Sports Diplomacy at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

On the heels of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, we reflect on the unique power of sport and its ability to bring people, nations and communities closer together. This year’s Olympics brought new contributions to the table—six sports and discussions around sportsmanship. Despite the physical absence of political figures and global leaders this year, the Olympics have influenced social and political movements over the decades, including how athletes use their platforms to uplift the voices of others. The early 1970s introduced the term “ping-pong diplomacy” when table tennis players from the U.S. and China first competed at the 31st...

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PAYLP Alum Reflects on Youth Leadership

This year, International Youth Day will recognize the meaningful participation of youth innovation for human and planetary health. To celebrate International Youth Day, we are highlighting one of our many inspiring alumni: Celestina Richard Livigha of the Pan Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP). Livigha spoke with Meridian’s Center for Global Leadership to reflect on her youth exchange experience and its impact of her leadership journey. Livigha is from Tanzania and a proud PAYLP alumna from the 2018 April cohort. She recently participated in the Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program at the University of Massachusetts in Spring 2021. Livigha...

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Arts and Culture Advocacy: The Unsung Heroes of American Society

Whether it’s a podcast you listen to on your commute or your book club’s latest pick, we consume arts and culture daily through various mediums. As we adapt to a post-pandemic world, the arts and culture are in a new renaissance. Despite the devastating losses in the field over the last 18 months, artists and creators around the world showed their resilience and innovation, leading to new ways of engaging with the arts and using their creativity to design solutions to challenges brought on by COVID-19. The arts and culture have been a cornerstone for our global society’s sanity...

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Legacy of and Future for Black Professionals in Diplomacy

Candies Kotchapaw is the Founder & Executive Director of Developing Young Leaders of Tomorrow, Today (DYLOTT), a black youth-focused leadership incubator organization changing the socio-economic outlook for this marginalized community. In 2021, she participated in an IVLP project on Black Leaders & Voices. She offered the following reflections on her exchange experience. How did your virtual IVLP experience impact you? Were there any particular resources that inspired you, changed your perspective, or sparked new ideas in how to approach your work? The virtual IVLP experience was incredibly valuable in further aligning and clarifying the trajectory of my professional career....

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2021 Trafficking in Persons Report Launch Ceremony

Since 2001, the U.S. Department of State has produced an annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report) that analyzes foreign governments’ efforts to combat human trafficking and honors individuals from around the world who have made significant commitments to ending human trafficking by awarding them with the TIP Report Hero Award. The TIP Report Heroes come from various professional backgrounds but share a lifelong dedication to stopping human trafficking, protecting victims, and seeking justice for perpetrators. On Thursday, July 1, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Acting Director of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in...

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