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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How an Exchange Program Shaped the Career Path of a Program Alumni

Jessica Reppert is an alumni of the 2015 U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange Program. Now in its 21st year of implementation by Meridian International Center, the program is jointly funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and by the Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Unification of the Korean National Assembly. To mark the 20th Anniversary of implementing the program, Meridian conducted a longitudinal study, surveying both American and South Korean participants from the 2007-2017 programs to assess how this exchange has impacted the alumni. A representative from Meridian...

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The Pan Africa Youth Leadership Program: Cultivating Social Entrepreneurial and Civic Minded Leaders

The Pan Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP) is a program designed to develop leadership skills in youth through dynamic trainings and cultural exchanges. In April 2018, Meridian hosted adult mentors and young scholars between the ages of 15 and 18 from Sub-Saharan Africa, including the nations of Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. “I have discovered a group of diverse cultures, from my fellow African participants from Sudan, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Namibia, Botswana as well as Malawi.” Exchange programs like these bring leaders from around the world to the U.S. to experience and enhance...

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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  

Using the Justice System to Prevent Gender-Based Violence and Protect Women and Children

This post is being published on behalf of Ms. Stephenie Foster, Partner at Smash Strategies. Ms. Foster has significant experience working in the public sector, most recently serving in the U.S. Department of State as the Senior Adviser and Counselor to the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. In the text below, Ms. Foster discusses her experience meeting with a group of International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) participants. Continue