IVLP Impact Awards Perspectives: Stories of Inclusion Part I

Kudakwashe Maria “Vera” Chisvo is an alumna of the International Visitor Leadership Program and a 2023 recipient of the IVLP Impact Awards for her project Human Eyes. Meridian International Center, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, implements the IVLP Impact Awards Initiative. IVLP Impact Awardees from across the world administer community impact projects that build on their experiences and promote innovative solutions to shared challenges. The IVLP Impact Awards Initiative aims to engage alumni, strengthen global networks, and support lasting community impact. Inspirations and Impressions My name is Kudakwashe Maria Chisvo, but I go...

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Reflections: Identifying and Combatting Disinformation in the Quad

By Liam Jones, U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program Participant   In 1948, U.S. President Harry S. Truman approved the Smith-Mundt Act, also known as the United States Informa¬tion and Educational Exchange Act of 1948, passed by the 80th U.S. Congress. In the aftermath of World War II, the world was still ripe with geopolitical unsteadiness and tensions; to resolve the foundational lack of mutual understanding among the world’s people, leaders looked for innovative approaches to international collaboration. To solve this issue, President Truman turned to the development of a new network of trusted relationships built through...

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Jeff Koons: Art X Diplomacy – A cultureXchanges Podcast Transcription

On this episode of cultureXchanges, Meridian’s CEO Ambassador Stuart Holliday speaks with artist Jeff Koons to learn about his upbringing and the impact of his work on a global scale. Koons is one of the most well-known working artists today, with his large-scale sculptures and bold paintings touching on ideas of commodity, spectacle, and consumerism. His work belongs to the collections of The Broad, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Koons has received numerous awards and honors in...

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Finding Ways to Transform Spite into Success is Key to Resilience with Creative Work

This post was written by Erica Ginsberg, a Senior Program Officer at Meridian, working with the International Visitor Leadership Program. This excerpt is from Ginsberg’s book “Creative Resilience,” available for purchase here. “Creative Resilience” looks at the ups and downs of the creative process. Creative pursuits—whether a paid profession, a side hustle, or a leisure activity—can bring joy and meaning to the lives of artists and audiences. But they also bring challenges of motivation, confidence, blocks, and the realities of rejection. The book provides guidance for anyone navigating these challenges from those who have been there. It includes relatable...

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SUSI Spotlight: Empowering Youth Through Financial Literacy

Through partnerships with U.S. universities and a series of interactive classroom activities, community-based projects, and site visits to U.S. cities of all sizes, Study of U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Global Student Leaders students experience an in-depth investigation into program themes and enhance their understanding of American values. Read on to hear about SUSI alum’ Ahmed Maknine’s impact.  My project, titled “$MART MONEY – Unlocking Financial Literacy: Your Path to Financial Freedom Starts Here,” was designed to address the issue of poor financial literacy in Tunisia, specifically targeting the youth. The project involved organizing a series of 3-hour conferences in...

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