“I initially returned two years later for two reasons: my father and to get my degree,” said Massa Washington, a master’s in social work student majoring in social management and planning in the School of Social Administration, of her sporadic trips home as civil war raged unabated throughout the 1990s.
Now she has a third motive to return: to heal the wounds from the most savage chapter in Liberian history.
A longtime advocate for displaced Liberians, Washington will return on March 28 to serve on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia, a nine-person panel that will investigate and redress human rights atrocities committed under the brutal 14-year regime of warlord and former President Charles Taylor, whose exile to Nigeria in 2003 paved the way for free elections last fall.
Affirmed by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first female elected president in African history, Washington is the commission’s “folk soldier,” nominated to the post by her fellow citizens familiar with her human rights and community activism. [more]