About Us

Liberians and Friends of Liberia, West Africa, residing in the Commonwealth Virginia in the United States of America
The official headquarters of the Association is in Richmond, Virginia.

Who Are We

The Association shall strive to promote the social, cultural, and educational interests of its members, develop understanding between members of the Liberian community and such other residents of Virginia as are interested in the welfare of this community, and make the latter aware of issues of concern to the Liberian community

Our Mission

Cognizant of our common bond as residents of this Commonwealth; We Realize the need to maintain and promote our proud Liberian Heritage; Committed to promoting our welfare and interests through social, cultural, and educational programs in this Commonwealth and Liberia, West Africa; Do hereby resolve to organize and unite ourselves into a nonpolitical, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization

What We Do

Our History

The Liberian Association of Virginia (LAVA), a nonprofit, nonpolitical, and nonpartisan association, is headquartered in Richmond. It operates under the leadership of President Joseph E. Jones and Vice President Nyonnie Smith. LAVA’s mission is to support Liberians and other Africans residing in the Richmond area by promoting cooperation, understanding, reconciliation, and peace. The association focuses on three key areas: Education & Training, Economic Development & Empowerment, and Cultural Promotion & Social Networking


For achieving its objectives, the Association

i. Shall organize social, cultural, and educational activities and sponsor/participate in such other programs, as may be of general interest to its members.
iii. Shall become a vehicle of expression and representation for the member community with regard to their legitimate concerns and interests.
ii. Shall operate as a nonprofit charitable organization and any accretion shall be used to promote its objectives and none of the income shall be available for the personal benefit of the members. The Association shall be registered as a nonprofit charitable organization under US Internal Revenue Service’s requirements.
Shall co-operate with and assist other agencies/organizations with similar objectives in all possible ways to serve the best interests of the community.

Regular Member

Regular membership shall be open to all Liberians (through birth or naturalization), their descendants (through birth or adoption), spouses, and all other individuals residing in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States of America, and who subscribe to the objectives of the Association

Associate Membership

Associate membership (i.e. non-voting membership) shall be available to Friends of Liberia residing in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States of America, and who subscribe to the objectives and have made distinguished contributions to this Association and /or mankind and have been voted by a simple majority of the members present and voting as such.

A member in “good standing” with the Association shall be a person formally registered with the Association, current with the payment of membership dues, and actively participate in and support activities sponsored by the Association.


Regular Members

Membership dues shall be $60 (Sixty United States Dollars) Annually.

Senior Citizens

Members who are 60 years old and older will be required to pay an annual membership due of $30 (Thirty United States Dollars)


The affairs of the Association shall be administered by the Executive Committee of nine members, comprising

Elected Officers



General Secretary 

Assistant Secretary


Financial Secretary                                                             

Parliamentarian Chaplain

ii. ULAA Representative(s):

  1. The Executive Committee shall recommend one (1) member from the general membership of the Association to serve as its representative to the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas and one (1) alternate delegate. These delegates will not serve on the Executive Committee of the Association.

iii. Board of Advisors:

  1. A five(5) member Board of Advisors shall have oversight and advisory functions regarding the affairs of the Association. No member of the Board shall be appointed to any Standing Committee. The Board shall have no executive or administrative responsibilities but shall have investigatory powers in regard to malfeasance or incompetence of any officer of the Association. The Board shall have powers to require any member of the Executive Committee to appear before it or to furnish any documents that might be deemed relevant to an investigation. Any Executive Committee member, who fails to appear, or to furnish the documents requested, shall be the subject of removal proceedings. The Board shall formally meet two times a year. Additionally, Board members will serve a two(2) years term. The Board shall receive an update from the President on the affairs of the Association at each bi-annual meeting or special meeting.

Standing & Ad Hoc Committees

In addition to the Board of Advisors and Executive Committee, the following Standing Committees appointed by the Executive Committee shall assist in the managing of the affairs of the Association:

1 - Finance Committee

This Committee shall assist in the preparation of the annual budget, and study and provide means for financing programs and projects of the Association. The Committee cannot levy or execute money transactions but can make recommendations to the Executive Committee or general membership in terms of investments and other financial and budgetary matters. The Committee, along with the Treasurer, will assist in the annual audit of the organization’s financial status. This Committee shall be comprised of three (3) members.

2 – Membership Committee

This committee shall be responsible for recruiting, receiving, and announcing new members into the organization. Additionally, the Committee shall develop and maintain a membership database. This Committee shall be comprised of five(5) members. However, four (4) of five (5) members will serve as Zone Captains for Richmond, VA and surrounding cities (i.e. North-side, South-side, East-end and West-end).

3 – Public Relations & Cultural Committee

This committee shall be responsible for promoting the Association and its activities. Upon approval of the Executive Committee, it shall develop press releases; establish and maintain relationships with the news media; formulate, design, and distribute publications and /or promotional materials for the Association. Additionally, this Committee will organize and implement cultural events/activities that seek to promote and preserve the Liberian culture/practices.

This Committee shall be comprised of five (5) members.

4 – Projects and Programs Committee

This Committee shall be involved in the strategic planning, policy, and program direction of the Association in accordance with the purpose and mission of the Association. The Committee shall make project recommendations to the Executive Committee. Once approved, the Committee may be involved in the implementation of projects of the Association. This Committee shall be comprised of three (3) members

5 – Benevolence Committee

This Committee shall coordinate and recommend appropriate responses on behalf of the organization for any individual, or collective emergencies of affliction or joyous events (e.g. birth of a child) involving members of the Association. Additionally, this Committee is given the authority under this Constitution to make available to the family of all members in “good standing” in the event of a member’s death, the amount of $500 (Five Hundred United States Dollars). Additional funds may be collected but will strictly be on a voluntary basis. This Committee shall be comprised of five (5) members.  

Ad Hoc Committees

1 – Election Committee

This Committee shall be responsible for conducting all elections, whether General or Special that may be required from time to time. The Committee shall set the rules and regulations for elections in accordance with the By-Laws and Constitution. This Committee shall be comprised of five (5) members.

2 – Constitution and By-Laws Committee

This Committee shall be constituted periodically to review the Constitution and/or By-Laws, as the Association progresses, and make recommendations for amendments as necessary, to accomplish the purpose and mission of the organization. This Committee shall be comprised of five (5) members

3 – Governance Committee

This Committee shall be constituted as necessary, to investigate allegations of malfeasance made against members of the Executive Committee. Upon completion of its investigation, the Committee shall make recommendations to the general membership for action. This Committee shall be comprised of three (3) members that will be elected from the general membership.


  1. The Association shall hold a monthly General Body Meeting to review its activities, establish policies and programs, and elect new Executives (as applicable).

2. The Association shall hold additional meetings for special purposes as or when deemed necessary

3. The General Membership shall be composed of all members of the Association and shall be the highest decision-making body of the Association.

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