Liberian Organization Honors Local Georgians with Distinguished Service Award

Ms. Cynthia Lynn Blandford, President and Board Chair
Ms. Cynthia Lynn Blandford, President and Board Chair

ATLANTA (Sept. 29, 2016) – Five local Georgians will be honored at The University Consortium for Liberia’s (UCL) Second Annual United for Liberia black-tie fundraising gala to be held in Atlanta, Georgia.

According to a press release from Atlanta, Georgia, the United States, the Themed will be “Fashioned for Success,” the Fundraiser is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in the Georgia Institute of Technology Student Center Ballroom, commencing at 7 p.m.

Florence A. Tolbert Advocates for the Disabled founder and Lawrenceville resident Samuel Dean, Georgia State Senator Donzella James, Global Atlanta Publisher Phil Bolton and Clark Atlanta Chemistry Professor Dr. Eric Mintz will receive the UCL Distinguished Service Awards. Savannah State University President Dr. Cheryl Dozier will receive the UCL Institutional Partners Award for her outstanding service to the community, at the dinner.

In reference to the UCL Distinguished Service Award, UCL President and Board Chair Cynthia Blandford said,

“Over the years, I have been so honored and humbled by the service and commitment these Distinguished Service Awardees  have shown to Liberia and its people that help to further Liberia’s Development Agenda.  These outstanding citizens have proven time and time again that they believe in the vision of the UCL and are willing to go above and beyond the call duty to support our efforts.  Savannah State University (SSU) recently helped to establish a School of Social Work at the University of Liberia, shipped a 20-ft container of educational supplies and materials to the University of Liberia and AME University and sponsored a 14-member Study Abroad delegation to Liberia to further engage students, faculty and staff in the launching of this new program this past summer.”

The fundraiser comes three months after U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama took her “Let Girls Learn” initiative to several schools in Liberia.

Liberian Vice President Joseph N. Boakai will attend the event as a special guest and plans to demonstrate his commitment to education with a donation to a UCL scholarship, named in his honor. The Vice President’s office is one of UCL’s event sponsors, along with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, The Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, and the Liberian Consulate in Georgia.

“Under UCL, American students have studied abroad in Liberia, participated in service learning opportunities, planted vegetable gardens, taught at Liberian Elementary Schools, and prepared research reports for the Office. In doing this, these students have engaged in practical use of their education and studies,” Blandford said.

UCL has similarly facilitated scholarships for Liberian students to study at U.S. colleges and universities, Ms. Blandford noted.  Since 2009, UCL has worked to accomplish its mission of “uplifting communities through education and understanding.”

At the festive fundraiser, UCL will also recognize former Liberian scholarship recipients and outstanding university partner Savannah State University.

Other notable invited guests include Honorable Dr. John Eaves, Fulton County Commissioner; Honorable Ceasar Mitchell, President, Atlanta City Council; University of Liberia President, Dr. Emmet Dennis; WNBA Atlanta Dream player Matee Ajavon; a Suakoko Betty Fashion Design representative; and Bombchel Factory founder, Georgia Institute of Technology alumnus Archel Bernard, fashion designer.

UCL has also invited its academic partners, a list of 21 universities and colleges that work with the organization to facilitate study abroad and faculty exchange opportunities, including Georgia Gwinnet College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Alabama State University, Savannah State University, and others with attend along with several U.S. diplomats and many local business leaders, student leaders and the faith community.

The UCL Chair is also disclosing that, as a follow-on to the UCL fundraising event, the Vice President of Liberia, will co-host, along with the Liberian Consul General,  a 15 member Georgia delegation in Liberia from Dec. 8-16, 2016, for a series of education and business meetings. This is aimed at furthering discussions on strengthening investment and trade, education and national security.

U.S. Delegation participants include Dr. Cheryl Dozier, President of Savannah State University and three faculty; former Mayor of East Point, Patsy Jo Hilliard; the President of MAP International, Steve Stirling and his wife; the President of MedShare International Charles Redding; Dennis Byron of Cathartica Global Consultancy; Bart Gobeil, Director of Statewide Development and Governmental Affairs; Georgia Ports Authority and others.   Dr. Dozier will also receive an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Liberia’s Commencement Exercises and Dr. Gwen Boyd, President of Alabama State University is slated to receive the Presidential Award of Excellence on Dec. 14, 2016, in Monrovia, Liberia.  For more information, please go to for details.

(Visited 265 times, 1 visits today)
About Cholo Brooks 15860 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.