Twiplomacy, World Leaders and Social Media in a Pandemic Age

This blog post was contributed by Shaila Manyam who is the Senior Vice-President and leads international public affairs at Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) and is a member of the Global Leadership Council at the Meridian International Center.   The spread of COVID-19 upended how governments and leaders convene, communicate and carry out their fundamental responsibilities towards citizens, and as a result social media has grown in importance as a critical channel. Around the world, people are flocking to social media to learn critical information about public health, policy changes and safety – but also to seek emotional support, reassurance and build community. As isolation becomes more common through curfews, social distancing, travel bans and telework our need...

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America’s Systemic Racism Demands a Systemic Response.

Originally published on Medium, this piece was written by Frank Islam and Ed Crego. Frank is an entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. Ed Crego is a management consultant. Both are leaders of the 21st-century citizenship movement. Frank has a special commitment to civic, educational, and artistic causes and is a member of Meridian’s Cultural Diplomacy Leadership Council.  “Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance...

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“Next Level is a Miracle Machine”: Glen “DiViNCi” Valencia

This post was reblogged from Next Level, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Meridian International Center; and written by Joe Schloss, Next Level Education and Alumni Outreach Director. People come to Next Level with a wide range of life experiences. Some are just setting out on their artistic path, while others already have years of experience behind them. Beatmaker Glen “DiViNCi” Valencia falls into the latter category, which provided him with a unique perspective on his Next Level experience as part of Team Honduras in 2016. Best known...

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Community Impact – Youthbuild Louisville

Community Impact highlights organizations and people in communities across the U.S. that connect with international visitors, and how those cultural exchanges impact them. Meridian collaborates with local organizations who host international participants across the U.S. through various exchange programs including the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Exchange programs allow participants to gain a diverse perspective of the country, while local communities are also exposed to people from around the world.  This past November, I attended the Global Ties U.S. triannual summit in Louisville, Kentucky hosted by the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana (WAC). During a networking lunch, I connected with representatives from YouthBuild Louisville, the...

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Cultivating the garden of diplomacy

George Shultz once asked, “If you plant a garden and go away for six months, what have you got when you come back?” The former Secretary of State answered, “Weeds.” Shultz went on to explain “diplomacy is kind of like that: You go around and talk to people, you develop a relationship of trust and confidence, and then if something comes up, you have that base to work from.” Meridian International Center has been cultivating the diplomatic garden since its founding in 1960. While we never envisioned that in our 60th year the world would confront a faceless, stateless...

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