Institute for "Growing'' Patriotism (LIGP) has been established in recognition of and as a tribute to the memory of Liberians throughout the nation, from all ethnic groups and those of settler or emigrant  origins as well as Liberia's sung and unsung Heroes and Heroines from all walks of Life and all levels of society for their contributions over time, to nation-building and the development of "Mama" Liberia.
  • The Institute was launched on 12 December 2013 by Ambassador Charles Minor, Chair of the Board of Tax Appeals on behalf of Judge Emma Shannon Walser, first female Circuit Court Judge of Montserrado County.
  • The Mission of the Liberian Institute, an “action-driven” development initiative, is two-fold: Foremost to provide informal training and education for “Growing” (development and promotion) of Patriotism amongst Liberians. The institute achieves this through a series of interventions that will enhance the knowledge of the citizenry by specific actions including training and workshops research; publications and educational Board Game in civics and advocacy thereby creating a sense of pride in being a Liberian
  • Secondly, to promote the upliftment of the welfare and well-being of Liberians through support to project activities (ongoing and otherwise) that contributes to the transformation of the Liberian Citizenry and the society including response to Humanitarian requests thereby, creating a sense of pride in being a Liberian, while making concrete contribution to national development.

Governance Structure

Chair of Board: Olubanke King-Akerele Executive Director
Vice Chair: Sister Mary Laurene Browne, OSF
Secretary: Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh

Other Board Members
Dr. Romelle Horton
Ms. Miatta Fahnbulleh
Dr. Augustine Konneh
Pastor Wah Wallace
Rev. Rita Townsend
Rev. Emmanuel Bowier (Deceased/Emeritus)

  1. Observation of the Institute 10th Anniversary
  1. The observation programme was launched on 6 December with establishment of the Reverend Emmanuel Bowier’s (Liberia’s late oral historian and one of the Institute’s Incorporators) Sustaining Liberia’s Peace through Community Engagement for Conflict Prevention and Peace Building in collaboration with Cuttington University Junior college in Kakata, Margibi County. The rest of the observation programme will take place beginning in January 2024 and throughout the year.
  2. It will begin with the release of the Compendium of the Presidencies of the Republic of Liberia during the week of 15 January 2024. The objectives of the Compendium are
  • To inform citizenry about our past presidents/presidencies of the notion over time.
  • To provide quick facts, in an “easy to read” format to facilitate their digestion, in order to be better informed on the various presidencies.
  • To contribute to “Growing” (development and promotion of) patriotism among the citizenry such that they can better appreciate the struggles of “notion-building.”
  • To ignite curiosity for further scholarly research and interest to stimulate our next generation to be better informed and appreciate the nation and its historicity and challenges thereto
  1. Target Group 

The Compendium is directed at the Liberian public in general, in particular: to those who have little or sketchy knowledge of Liberia’s history yet pro- pound on that history—oftentimes for divisive or political interests. 

  • High schools, community colleges and university students. 
  • Teachers at teachers’ training colleges. 
  • “Talk-show” hosts; journalists; the media. 
  • Public officials from the three branches of government. 
  • The Liberian people in general; civil society organizations. 
  • Diplomatic missions, NGOs and UN Agencies, for libraries, scholars, tourists, media houses, etc.
  • International audience with an interest on Liberia
  1. The approach of the Compendium is one that provides critical information and historical facts on the Presidencies covered in bullet points synopses form of an initial 17 Presidencies covered in Volume I to be released while Volume II covering the remaining Presidencies would be released later in 2024.

Format of the Synopses of the Presidencies 

Name of President:

  1. Basic data
  • Date and place of birth
  • Date and place of death 
  • Family Lineage 
  1. Education
  2. Profession/Career before the Presidency 
  3. Term of Office 
  4. Vice President
  5. Cabinet Ministers
  6. Context of the World during Presidency
  7. Challenges Faced by Administration 
  8. Highlights and Achievements of Presidency and their Significance to Nation Building
  9. Notable Quotes/Saying or Views that the President is Remembered for
  10. Awards/International Recognition 
  • From Liberia 
  • From other Countries
  1. Legacy of the Presidency 
  2. Postscript (including career/life after the presidency)
  1. Chart of writers of Presidencies Synopses
#PresidentWriters of Synopsis
1Joseph Jenkins RobertsMonie R. Captan
2Stephen Allen BensonDr. Samuel G. Toe
3Daniel Bashiel WarnerGabriel Fernandez
4James Spriggs PayneGabriel Fernandez
5Edward James RoyeEmmanuel W. Kofa
6Anthony W. GardnerDr. Charles Gbollie
7Alfred F. RussellEmmanuel W. Kofa
8Hilary R.W. JohnsonCllr. Yvette Chesson-Gibson & Chauncy M. Gibson
9James J. CheesemanDr. Charles Gbollie
10William David ColemanDave Garnett
11Garretson W. GibsonChauncy M. Gibson
12Arthur BarclayDr. Anthony Barclay
13Daniel Edward HowardDr. Charles Gbollie
14Charles D. B. KingOluBanke King-Akerele (with inputs from Cllr. A.B. Clarke)
15Edwin BarclayDr. Anthony Barclay
16William V. S. TubmanMonie Captan, (with inputs from Dr. Samuel G. Toe)
17William R. TolbertRev. William R. Tolbert III & Richard Tolbert
  1. The significance of the upcoming Compendium has been grasped in the following commentaries that we believe speaks for themselves:
  • Examining the legacies of Liberia’s elected heads of state should enable the reader to value the accomplishments with respect and appreciation; to look upon their challenges with the empathy that history engenders and to dissect their failings, however perceived with a critical and discerning eye so that the adage, “history repeats itself” never applies. This will be possible if all Liberians, but in particular teachers, every teacher of every and all qualifications and students of all levels, consider it a pleasing duty to turn most frequently and with purpose the pages of this Compendium with the view of reliving and sharing Liberia’s history, as objectively as possible and with the awareness of being integral to the ongoing creation of the Liberian story.
  • The task of nation-building still lies ahead. Amilcar Cabral, a Guinea Bissauian nationalist counsels: “Our history must guide us; but it must not define us or divide us” And Liberians must decide whether to remain stuck in the mire of blame and hurts real and imagined or to move forward so as to painfully if need be, bravely hoist a nation of Patriots for all to see, to appreciate to admire, to emulate.

