On Monday, February 14, 2022, as part of President Biden’s Presidential Delegation to Attend the Bicentennial Celebration of the Arrival of the First Free Black Americans to the Republic of Liberia. NCC Governing Board Chair, Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton of the Fifth Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, visited Monrovia.
The delegation was led by Ms. Dana Banks, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Africa at the National Security Council which also included U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Michael McCarthy and Mr. Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
The U.S. Embassy in Liberia has released the details of the delegation’s visit, noting that they attended the Government of Liberia’s Bicentennial Celebration at SKD Stadium, signed a bilateral agreement of approximately $55 million to improve the health of Liberians over the next five years, and met with the Elections Coordinating Committee to reiterate the United States’ commitment to free and fair elections.
The delegation was described as commemorating the longstanding partnership between the United States Government and the Government of Liberia by meeting with Liberian President Weah and Ministers of Health and Foreign Affairs as they marked the launch of a bilateral agreement.
When the delegation met with the Elections Coordinating Committee Steering Committee, the US Embassy reports that the “leaders discussed the work they are doing to advocate for electoral reform, observe elections, and provide nonpartisan assessments on elections and electoral violence. They also shared their perspectives on the 2023 presidential election.” Also, it was reported that “the U.S. Government plans, through USAID funding, to support the ECC to independently observe the full electoral cycle in 2023 and to report their findings and recommendations to the people of Liberia.”
Bishop Jefferson-Snorton was also able to meet with Bishop Kortu Brown, President of the Liberia Council of Churches to discuss ways in which the two councils might work together in the future.
In reflection of her time in Liberia, Bishop Jefferson-Snorton affirmed the significance of this event: “The history of these two nations – the USA and Liberia – are intertwined. In this moment it is key for us to lift up this connection, but to also create sustainable pathways for partnerships that will enhance the lives of our Liberian sisters and brothers.”