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George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Media advisory: Liberian president to speak Friday in Bloomington

April 29, 2008

EDITORS: Arrangements have been made for print and electronic media to cover Friday's (May 2) news conference and speech in Bloomington by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia and the first woman elected as president of any African country.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Print-Quality Photo

Sirleaf will meet with reporters at 3:30 p.m. at IU's Lilly Library, 1200 E. Seventh St., where she later will speak to about 100 invited guests and the media. Only working media who can provide identification verifying them with a recognized news organization will be permitted to attend.

Due to security restrictions, reporters are being asked to arrive by 2:45 p.m., if possible.

Following the news conference, Sirleaf will examine several items from IU's Liberian Collections Project. They include letters from her uncle, Paramount Chief Zawanna Johnson, in 1951 to President W.V.S. Tubman and the secretary of the interior, newspapers from 1985 covering her arrest, imprisonment and release, as well as those from 2006 covering her inauguration as president. This should present the media with an excellent photo opportunity.

She will speak afterwards in an adjacent room to an invited group of scholars and students in IU's African Studies Program, the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Liberian scholars, IU administrators and trustees. Technical arrangements are in place for electronic media covering both the news conference and her presentation.

She will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from IU on Saturday (May 3) in recognition of her efforts to promote peace, justice and democracy, and of the close relations between her country and IU. She will receive the degree during IU Bloomington's 2008 spring commencement ceremonies, which are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 3 Assembly Hall.

For more information, contact George Vlahakis at 812-855-0846 (o), 812-345-1500 (c) or