Attending the 2018 Liberian Gala

Updated: May 9, 2018

The Liberian Community holds its 2018 Inagrual ball at the Hilton and SIWWM were proud to attend.

The Gala

SIWWM was honored to be invited by Jennifer Gray-Brumskine, the chair of the board of directors for the Staten Island Liberian Community Association (SILCA) as her special guests. The gala welcomed the new president and vice president. Staten Island played host to the multiple chapters of the Staten Island Liberian Community Association (SILCA) from all across the country. Our friend and partner, Jennifer had said to the Staten Island Advance that the event was "a message to Staten Island that we are part of the fabric of this Island.

We are a part of the fabric of this Island.

Reverence to Liberia

Liberians, whose nation was founded by freed American slaves in the 1840s, have been settling in the Park Hill community for over 30 years. The small community is host to one of the largest Liberian population of any city outside Africa, with an estimated 10,000 – 15,000 immigrants. Minnesota has the largest with about 40,000 Liberians.

Liberian immigrants fleeing in huge numbers from the First Liberian Civil War (1989-1997) sought refuge from ethnic struggles, corrupt government, and political strife. The United States government was highly involved in Liberian affairs and began to offer refugee status (Temporary Protected Status-TPS) to displaced Liberians, especially those who had family in the United States.

The Liberian community in Park Hill has been involved in government lobbying campaigns since the 1990 until just last month to extend the "deferred enforced departure" (DED) status. This status has had to be renewed on a yearly basis by president order since the President Bill Clinton up until now with President Trump in order for immigrants who fled the Liberian war without immigration visas to be able to stay in this country they now call home. Park-Hill based community groups like Jennifer's group, Staten Island Liberian Community Association (SILCA), have become politically active in defending Liberians across the country who are on DED status. They were successful again in extending the status but only for a year and then they have to lobby all over yet again.

Inspiring Women

More and more immigrants emigrated to America as the civil war intensified, settling in communities all over the country. The community encompasses restaurant and business owners. Madam Clar Weah, wife of