Adapted from an e-mail by Prof. Jeremy Levitt:
The purpose of this post is to inform you about a special project that the Program for Human Rights and Global Justice at Florida International University is undertaking to support the reconstruction and development of the Republic of Liberia by providing 1000 books in the areas of American and international law, history, political science, international relations, gender studies and anthropology to the University of Liberia (UL), one of Africa’s oldest universities.
Liberia was founded by the U.S. government and the American Colonization Society, a private association composed primarily of Southern slave owners, in 1822, to re-colonize free blacks in the United States back to Africa because of their active opposition to slavery. In 1847, the free black settlers also known as Americo-Liberians, declared independence from the Society establishing itself as the first independent republic in Africa. Consequently, many Liberians are originally from America, which is why it has been the United States’ most loyal political ally in the Southern Hemisphere.
After fourteen years of brutal Civil War (1989-2003) that claimed 250,000 lives in a pre-war population of 3 million, Liberia is in a horrific situation. Approximately 40% of the combatants were children and approximately 75% of the women in the country were raped during the war. Liberia is one of poorest countries in the world with 85% of the population being illiterate and living on less than a dollar a day. The University of Liberia is mandated to train the next generation of leaders in Liberia and the FIU College of Law’s Program for Human Rights and Global Justice is partnering with the UL to support them in this awesome task by providing 1000 books to help UL serve its burgeoning student population nearing 15,000 students. We are asking universities to assist us in meeting our goal of providing 1000 books to the University of Liberia so that Liberians have the benefit of receiving a holistic educational experience. Any assistance that you can render to this worthy project would be greatly appreciated. All books may be sent to the attention of Professor Jeremy I. Levitt at the address below:
Professor Jeremy Levitt
Florida International University
College of Law
University Park Campus, Rafael Diaz-Balart Hall
Miami, FL 33199
-Via Kathleen Bergin