Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — The Links and The Links Foundation recently announced the induction of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as an honorary member. Internationally known as Africa’s “Iron Lady,” President Sirleaf is Africa’s first democratically elected female president and a leading champion for peace, justice and democratic rule.
The induction ceremony, presided over by the national president of The Links and The Links Foundation, Margot James Copeland, was held, March 2, in Monrovia, Liberia, with more than 50 members of the organization in attendance. The occasion marks the first induction of an honorary member outside the United States. “President Sirleaf has transformed the quality of life in her country and has made a positive difference globally,” said Copeland. “By her deeds, she has gained the admiration, esteem and affection of the world. Her strength, courage and integrity are an inspiration. In recognition of her contributions to our global community it is a humbling privilege to welcome President Sirleaf into The Links.”
The Links bestow honorary membership upon individuals who are widely recognized nationally and internationally for outstanding and exemplary services rendered to their communities. President Sirleaf joins the company of international opera star Mattiwilda Dobbs, Leontyne Price, the late Honorable Constance Baker Motley, Marion Anderson, Honorable Patricia Roberts Harris, educator Elizabeth Koontz, and the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” Rosa Parks, as an honorary member of the organization.
Since President Sirleaf’s inauguration in 2006, she has contributed to securing peace in Liberia, promoting economic and social development, and to strengthening the position and opportunities for women. In 2011, President Sirleaf was awarded the international Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for advancing a woman’s right to fully participate in peace-building work. In October 2007, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award bestowed by the president of the United States, for her personal courage and unwavering commitment to expanding freedom and improving the lives of people in Liberia and across Africa.
“I am honored to be a member of this esteemed organization. Your work will now become my work and I look forward to representing The Links,” said President Sirleaf. The Links visited West Africa Feb. 27- March 9, to officially establish the organization’s programmatic presence in Liberia and expand its more than 50 year history of strengthening and empowering African communities.