U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Michael McCarthy joined Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism Ledgerhood Rennie, National Traditional Council Chief Zanzan Karwor, and Deputy Minister for Legal Affairs Deweh Gray at Providence Island to announce a U.S.-Liberian collaborative initiative on preservation of the historic venue and development of recommendations for its reuse.

Also in attendance were Minister of Justice Frank Musah Dean, Mayor of Monrovia Jefferson Koijee, and Stephen Battle, Program Director of the World Monuments Fund.

In 2020, the U.S. Department of State awarded the World Monuments Fund (WMF) a nearly $100,000 grant from the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP, https://eca.state.gov/cultural-heritage-center/ambassadors-fund-cultural-preservation), overseen by the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, to conduct a study on preservation and reuse of Providence Island.

WMF selected University of Virginia professor Allison James to lead the study project and to consult with wide-ranging Liberian stakeholders. Professor James is collaborating closely with Dr. William B. Allen, professor of history at the University of Liberia and scholar of Liberian history.

Providence Island, where indigenous tribes lived for centuries prior to the arrival of formerly enslaved American settlers in 1821, is essential to telling the story of Liberia, its peoples, and nationhood. It is also a symbol of the enduring relationship and people-to-people ties between the United States and Liberia. And today, Providence Island is also an important green space in central Monrovia and a potential tourist attraction.