jeremiah c sulunteh liberian ambassador to the US speaks to media at Elizabehtown college press conference

On Wednesday, Oct. 29, Jeremiah C. Sulunteh, Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States, visited Elizabethtown College as part his travels in Lancaster County. Mr. Sulunteh spoke to the local media at a press conference, held at the College’s Young Center for Anabaptist and Pieitist Studies, before heading to the Hoover Center for Business to address a crowd of students, faculty and staff members, and residents from the region.

During the press conference, Mr. Sulunteh proclaimed that part of his appeal to U.S. citizens, in speaking to communities like Elizabethtown, is “not to stigmatize the people of our country.”

“Let us isolate Ebola. Don’t isolate our countries,” he said. “We don’t think that Ebola should define us. I am Jeremiah. I am not Ebola.”

Ambassador Sulunteh told the media, and later attendees of his lecture, that to contain Ebola “we need to put boots on the ground.” He added that Ebola should be fought in Africa; he stressed that it should not spill over into other countries. But to do so, the Ambassador noted that his and other African countries need resources and supplies. For example, he said Liberia needs 88 ambulances; they have 17.

I am Jeremiah. I am not Ebola.”

“We need more gloves. We need more chlorine. We need more funding,” he said, during his lecture, which was sponsored by the College’s Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking.

While the Ambassador’s lecture also focused on education in his country, when speaking of schools, the conversation came back to Ebola.

“The entire country is at a standstill. Students are not going to school, ” he said, of Liberian citizens self-quarantining. “That kind of lifestyle is hurting us.”

He challenged Elizabethtown College students in the room to look in the mirror and ask themselves, “Had been born in Africa, born in Liberia, would I be the student I am today?”

The Ambassador is hopeful that in the future he can form partnerships with colleges, such as Elizabethtown, to transfer knowledge and empower Liberian youth, either through service work or teaching opportunities. When that time comes …

“The guy standing in front of you is a visa to Liberia.”


Below, is a social media recap of the Ambassador’s visit: