Program Theme Spotlight: Technology Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship and innovation are key indicators of a community’s capacity to: grow its economy; develop its workforce; create a diversified workplace; develop leadership skills among its citizenry; and facilitate civic engagement. Entrepreneurship is a tremendous tool for engaging  young people, particularly in underserved communities, by helping them develop the skills necessary to compete in the 21st century economy. Tech entrepreneurship can open up potentially broader opportunities for partnerships with other community stakeholders. Numerous organizations – international, national and local – have focused their resources on developing tech entrepreneurship programs in partnership with educational institutions, businesses and government entities. Developing...

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IVLP Interfaith Group Statement Affirms Importance of Religious Freedom after Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

On October 15, Meridian International Center implemented, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Visitors, a multi-regional project from 26 countries and representing all five major faiths on the theme of Interfaith Dialogue and Religious Freedom. The participants concluded their program in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, October 26 – just as news of the Pittsburgh shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue was breaking. The previous Friday evening was spent in a Los Angeles synagogue, where the group attended a Shabbat service and shared a Shabbat meal. Upon returning to their respective homes, the...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Bringing Technology Entrepreneurship to Low-Tech Environments

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 Mr. Jarius Andrew Greaves, the Founder and Executive Director of the Youth Network for Reform (YONER-Liberia),  a youth development organization in Liberia that has directly impacted the lives of more than 30,000 underprivileged and poverty-stricken youth and children through partnership with communities to provide local scholarships to deserving students. His three-week IVLP project introduced him to strategies for bringing technology (energy, IT, medical), technical education (STEM), and entrepreneurship to underserved communities. Mr. Greaves we recently selected to participate in the Obama Foundation Leaders Program: Africa.

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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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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Spreading Kindness in Trinidad & Tobago

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 the Co-Founder of a martial arts and community engagement center for at-risk youth in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Adrian Sealey. Mr. Sealey spent two weeks in the United States examining community resilience, leadership and advocacy skills, and effective ways to positively engage youth. This project was offered in support of the Strong Cities Network (SCN), the first global network of cities and other sub-national entities working together to build social cohesion and resilience to prevent violent extremism in all its forms.  Mr. Sealey and the other participants met with key SCN members, such as Mayor Tom Tait of Anaheim, California, who spoke with them about his campaign, “Making Kindness Contagious.” Continue