The Winston-Salem City Council has approved a proposal to establish a Sister Cities partnership with Buchanan, Liberia. Winston-Salem and Buchanan will cooperate in arts, cultural and curriculum exchanges. Mayor Obediah Y. Zanger of Buchanan has signed a Sister Cities Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding outlining the partnership.
The two cities have a mutual history that dates to 1836, when residents of Salem emigrated to Liberia through the American Colonization Society. Following the end of the Civil War, the Moravian Church established a neighborhood for Freedmen, named “Liberia,” on land that was part of the former Schumann Plantation. This was the start of the historic Happy Hill community.
The Republic of Liberia has a population of 3.5 million. Buchanan is the third-largest city in Liberia, with a population of 34,893. It is named for Thomas Buchanan, cousin of U.S. president James Buchanan and the first governor of Liberia. The Liberian Organization of the Piedmont, a Winston-Salem/Triad group, advocated the partnership with Buchanan.
The Winston-Salem Sister Cities Board has one member native to Liberia and several members of the Liberian Organization of the Piedmont who will participate in the partnership. Forsyth Technical Community College is an active community supporter and has already established a partnership with the community college in Buchanan.
Winston-Salem’s other Sister Cities are Kumasi, Ghana; Ungheni, Moldova; Nassau, Bahamas; and Shanghai (YangPu District), Peoples Republic of China.
Sister Cities web pages