Minneapolis, Minnesota: The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) will this weekend hosts its 2020 National Convention virtually via zoom video webinar.
The convention which takes places on Saturday the 26th of September 2020, is the Association’s 6th National Convention since its resuscitation in 2014, and the first to be held virtually.
The Association says the decision to move its National Convention to a one-day virtual event is intended to protect the health and safety of its members as well as the dozens of delegates from the United States, Liberia and other parts of the world who were expected to attend an in-person convention in the state of New Jersey.
The Association pointed out that while the virtual conference is no substitute for the traditional in-person camaraderie which characterized all ALJA National conventions that include several different events spanning the course of four days, it nonetheless provides an opportunity for the Association to address contemporary National and Media-related issues which keeping its members connected virtually.
In a Press Release issued on Friday, September 25, ALJA’s President, Joe Mason disclosed that the theme of this year’s convention is The Media, the Rule of Law, and the Culture of Impunity in Liberia, with 2011 Nobel Laureate, Madam Leymah Gbowee, serving as the keynote speaker.
The Association named other speakers to include Madam Caroline Bowah, Co-Founder of the Liberia Feminist Forum, Mr. James Butty of the Voice of America, Cllr Cyril Jones of the Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia; Dr Amy Hewitt of the University of Minnesota and Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States, Mr. George Patten, and among others.
According to the Association, the Convention will also include a report from its National President as well as its three functioning chapter and will recognize the contributions of veteran broadcast journalists, Patrick Manjoe and Cyrus Badio, among other events.
The US based Liberian Journalists organization said unlike previous conventions, where many Journalists travelled to the United States from Liberia, it is delighted that this year’s convention will involve the participation of local journalists via a watch party to be held at the YMCA building in Monrovia.
The Association hopes that the virtual interaction will further strengthen its relationship with the Press Union of Liberia as both organizations work to seek the welfare of Journalists in the country.
The ALJA release says its two largest chapters in the Midwest and the East Coast of the United States are also in the final stages of plans to hosts watch parties both in Minnesota and Delaware.
ALJA was resuscitated in 2014 under the leadership of former president Moses Sandy after years of inactivated as a result of a leadership dispute. The Association’s current President, Joe Mason, was elected last October at the 2019 Convention of ALJA held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
ALJA is a conglomeration of current and retired Liberian journalists residing in the Americas. It is a 501c (3) non-profit organization.
The Association was founded in 1998 and is committed to advancing press freedom through media capacity building and the fostering of good governance in Liberia through media advocacy.