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In Liberia: Firestone and Charles Taylor

Hi —

I’m Terry Parris Jr. I’m the community editor at
ProPublica<http://www.propublica.org/>, a non profit investigative news site based
in New York. I’m reaching out to share an investigation of ours that impacts the
Liberian community. And I’m also looking for some help plugging into Liberians here
in America and abroad.

Next week, we’re launching this large investigation into the relationship between
the American company Firestone — at one time the largest employer in Liberia — and
Charles Taylor. Our investigation, in partnership with
Frontline<http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/>, found that Firestone provided
critical resources to Taylor’s rebel army; payed millions of dollars in taxes to
Taylor’s government; helped care for Taylor’s wounded fighters; and even hired
Taylor’s soldiers to protect its rubber plantation there.

Here’s a short video we released today to give you an idea of what we’re doing:
http://www.propublica.org/article/firestone-and-the-warlord-coming-soon

We’re taking a really deep look into this. The story is massive and will encompass a
seven-week serialization, with our reporter — T. Christian
Miller<http://www.propublica.org/site/author/t_christian_miller> — providing
updates, weekly discussions prompts and asking any questions readers have.

I’m out looking for organizations, community leaders and community sites that would
be interested in sharing the investigation and also plugging us into the Liberian
community to discuss the piece. We’re using WhatsApp, an extremely popular chat app
in West Africa, which some of you may already know. We’d like to be able to share
that number with your networks, communities, and on your sites. We’d like the
Liberian community to use our WhatsApp number to follow the story as we break it
down over the next seven weeks and also tell us their experiences in Liberia during
the time of Charles Taylor, why they left and what their life is like now.

We’re inviting anyone impacted by the Civil Wars to join us in the discussion.

If you’re interested, I can follow up with more details. Please let me know. Looking
forward to hearing from you.

Thank you.

Terry Parris Jr.
Community Editor, ProPublica
One Exchange Plaza
55 Broadway- 23rd Floor
New York, NY 10006
917-512-0234 (desk)
510-688-0817 (cell)
@terryparrisjr
www.propublica.org
Terry.Parris@propublica.org

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