The Power of Resilience
TEDxMonrovia will celebrate Liberia’s most inspired thinkers, leaders, change-makers and community-builders through a unique, interactive event in Liberia’s capital city of Monrovia.Liberia’s recent history has been shaped by people who have shown incredible resilience in the face of huge challenges- from peace-makers to health workers to entrepreneurs.These people have led the country towards a better future. We are giving them the platform they deserve to showcase their ideas and generate conversations around what comes next.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – invited
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the President of Liberia, in office since 2006. Sirleaf is the first elected female head of state in Africa. In June 2016, she was elected as the Chair of the Economic Community of West African States, making her the first female to occupy that position since it was formed. Sirleaf was jointly awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize and as of 2014, she is listed as the 70th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
Lekpele M. Nyamalon is a prominent Liberian poet, writer and blogger. His poems have been featured prominently across the continent including in the prestigious Kalahari Review and Best New African Poets 2015, and have been translated into many languages including Chinese and French. This year, Lekpele was the proud winner of the UNESCO World Poetry Day Competition with his poem “Forgotten Future”. He is also the founder of several non-profits to engage youth through arts, culture and performance.
Barkue Tubman is an international social entrepreneur, philanthropist, and advocate for the rights of girls and women in Liberia and around the world. She set up Miss Boss Lady Entertainment (MBL- now MBL International Group) in 1999. Barkue also created the African & American Women for Peace, Youth Empowerment and Cultural Exchange Network (AAW-Peace), a global network of influential women; and the Peace Café Yehbo, a socially-minded café chain in Monrovia.
Zubin Cooper is a Liberian documentary maker, actor and producer. He just finished his first Cannes Film Festival appearance, starring in ‘The Last Face’, a movie that covers Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and South Africa. He joined the project as a consultant, but given his immense talent, Zubin ended up making his acting debut in the role of ‘Dr. Mousa.’
Amaze (Henry Toe) started rapping as a refugee in Guinea during Liberia’s civil war. On returning to Liberia he joined the group 3Ts and began producing popular new dance music in Monrovia. Along with Peaches, he is now one of the best known Hip Co artists in the country, channeling the voice of youth around important issues including democracy, corruption and civic participation. In 2014 he was selected as a Hip Co Accountability Ambassador with the Accountability Lab.
Satta Sheriff is a child rights advocate and the first female Speaker of the Liberian Children’s Parliament. Satta has been working to improve conditions for Liberian children since the age of 9 and worked through the radio and schools during the Ebola crisis to save many lives. At the age of 17, she recently represented Liberian children and girls at the UN in New York. She was recently named the most influential teenager in Liberia and a nominee for the 2016 Princess Diana of Wales Award.
Brenda Brewer Moore
Brenda Brewer Moore is a corporate executive and the Founder & Executive Director of the Kids’ Educational Engagement Project (KEEP), a Liberian non-profit organization that supports access to education for primary school children. During the Ebola outbreak, Brenda led a team of volunteers who provided homeschooling educational kits to over 5000 out-of-school kids to keep them academically engaged while schools were shut down. Brenda also blogs regularly for a number of global outlets on development issues in Liberia.
Dr. Mosoka Fallah
Dr. Mosoka Fallah is an epidemiologist and immunologist. He grew up in West Point, making his way to study microbiology and immunology at the University of Kentucky and a Masters in Pubic Health from Harvard University. During the Ebola crisis in Liberia, he played a leading role in fighting the virus through case detection, surveillance, contract tracing and case management. He was named as a TIME Person of the Year in 2014 and a leading global thinker by Foreign Policy Magazine in 2015.
Sister Barbara Brilliant
Sister Barbara is Franciscan Missionary of Mary, nurse midwife and educator. She has lived in Liberia for almost 40 years including throughout the periods of civil conflict. She served for 13 years in Sanniquellie at St. Mary’s Clinic and has been at St. Theresa’s Convent Compound as Dean of the Stella Maris Polytechnic Mother Patern College of Health Sciences since 1989.
Sweetz is one of Liberia’s most famous musicians and performers. The 23 year old singer, rapper, dancer, actress, model, video director and CEO of Pretty Jues Entertainment Group has performed from an early age. She became a household name in Liberia after reaching the final stages of the Pan-African “Star is Born” competition in 2009 and being part of the 2012 MTN Project Fame West Africa. She has worked with MTV among other outlets, and has won several awards including the Liberia Entertainment Awards 2013 as Best New Artist and the 2014 Ellen Johson Sirleaf Presidential Recognition Awards.
Vivien C. Jones
Vivien C. Jones is a Technology Architect and Entrepreneur. Vivien has more than twenty (20) years of experience working with technology in the United States, for companies such as IBM, Verizon, and John Hancock. Vivien founded MWETANA Consulting and Technology Group, and leads a team of Liberian engineers and professionals developing practical, innovative and cost effective solutions for public and private sector organizations. Vivien is a former instructor of mathematics in Liberia, and presently sits on the board of directors of a leading private high school. He is an advocate for the improvement in quality of teaching standards using technology for education.