Sister Mary Laurene Browne   

OSF, Former President

      Stella Maris Polytechnic University

  1. Highlights of Initiative and Support under the LIGP follows: over period Nov. 2021 – Nov. 2023.

While continuing support to ongoing activities as enumerated in the publication dated October 2021 covering period since its establishment in 2013, the following are highlights of additional initiatives and support since then:

  1. Launch of Judge Emma Shannon Walser medal of Rule of Law; Good Governance and Patriotism, as part of 8th anniversary of Establishment of LIGP. A separate brochure is available on this.
  2. Initiation of the Compendium of the Presidencies of the Republic of Liberia (with a perspective on the pre-Republic period) with other collaborators to be released early 2024 before inauguration. The Compendium constitutes one of the products of the Institute in achieving its vision and mission. An initial 17 Presidencies are covered in the first volume of the Compendium while vol. II, covering the remaining Presidencies, will be put out in late 2024. Outline of the Synopses of the Presidencies as well as a list of the Presidencies covered, as part of this Brief.
  3. Establishment through its subsidiary, The Forum of Liberian Women Elders, and Ma Mary’s Place as a Tribute to the Legacy of Ma Mary Brownell and other Women Elders gone to the Great Beyond with emphasis on, Women Trail Blazers & Nation-Builders of the “Lone Star.”
  4. Launch of Rosaline Toweh Transient Referral Hub for women in crisis at Ma Mary’s Place - preserving the legacy of late Rosaline Toweh, Secretary of YWCA who recently left us suddenly and joined those gone to the Great Beyond.
  5. Contribution to funeral of Reverend Emmanuel Bowier our late Board member and one of 3 incorporators of the Institute
  6. Several publications:
  1. Stepping up to the Plate - Liberia’s Untold Ebola Story; Trivia on the “Lone Star”
  2. Sustaining Liberia’s Peace, vol. I & vol. II with support of the UN system agencies – (UNFPA & WFP).
  3. Board Game Sustaining Liberia’s Peace, with support of IB-Liberia.
  1. Introduction of the United Nations initiative Sustainable Development Goals “Go - Games” adapted to the Liberian context in pilot high schools in Montserrado –financed by retired Liberian UN secretariat Sr. staff in New York, Ms. Beverly Thompson, with a volunteer Liberian international educationalist, Janine Padmore Stegall.
  2. Participation in and contribution to Women Mass Action for Peace under WIPNET – (June 2022) with ABIC as Co-chair and YWCA through Roseline Toweh as Chair.
  3. Contribution of seed monies of $500 for establishment of scholarship in the name of Ms. Adeline King Wesley founder of Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (TNIMA) for support of nursing students. To this initial amount the King-Wesley family and grandchildren have been able to expand the scholarship program further. Mrs. Kollie of TNIMA is in charge of the overall management of the initiative.
  4. Continuing support to the Kofi Annan Living Memorial which was an initiative of the LIGP in collaboration with the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation (KAICT) at University of Liberia and the Angie Brooks International Centre for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace & Security (ABIC).
  5. Support to the closing program of third cohort of the Kofi Annan Living Memorial (KALM) young Diplomats Training at Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation (KAICT), with finance under UN PeaceBuilding Fund support to Angie Brooks International Centre for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace & Security (ABIC). LIGP financed production of fans, souvenirs and support for the end of course programme ($500), In addition to provision of earlier substantial contributions in the past two other cohorts training.
  6. Humanitarian support to several educational needs for the disadvantaged or those in need responding to requests.
  7. Support to Dr. Hena’s health facility (Waterfield Community Health Care) in Kakata, Margibi County in training of community Healthcare workers in Kakata
Photo of  Souvenir Fan of the Rev. Emmanuel Z. Bowier Sustaining Peace through Community Engagement for Conflict Prevention and Peace Building