American Cultural Diplomacy’s Cold War Origins

During the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union were concerned with showcasing the art of their respective states to the world. Both feared that artist communities had sided with government rivals, and thus explored ways to repress artistic expression with state power. The story of how American artists, philanthropists, activists, and policymakers overcame Cold War fears to create programs like Arts In The Embassies and other early organs of U.S. cultural diplomacy is an understated but vital component of the success of American arts around the world. As the Cold War began, the United States was in...

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Building Communities of Peace – Countering Violent Extremism: U.S. Professional Development Program

Academics’ Learning Journey into CVE and Building Resilient Communities On March 24, 2018 ten (10) academics drawn from four universities in Trinidad and Tobago embarked on a 10-day, life-changing journey to the U.S. cities of Boston, MA and Washington, DC. The trip, initiated by the U.S. Embassy in Port-of-Spain and the U.S. Department of State, was facilitated by Meridian International Center and focused on researching violent extremism and building resilient communities. The team at Meridian International Center must be highly commended for planning and executing a programme that was well tailored to us as academics hailing from a plethora...

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How an Exchange Program Shaped the Career Path of a Program Alumni

Jessica Reppert is an alumni of the 2015 U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange Program. Now in its 21st year of implementation by Meridian International Center, the program is jointly funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and by the Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Unification of the Korean National Assembly. To mark the 20th Anniversary of implementing the program, Meridian conducted a longitudinal study, surveying both American and South Korean participants from the 2007-2017 programs to assess how this exchange has impacted the alumni. A representative from Meridian...

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The Exchange Program that Opens the World to U.S. Participants

For the past 21 years, Meridian International Center has had the pleasure of implementing the U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange, a unique program designed to broaden the perspectives of Korean and American young people on the legislative process; the history of U.S. – Korean relations; and current economic, political, and security aspects of the bilateral relationship. Jointly funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and by the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Unification of the Korean National Assembly the exchange has seen over the years some 340 Americans...

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The Pan Africa Youth Leadership Program: Cultivating Social Entrepreneurial and Civic Minded Leaders

The Pan Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP) is a program designed to develop leadership skills in youth through dynamic trainings and cultural exchanges. In April 2018, Meridian hosted adult mentors and young scholars between the ages of 15 and 18 from Sub-Saharan Africa, including the nations of Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. “I have discovered a group of diverse cultures, from my fellow African participants from Sudan, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Namibia, Botswana as well as Malawi.” Exchange programs like these bring leaders from around the world to the U.S. to experience and enhance...

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