Staying On Track: An Interview with Elva Tokpah

American Discovery, Vol. 3 Issue 2
Staying On Track: An Interview with Elva TokpahAmerican Discovery, Vol. 3 Issue 2

Elva Tokpah serves as Project Manager at the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center. She is a public administration and project management professional with 15+ years working in the public and non-profit sector. Recently, American Discovery caught up with Ms. Tokpah to find out how she keeps everything straight.

AD: What previous experience (professional or personal) has helped you succeed in your role as Project Manager for such an endeavor as this?

Tokpah: I have worked in non-profit administration and operations for nearly 20 years or most of my professional life, both in Washington DC and in post-war Liberia, with each experience honing my knowledge, skills and abilities in the sector. Looking back, these experiences prepared me for the start-up that became the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center (FLDC). I was at a crossroads in my professional life when I came to the FLDC five years ago and I found exactly what I was seeking: a meaningful experience with the potential to change lives.

AD: We hear a lot about the term “change maker” in regards to the individuals that will be featured throughout the FLDC, what does change maker mean to you?

Tokpah: The premise of the FLDC is “faith guides liberty towards justice”. Faith has to spur action towards a moral outcome. So for me, change maker simply means being driven by faith to act justly wherever we are. Whenever our faith moves us to take action for good at home, in our churches, communities or at work, we are making a change in the world.

AD: What excites you about the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center?

Tokpah: I am excited about the FLDC’s welcoming approach to all Americans and the potential of the FLDC to spark a renewed or new interest in scripture and its place, not only in our history but also in society today.  As an immigrant, understanding the link between faith and the American story helped me appreciate how America came to be seen as the city on the hill, the beacon of hope to many around the world. I am excited about other immigrant Americans seeing themselves in the change makers stories, hopes, aspirations and actions.

I am also excited about the timing of the FLDC as a curator of stories of American liberty, hope, faith, love, justice, and unity. At this time in our history when cleavages in the country have been widely exposed, and we’re still reeling from the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, the FLDC has tremendous potential to point people back to these values, and towards engagement around those values through the exhibits and its platform for engagement.

AD: If you were a tour guide at the FLDC, what lasting idea would you like guests to take with them?

Tokpah: I would like to see our guests leave with the idea that faith is indeed the thread in the fabric of America. I think the truth and diversity they experience at the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center will inspire this idea. I hope that they will not only recognize how scripture has influenced our culture but be inspired to take action in their spheres of influence like our featured change makers.