Rethinking Hispanic Heritage Month

The United States is home to 60 million Latino residents who play a crucial role in strengthening ties across the Americas. This month, we are amplifying Latino voices and the many contributions this diverse community has made to diplomacy, sustainability, and beyond. Origin of the “Hispanic” Narrative In 1976, the U.S. Congress passed the only law in this country’s history that mandated the collection and analysis of data for a specific ethnic group: Americans of Spanish origin or descent. The Nixon administration coined the term “Hispanic” to gather data about the Latino community, which reduced about 15 regions in...

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Investigating Human Rights Abuses through Advanced Technologies

The following post was drafted and submitted by Fernand Gouveia, Program Officer for Meridian’s Center for Global Leadership. Meridian’s Center for Global Leadership recently administered a project for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) titled “Investigating and Prosecuting Human Rights Violations.” Participants included a group of 10 lawyers, prosecutors, government advisors, and advocates representing various countries with compelling human rights records, like Barbados, Colombia, Mexico, and Rwanda. Participants gained valuable insight on the use of evidence-based methods and innovative technologies that investigators increasingly rely on to hold rights violators accountable and protect vulnerable populations. These new tools and strategies,...

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My personal reflection on 20 years since 9/11

September 11, 2001 was a dark day for the world and one that reshaped the way we live. For me, the memories are vivid, and they are also part of a larger story. It was a beautiful morning in Washington, D.C., when I went to work as a Special Assistant to President George W. Bush. We had just welcomed Mexican President Vicente Fox on the south lawn of the White House several days earlier. The day before, I had taken a friend visiting from Texas to the White House Mess for lunch. On the morning of 9/11, I was...

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Mental Health on the Global Stage: Lessons from 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Media has played the largest role in influencing how audiences think and absorb news, especially for cultural defining events like the Olympics. This year’s media coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics took an unexpected spin on the traditional political comparison rhetoric by instead placing mental health on the podium.  Former U.S. Olympians like Serena Williams, Raven Saunders and Aly Raisman have expressed the importance of amplifying mental health messages in sports and on the world stage in the past. “I felt when I was competing, my whole worth was revolved around how I competed at the Olympics. I would love to...

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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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