The Liberia Project




Libera has suffered a series of modern setbacks. A coup in 1980 led to a military dictatorship which destabilized the country. The country was entangled in full civil war between 1989 and 1996, claiming more than 200,000 lives and displacing more than a million Liberians.

The end of the First Civil War was closely followed by the beginning of the Second Civil War in 1999. That war would last until 2003. Both sides made extensive use of children as soldiers. Between 150,000 and 300,000 people died.

After two brutal civil wars, Liberia entered a period of recovery and reconciliation only to be devastated in 2014 by an outbreak of the Ebola virus. The outbreak officially ended on May 8, 2015.

Modern Liberia has suffered crippling wars and deadly disease. Throughout it all, the Liberian people have remained resolute in their determination to build a better future. Unfortunately, the media’s portrayal of Libera has not been kind, with stories and images showing the consequences of war instead of the resilience of the people. Many Liberians who fled the country have refused to go back.


Liberia and its people have endured with optimism and tenacity, and with a view toward solving the problems of the past to ensure prosperity in the future. 

The purpose of this project is to document Liberia's modern history through its people, and to show that hope is still alive and flourishing. From the efforts toward civil war reconciliation, to the role of the Market Women in maintaining order and peace, to entrepreneurial efforts to modernize the country, we feature an honest look at Liberia today. 

This project will be continually updated. We are starting with profiles of Liberians in the diaspora in the United States around Philadelphia, New York, and Maryland. In 2020, we will continue the project in Liberia. The project pages will be updated as we progress.

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