Liberian Born Int’l Security Expert Receives Prestigious MLK Award In US

Detroit,  MICHIGAN —-A Liberian born and American trained security specialist and special investigator in the Washington D.C. Metro Area, Garretson Al Smith, has received the Martin Luther King Jr Humanitarian and Leadership Award during the World Conference of Mayors held in Detroit, Michigan on October 26, 2017.

Garretson Alvin Smith Receiving MLK Award
Mr. Garretson Alvin Smith Receiving MLK Award

The award was presented recently to Smith by the founding president of the Mayors’ conference, former Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford, and the current president of the World Conference of Mayors, Ed Jones, who is also the current Mayor of Grambling, Louisiana.

In attendance at the global mayors’ conference were more than four hundred mayors from the world, including those from the United States, Canada, Africa and Asia.  Others in attendance included the Canadian Consul General Sebastian Roy, the Africa Union ambassador accredited to Washington DC, Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihbori Qauo and other members of the Diplomatic Community as well as global business executives.

The World Conference of Mayors was held in Detroit, Michigan from October 23 – 29, 2017.

Investigator Smith was invited to the conference by Detroit City Mayor Mike Duggan to do a presentation on human rights and related issues, including investigations into war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Speaking on the theme “We Are Ahead of Perpetrators In The International Legal System,” during what is described as the ‘Law Enforcement Night’ at the Conference, Smith addressed a gathering of several state attorneys-general from across the United States on the challenges and possibilities in ensuring international justice.

Smith, who is a former member of the K- For Kosovo Forces and the Multi-National Battle Group East NATO International Security Mission in the Balkans under the auspices of the United States Department of Defense, informed the audience at the conference about the need for peace and reconciliation around the world within the context of international justice.

Smith is a well respected security specialist and a well-regarded international special investigator.  He has served as a former Contractor Staffer at the United States Department of Justice, the United States Department of Homeland Security, The White House Visitors Center, and the International Monetary Funds among others.

Smith is believed to be the first Liberian and one of few Africans to received the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian and Leadership Award at the Mayors’ Conference.

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The West African Journal was a major magazine publication in the United States with a focus on the Mano River region and West Africa sub-region during the civil crises in Liberia and neighboring countries during the decades of the 1990s. This was the period when many citizens and others in the sub-region were fleeing their homeland due to conflicts, and the magazine was a reliable source of information covering developments in the region and in the Diaspora.  However, the magazine suspended publication several years ago but is now back. It is, therefore, delightful that The West African Journal has been reactivated. The print edition of the magazine, to be published monthly and distributed in the United States, West Africa, and other parts of the world, will provide analysis of the major events of the period under review. Due to challenges relating to availability of reading materials in the sub-region, a few hundred copies of every edition of the magazine will be distributed free of charge to libraries and reading rooms at schools and institutions of higher learning in the sub-West Africa sub-region. The Journal covers government/politics, economics/international trade/investment and partnerships, women's issues, showcase of tourism and historic attractions in West Africa in particular, and Africa in general, as well as cover the Diaspora, entrepreneurship, among others. The Journal also taps into growing interest in the Unites States regarding resource-rich Africa as the next frontier for global economic progress amid an increasing global competition for access to the continent’s abundant natural resources. The magazine will regularly cover bilateral and multilateral partnerships between the US/multinational agencies and Africa/individual African countries. More importantly, in considering the danger of Climate Change and Global Warming, The Journal serves as a strong and unrelenting advocate to create international awareness regarding Climate Change, especially how West African countries and the African Continent as a whole are being negatively impacted. Through its environmental coverage, The Journal promotes education and awareness for people to be empowered. Our experienced team of editors, reporters and feature writers are excited to bring the stories that impact politics, finance, economy, arts, health, education, climate change, women and youth issues in Africa today. Contact The West African Journal is registered and published in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. Plans are underway to open a bureau office in Liberia, from which operations in other West African countries will be coordinated. Our journalists, who bring decades of high engagement of news and reportage, include former BBC veteran correspondent Isaac D.E. Bantu, former Daily Observer Features Editor and publisher of the West African Journal Joe S. Kappia, and Pana Press Editor Tepitapia K. Sannah, and respected Photo journalist and editor Gregory Stemn. These experienced and internationally-respected journalists ensure a high standard of professional journalism. Information and inquiries for The West African Journal should be directed to the following: Editor-in-Chief; Email: WestAfricanJournalMagazine@gmail.com Isaac D.E. Bantu: Publishing Partner; Email: WestAfricanJournalMagazine@gmail.com Mailing Address: P.O. Box 55053, Washington, D.C. 20040-5053 USA Thank you. Managing Editor