Combatting Human Trafficking Through The Arts

This blog was written by Joel Bergner, who recently went to India as part of Meridian’s Community Engagement through the Arts program:

Looking at a map of India’s eastern state West Bengal, one will notice that it has an unusual shape. At the top, a tiny sliver of land shoots hundreds of kilometers north, like a little tree growing out of rest of the state, which includes the capital city of Kolkata and the iconic Ganges River. This sliver pushes up into the Himalayas, and borders on Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, not far from Chinese-controlled Tibet. It is a fascinating place, with incredible mountainous views, the world-famous Darjeeling tea fields and Buddhist and Hindu temples spotting the landscape. However, it was none of these things that brought me here, to the small city of Siliguri. Upon arrival, I met with my team of local artists and Nishi Kant, director of the Indian NGO Shakti Vahini, who educated us on the situation here.

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Art for Gender Equality in Mumbai, India

Every March 8th is International Women’s Day, a celebration of women around the world that takes place during Women’s History Month. While Meridian organizes exchanges for women leaders in various fields, for the past two years the Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy has used the arts – specifically the mural arts –  to directly address issues such as human trafficking, gender-based violence, empowerment, equality, and education that affect women and girls around the world. Continue  

Walking in the Footsteps of Murrow

Visitors from South and Central Asia explore journalistic principles in the digital age.

Meridian International Center hosted the U.S. Department of State’s Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists during its 10th anniversary in October 2015. Up-and-coming leaders from around the world came to the United States for a three-week professional exchange program examining journalistic practices. The group from South and Central Asia (SCA) represented seven different countries and was comprised of ten media professionals from a range of sectors, including television, radio, print, and new media.

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International Day for Tolerance

The tragedy of last week’s assaults in Paris and Beirut weigh heavily in the hearts of the world community. In light of this, today’s UN-designated International Day for Tolerance holds a particular relevance. As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon states, “On the International Day of Tolerance, let us recognize the mounting threat posed by those who strive to divide, and let us pledge to forge a path defined by dialogue, social cohesion, and mutual understanding.” Through the tenets of acceptance, tolerance, and freedom, may the world be equal in treatment and opportunity. Continue  

Soft Power: The Monthly Roundup (August Edition)

As August, and consequently summer, sadly comes to a close, the Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy is back to round up some of this past month’s soft power events. The following selection highlights cultural exchange through community engagement in the globalized world. For the summer season, this interconnectedness means lots of festivals, so read on to see how diverse communities are coming together to celebrate around the world.

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