Tragedy and opportunity | Reflections from a YLAI fellow

Kheston Walkins is a young entrepreneur from Trinidad and Tobago who was selected to attend the 2016 Young Leaders of the America’s Initiative (YLAI) pilot program by the U.S. Department of State. This presidential initiative supports social and business entrepreneurs from across Latin America and the Caribbean. Here are some of his reflections on his experience attending this prestigious U.S.-based exchange. Tragedy and Opportunity: it is a strange courtship that is as clumsy as a duck’s waddle, yet the two travel abreast almost inseparably. My name is Kheston Walkins, and I am from Trinidad and Tobago. Let me tell...

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Spotlight on Soft Power: April 2016

 

Feathers, black paint, garden implements, platform shoes, lightsabers and some gold foil.

These are just a few of the items that will appear in the performances of 20 of Europe’s most promising young dancers and choreographers when they convene in Pilsen, Czech Republic, for the 5th annual Spring Forward festival of contemporary dance, April 22nd to April 24th, 2016.

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Program Theme Spotlight: Countering Violent Extremism

Secretary of State John Kerry stated recently that violent extremism may well be “the defining challenge of our generation.” Given this reality, many International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) projects are focusing on best practices to counter radicalization and violent extremism. Their goal is to create a global knowledge network that develops strategies for ongoing cooperation in these efforts.

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Two Women Countering Violent Extremism

 

IVLP Alumni Spotlight features U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni as they reflect on the impact of the program and how it has affected their work and lives.  Here we feature two alumni who participated in a Multi-Regional project for women engaged in countering terrorism on practitioner and grassroots levels in their own countries. The participants spent two weeks in the United States examining the growing threat of terrorism and extremist organizations, the role of women within these organizations, the radicalization of women, and the tools and strategies that help counter this threat.

 

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Working Together in Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brasil

Arriving It was hard to know what to expect. I had never been to Brasil, let alone South America. I was leaving the end of winter and arriving at the beginning of fall, as if time were working in reverse or speeding up and skipping seasons. As far as air travel goes, the flights (three of them) were all on time and remarkably stress free. In the blink of an eye, after falling asleep watching The Martian somewhere over the Amazon rainforest, I was in São Paulo, the biggest city in the Southern Hemisphere. I would be back later...

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