In 2013, Meridian partnered with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) to send mural artists abroad for the Community Engagement through the Mural Arts exchange program. While away, these artists were able to collaborate with local groups and artists in various community- based mural arts projects. Their goal: to create tangible pieces of artwork, while simultaneously fostering community engagement with the various populations of each country.
Landing in New York City for the first time in life and watching extraordinary hustle and bustle on the roads surrounded by high-rise buildings (which require a 90-degree angle to get a sight of the top) not only dazes but also infuses unusual inquisitiveness to explore each corner of the city especially when you have just three days to work on your wish list. It is almost dreams coming true for youngsters to be among the millions of strangers, yellow cabs, and policemen mostly seen through the lens of Hollywood. These are some of the moments, feelings, and reactions...Continue
American soccer fans cheered loudly Sunday night as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Japan in a 5 – 2 win, bringing the FIFA World Cup trophy home for the first time in 16 years. More than 20 million viewers tuned in to watch the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship match, shattering TV rating records for soccer in the process. In light of the work done here at Meridian International Center, this victory is also an opportunity to bring attention to the mission and goals of sports diplomacy: a way for the universal passion for sports to bring people of different linguistic and sociocultural backgrounds together. Utilizing sports diplomacy, the U.S. Department of State and its partners have expressed an active commitment to empowering women and girls in sports around the world.
The 75th Anniversary of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is a major milestone in the program’s history. It offers us a chance to reflect on the impact of the program by examining the numbers. More than 335 current or former heads of government are IVLP alumni. Meridian International Center is proud to have coordinated the programs of 168 of these alumni. I compiled basic data on these world leaders to see what sort of statistics could be gleaned. I focused on their age when they participated in the IVLP, how many years afterward they became a head of government and what was the length of their term. I also marked their gender and if they were currently in office.
With s’mores ingredients and charcoal prominently displayed in supermarkets across the United States, summer is definitely in full swing. The change of seasons comes with an increase in activity, so for this month’s edition of Soft Power, the Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy is showcasing eight events from around the globe that brought people together to encourage unexpected dialogue.