The University Consortium for Liberia (UCL) is to honor Patsy Jo Hilliard, the mayor of East Point from 1993-2006, as an honorary citizen of Liberia at its United For Liberia Global Health Fundraising Gala on Sept. 30 to be held at the Morehouse School of Medicine. Mrs. Hilliard was the first woman and first African American to hold the post.
At the event, presidents from universities in Liberia are to join presidents from universities in the United States. The UCL has sent on academic exchanges to Liberia students and faculty from Tuskegee, Savannah State, Clark Atlanta, and Emory universities, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Georgia and other U.S. institutions.
Liberian students also have attended U.S. universities through UCL’s relationships. During the gala, UCL will award five students studying in the U.S. with scholarships. It also is to award community partners making a difference in Liberia’s health field.
Dr. Tolbert Nyenswah, managing director for the new Institute for Public Health Liberia is to deliver the keynote address on the theme of “Global Health,” drawing attention to Liberia’s fragile healthcare sector and the roles of education and research in supporting it.
Cynthia Blandford, Liberia’s honorary consul based in Atlanta, told Global Atlanta that the theme of this year’s gala was global health because the country once was “the West African hub for medicine and research.”
Last year Mrs. Hilliard traveled to Liberia for the Liberian Business Summit to explore the potential for increasing business between Georgia and Liberia. She also brought Pen Pal letters from the Asa G. Hilliard Elementary School in Atlanta to a school in Liberia to spark letter exchanges between the students of the two schools.
She also established the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in Monrovia and has helped distribute supplies to the A.M.E. Church in Liberia with retired Bishop John Adams. Bishop E. Earl McCloud Jr, the current bishop of the AME Church in Atlanta, who represents through his church a half dozen West African countries and is to attend the event.
Mrs. Hilliard’s experience in Liberia goes back to 1964 when she taught first grade at Bright Functions School in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital. While in Liberia, she also served a a volunteer coordinator for the organization of American Women in Liberia. Her husband, Asa Hilliard, was chief of staff for the Monrovia Consolidated School System.
Her husband, Asa, was a professor of educational psychology who worked on indigenous ancient African history (ancient Egyptian), culture, education and society. He was the Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Urban Education at Georgia State University, with joint appointments in the Department of Educational Policy Studies and the Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education. He was a teacher, historian and educational consultant who produced numerous articles and technical papers on African-centered pedagogy, curricula, cultural styles, public policy, child growth and development and African history.
“It will be my distinct honor to award Patsy Jo Jilliard with Liberian citizenship…She has more than demonstrated her love for Liberia and the honorary citizenship is well overdue,” said Ms. Blandford.
The dinner starts at 6 p.m. and tickets may be purchased click here.
Ms. Blandford may be reached by calling at 404-590-1655 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org