Soft Power: The Monthly Roundup (July edition)

Welcome to the twelfth edition of the Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy’s Soft Power: The Monthly Roundup, a feature that aims to explore unique cultural diplomacy initiatives from around the globe. With the temperatures peaking and summer in full swing, this post travels to nine cultural diplomacy events and celebrations that took place in the month of July:

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Mural Arts Recap: Community Engagement through Art

21 de Febrero
Honduran artist Walter teaches local youth how to prime the mural wall in 21 de Febrero, Tegucigalpa.

In 2013, Meridian partnered with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) to send mural artists abroad for the Community Engagement through the Mural Arts exchange program. While away, these artists were able to collaborate with local groups and artists in various community- based mural arts projects. Their goal: to create tangible pieces of artwork, while simultaneously fostering community engagement with the various populations of each country.

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“#SheBelieves”: Sports Diplomacy’s Ability to Empower Women Athletes Worldwide

American soccer fans cheered loudly Sunday night as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Japan in a 5 – 2 win, bringing the FIFA World Cup trophy home for the first time in 16 years. More than 20 million viewers tuned in to watch the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship match, shattering TV rating records for soccer in the process. In light of the work done here at Meridian International Center, this victory is also an opportunity to bring attention to the mission and goals of sports diplomacy: a way for the universal passion for sports to bring people of different linguistic and sociocultural backgrounds together. Utilizing sports diplomacy, the U.S. Department of State and its partners have expressed an active commitment to empowering women and girls in sports around the world.

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