The Liberian Women's Chorus for Change in concert at the Cedar Works, West Philadelphia, 2013. Photo by Toni Shapiro-Phim.
The Liberian Women's Chorus for Change hosts Dr. Mary Moran—professor of anthropology at Colgate University, a specialist in gender, conflict, and post-conflict reconstruction, and in Liberian studies—and Dr. Ruth Stone, ethnomusicologist at Indiana University with expertise in the music of Liberia. The two will lead a public forum focused around the topic of women as agents of social change in Liberian communities, both in the US and in Liberia.
Led by 2014 Pew Fellow Fatu Gayflor and supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Liberian Women's Chorus for Change addresses urgent issues of violence against women in Philadelphia's growing Liberian community. The members of the Chorus will adapt existing folk songs and write new ones in traditional styles, in the hopes of subverting historical narratives in which women are blamed, stigmatized, or victimized. The Chorus' goals are to foster conversation through song, generate collective strength to act, and offer options and resources for change. The Philadelphia Folklore Project will present the Chorus in local Liberian neighborhoods as well as in concerts at World Cafe Live and other venues.