Special Feature of the Month

Coping with Life-Changes: A Special Message by A. M. Peabody

Happy belated Fourth!  I hope it was happy for most of us, considering the challenging time in which we find ourselves.  I have been intending to prepare a statement from the time we were restricted back in March, due to COVID-19, but I hesitated.  The COVID-19 pandemic took us by surprise, and left us racing to the stores, emptying the shelves, and not knowing what to do with ourselves, our children, and spouses.  Women worried about not getting their hair and nails done, while men resorted to working out in their homes, in the absence of gym visits.  As the COVID-19 cases spiked, so did cases of Domestic Violence. Couples’ tempers flared, as they got on each other’s nerves. And just as we began to warm up to the idea of those restrictions, an old type of tyrant raised its ugly head – racial tension.

For those of us who have survived civil wars, a bloody coup d’etat, rice riots, Ebola outbreaks, etc. we found it a bit easier to adjust to the restrictions.  During the Liberian 1980 coup d’etat, we were under 24-hour curfew, and later it was downgraded to dusk-to-dawn curfew.  The COVID-19 restrictions took me back to the 1980 military curfews in Liberia.  Of course in 1980, we did not have the luxury of time to run to the stores and empty the shelves.

So I decided to do this piece around Independence Day.  The one commonality which all immigrants to America share is that either they or their ancestors all came from another country, in search of a dream; and that includes the very first settlers to the U.S.  The Pilgrims arrived in the United States in the early 1600s, in search of religious freedom, while other arrivals sought economic opportunity.  Whether you came to the U.S. through Ellis Island, J.F. Kennedy Airport, Miami International Airport, Dulles International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, swam or walked across the border, you or your ancestors came due to a reason and with a purpose.  There are the Native American Indians who were here prior to the Settlers.  Let’s not forget that the slaves came unwillingly, not in search of anything at all.  I am among the first generation to immigrate to the U.S. in my family.  We came 40 years ago, in search of safety after we had survived one of Africa’s bloodiest military overthrows of government, a coup d’etat.  Whether you are a descendent of the early settlers, a descendent of the unwilling slaves, or a more recent settler, we are all here in this vast country that promises freedom, liberty and an American dream.  We are all Americans.

Two Hundred and Forty-Four (244) years ago on July 4th, thirteen colonies (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island) decided they no longer wanted to be a part of the British Empire, declared themselves a nation of the United States of America.  Be mindful that those who signed the Declaration of Independence were immigrants as well; they or their ancestors had come to this land, where only American Indians resided at the time.  They came in search of freedom, safety, enterprise, etc.  As time progressed, the faces of immigrants to the U.S. changed from the look of the early settlers to Africans, Asians and Middle Easterners.

So who is a real American, and what does a real American look like?  One of the things that make this country beautiful is the diversity of faces, cultures, accents, and languages.  You see, I was born and grew up in a country where mostly everyone looked like me.  The President and all officials of Liberia looked like me.  Aside from the people at the European, American, and Latin American Embassies, whom we did not see every day, everyone basically was of the same race.  Years later when I came to America for further studies, I observed that my schoolmates and colleagues frequently pointed out that I did not look like an African.  My question always was, “What does an African look like?”  Obviously, they had their own misconceptions of what Africans were supposed to look like.  But never once, did I say to them, “You don’t look like an American.”  Like Americans, Africans are a diverse group of people.  The North Africans have a different look from Sub-Saharan Africans, and even Sub-Saharan Africans have diverse looks. Once when I got into a debate with a Caucasian American, he told me, “Go back to where you came from.”  I politely told him, “At least I know where to go back – do you?”  That ended the debate.

According to Webster, the meaning of independence is sovereignty, liberty and freedom.  I interpret that to mean, the sovereignty and freedom for all immigrants, regardless of their place of origin, their color of skin, when they arrived or their port of entry.  The author of the Declaration of Independence wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  Notice the line, “That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”.  All people of this country are entitled to those unalienable Rights, and that includes all immigrants; that includes me, my children, my grandchildren, and the women whom our Foundation services.  Let’s learn to look beyond the shades of each other, and learn to love instead.

The day I raised my right hand to take the oath of citizenship of the United States, I did not just take the words for granted.  I knew I had earned my citizenship, and I was proud to be an American.  I recall returning from a trip the first time I traveled out of the country with my American passport.  The Immigration Officer stamped my passport and said, “Welcome home.”  If you do not know, there is a difference when you enter with a foreign passport versus entering with an American passport.  So the next time you, as an American tell another American to go back to where he/she came from, please rethink that statement before uttering those words.  Ask yourself, “Where did I come from?”

Disclaimer:  The thoughts and ideas expressed in the preceding statement are those clearly of the author, A.M. Peabody, and not necessarily those of the organization, Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation.

July Special Announcements:  Events & Meetings 

Global Woman Awards

Due to the restrictions of COVID-19 and social distancing, this year’s event Global Woman Awards will be held virtually through livestream broadcast on Friday, October 16th at 3:00pm, Washington, D.C. / New York Time.  The Board of Directors of Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (GWPF) decided to plan for a virtual 2-day event this year, in lieu of the usual in-person event.  Planning for the 2-day event takes several months, and since there is no set date in the foreseeable future of the country returning to normal public gathering, GWPF has decided to plan for a virtual event.  GWPF cares about the health and safety of their supporters and participants therefore we will feel more comfortable in a virtual event.

