Washington Travels to Africa For Trade Mission, Documentary to Air on ABC

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Washington Travels to Africa For Trade Mission, Documentary to Air on ABC
We chronicled the charitable endeavors of Isaiah Washington recently as the Grey's Anatomy star donated his time for an auction held by the Jackie Robinson Foundation (lunch with the actor went for $4,550).

Now, he has turned his attention to a global cause, traveling to the African nation of Sierra Leone as part of a Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) mission to explore trade and investment opportunities with the U.S.

"It is our first trade mission to Sierra Leone," Stephen Hayes, President of the CCA, said. "We applaud Isaiah Washington for promoting trade and investment relations between Sierra Leone and the United States."

"I don't want to stop until a McDonald's is in Freetown (the capital of Sierra Leone). The one thing I know is that wherever a McDonald's is, no one is having a war," said a high-spirited Washington, whose portrayal of the incomparable Dr. Preston Burke has won over millions of Grey's fans.

CCA and its partners in Sierra Leone (see map, below) held five days of high-level meetings, including sessions with cabinet ministers. The goal is to investigate all business opportunities in transportation and telecommunications, mineral mining, energy, power and in the health sector.

"A star like Isaiah Washington can help to promote a relatively unknown business destination like Sierra Leone. Business creates employment opportunities and leads to sustainable economic development," Hayes said.

Washington's maternal lineage is to the Mendé people of Sierra Leone, a 2005 genetic test proved. The 42-year old actor remained in Africa after the trade mission to film a documentary that will be aired on ABC upon his return. The documentary will follow Washington on his personal and political journeys into the past, present and future of the people in his ancestral, West African homeland.

"I'm obligated in my own mind and through my own conviction to go back to a country of people w
Sierra Leone
ho have no idea who I am and help them, because I can," Washington said. 

CCA is a non-partisan organization comprised of nearly 200 U.S. companies dedicated to strengthening commercial relationships between the United States and Africa.

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Thank Isiah for putting your fame and money in the right place. I am a Mende woman living in Maryland that returned to Sierra Leone in 2003 to help in the rebuilding process. I returned last year for personal reasons but my energy is all for asking for support to this impoverished county. I know the needs of my our homeland and just knowing that you are now part of the rebuilding process and a giant that will bring our cause (positively) to the minds of people is a God-sent answer to my prayers. Thanks to you and all the crew that have our country at heart.Please do not hesitate to consult with me on issues that that needs clarification. I worked for over two years and I am aware of the issues.


My name is Herbertina Roy-Lewis and I am a Sierra Leonean presently residing in the US for 15 years, and now a US citizen. I am very impressed and moved by the action taken by Isaiah Washington. I hope and pray that whatever he plans or desire will grow successfully in Gods grace. I am definitely taking this information to my church so we can pray for Isaiah and his family for long life and health. Please continue to help Sierra Leone and the citizens of SL because we are in a ditch. We are thankful for a Good Samaritan like Isaiah Washington, who has the thought to help free us from the economy and greed bondage. I asure you Isaiah, that you will receive the reward in abundance, and the Sierra Leonean community in the US will support you in whatever way that is required.


I love that he says he is going to help these people who do not know him at all, simply because he can. There is undoubtedly some axom for this, but I can't think of one other than true charity is something given without expectation of receiving anything in return. I love Isaiah's attitude towards this and think what he is doing is admirable.

Grey's Anatomy Quotes

When we say things like "people don't change" it drives scientist crazy because change is literally the only constant in all of science. Energy. Matter. It's always changing, morphing, merging, growing, dying. It's the way people try not to change that's unnatural. The way we cling to what things were instead of letting things be what they are. The way we cling to old memories instead of forming new ones. The way we insist on believing despite every scientific indication that anything in this lifetime is permanent. Change is constant. How we experience change that's up to us. It can feel like death or it can feel like a second chance at life. If we open our fingers, loosen our grips, go with it, it can feel like pure adrenaline. Like at any moment we can have another chance at life. Like at any moment, we can be born all over again.


Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)