Share your veggies, not your Big Mac


When one thinks of American culture they may think of Hollywood, California beaches, or white picket fences enclosing smiling children with their golden retrievers happily loping behind them.

Or they may think of a Big Mac, a symbol of American history and excess, a beacon shining on the American mentality of more. Although the Big Mac may be associated with America, McDonalds and its burgers have spread to approximately 122 countries. The Big Mac has the same design in every restaurant location: meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a sesame seed bun. But the Big Mac has been altered in every new location it finds itself, whether it’s locally sourced beef or different types of cheese. This, in essence, is one broad example of how public health and cultural diplomacy will cross paths.


Meridian Welcomes Europe’s Democracy Defenders

On June 12, after months of detailed planning, Meridian International Center unveiled its two-week International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) for grassroots organizers from Eastern Europe. The visitors, nominated by the United States Mission to the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE), came to Meridian to facilitate two-way exchange and to learn more about grassroots advocacy in North America. Continue  

IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Entrepreneurship

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 one alumna who participated in a regional project examining entrepreneurship. The participant spent three weeks in the United States exploring the roles and work of public, private and non-governmental organizations, trade association and grassroots organizations in supporting and empowering women.

Come one, come all! The circus is coming to the National Mall

As the Smithsonian Folklife Festival enters its 50th year, Washington D.C. will welcome a group of international circus performers onto the National Mall this summer. A craft rich in history and diversity, the circus arts represent an industry where creativity trumps cultural divide. This entertainment industry, has served as an arena of collaborative imagination where the collective goal is to create an awe-inspiring show for the audience.

A performer at the Turkmenistan Circus Arts exchange, facilitated by the Meridian International Center, shows off her aerial abilities at a workshop between seasoned performers and Turkmen youth.