Worldchanger of the Week: Ellen Johnson-Sirlea
When you see injustice occurring, there are many possible roads you can take. You could a) pretend you never saw it and walk away, b) complain and announce that it is not your moral duty to care, or the least popular option, c) speak out against it. When Ellen Johnson-Sirelea saw injustice occurring in her native land of Liberia, she took the road less traveled and risked it all to make a difference.
Trouble stuck in Liberia when Samuel Doe, a military dictator came to power in 1980. While he first appeared like a messiah in an ill-fated world, his murder of the beloved president William R. Tolbert proved his intentions to be otherwise. His political agenda was often scandalous, and he even attempted to create a one synchronized currency, called “Doe coins.” Those who opposed his policies were sent to jail and targeted by Liberian police. As a result, the people were not happy. Desperate for hope and integrity, the Liberians craved someone who would lead for the best interests of the people.
Almost as if she was heaven-sent, Ellen Johnson-Sirela returned to her native country, Liberia. Seeing the injustice done made her speak out, and as a result, she spent over a year in prison. But not even a jail cell would cause her to be silent. Upon her release, she campaigned relentlessly for the Transitional Government of Liberia.
Ellen Johnson-Sirela has accomplished many things in the political sphere, but perhaps one of the most monumental occurred in November 2005, when she became the first woman to lead an African nation. President Sirela aspires to better the lives of her citizens through ending corruption, promoting equality, and advocating fundamental rights. By refusing to be a replica of everybody else, Sirela has changed the African nation.