With only 100 days left before the livestream broadcast of the Global Woman Awards, GWPF invites you to join them on Friday afternoon / evening, October 16th to support their 2020 Awardees, and their survivor and prevention programs.  The evening is expected to be emceed by Tyra Garlington, local, national and international talk show host of Frankly Speaking.  You will hear speeches from Keynote of the day, Lyric Thompson, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and from Maryum Saifee, a women’s rights activist and leading voice in the movement to advance gender equality and in particular, bring about an end to Female Genital Mutilation. Nine Awards will be given to deserving men and women in the categories of Lifetime Achievement, Education/Training, Advocacy, Survivor Activist, Man of the Year, Student Ambassador, Policy-Making/Legal, Medical/Health, and Lisa C. Bruch Woman of the Year.  This year, they will even have entertainment from Jazz Artist, Benjamin Jackson Caesar, America’s Got Talent Singer, Antoinette “Butterscotch” Clinton, and Grammy Nominated R&B Artist, Cyrus DeShield.  Don’t miss out on the Raffle items either!

Remember to register at:

Stay tuned for the announcement of the 2020 Awardees, and more exciting news in this month.

Walk To End FGM

Registration is officially open, effective immediately.  As with the Global Woman Awards, Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (GWPF) will hold the Walk To End FGM as a virtual event.  Perhaps you wonder, “How will a walk be virtually held?”  In this COVID-19 pandemic, the world has witnessed in-person meetings, parties, worship services, and other events transform into virtual livestream broadcasts.  Instead of the usual annual 5K Walk, this year’s walkers may choose the number of miles or kilometers they plan to walk, and have their local merchants sponsor them, by matching their miles or kilometers to a dollar amount. Participants are asked to walk in their local communities, take photos or videos and send them in to GWPF to be posted to Social Media and the website.  The pre-Walk To End FGM program will be held on Saturday, October 17th at 10:00am. The Keynote of the day is Heather Sirocki, for State Representative of Maine, and an advocate against the practice of FGM.  Every effort will be made to have everything we have done, annually since 2014, with the exception of physically walking together.  So please register, form a team, join a team, and help to fundraise.  This year will be different but fortunately for technology, GWPF will still host the Walk.

Monthly Support Group – Our Support Group will meet this month on Saturday, July 18th at 3:00pm Eastern Time, via GoToMeeting Conferencing.

Make Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Your Favorite Charity in 2020

In your charitable contributions and donations in 2020, please consider Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation by either through the DONATE BUTTON or by sending a check to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, 14001-C St. Germain Drive #453 Centreville, Virginia 20121.  Your generous donations are tax deductible.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

How You Can Help & Support Us

Here are some of the ways you can help and support our programs in 2020:

  • Donations (including in-kind donations) globalwomanpeacefoundation.org
  • Partnering (collaborating in one of our programs and/or events)
  • Joining our Internship Program
  • Volunteering
  • Donate through employer payroll deduction (through Your Cause, United Way or the government employee giving program)

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2020 Calendar

Please Save these Important Dates

  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, July 18th
  • Virtual Support Group Meet – Saturday, August 15th
  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, September 19th
  • Third Quarter Virtual Board Meeting – Saturday, September 26th
  • Virtual Global Woman Awards – Friday, October 16th
  • Virtual Walk To End FGM – Saturday, October 17th
  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, November 21st
  • Year-End Board Meeting – Saturday, December 5th

We will update the preceding calendar as events develop during the Year

The Education Toolkit – Now Available and Downloadable

Our Programs to Support

Survivor Resettlement Program

  • Asylum Assistance
  • Employment Assistance
  • Permanent Residency Assistance
  • Housing Application Assistance

Wholesome Organic Relief Program

  • Professional Counseling
  • Support Group Workshop
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN) Support
  • Restorative Surgery Sponsorship
  • Physical Therapy

Kids Reach Shield Program

  • Education & Information
  • Understanding of the Practice
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Resources


Just4You Program

  • Sanitary Items Distribution to Girls in Sierra Leone and Liberia
  • Scholarships to Girls in Liberia and Sierra Leone

Important Contacts in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area to Keep Handy

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation               703-832-2642

National Child Abuse Hotline                              800-422-4453

Fairfax County Office for Women                       703-324-5730

Montgomery County Abused Persons Program   240-777-4673 (24 hours)

Prince Georges County Child Advocacy Center  301-909-2089

Baltimore City Child Abuse Center                     410-396-6147

Frederick County Child Advocacy Center           301-600-1758

Howard County Listening Place                           410-313-2630

Washington County Child Advocacy Center       240-420-4308

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police              202-727-9099

Arlington County Victim/Witness Program         703-228-7273

Loudon County Victim Witness Program             703-777-0417

Prince William County Victim/Witness                  703-392-7083

National Hotline                                                                 800-994-9662