Australian IVLP Alum Reflects on Marriage, Equality, and Pride

In June 2015, Anna Brown participated in an IVLP project on Preventing and Responding to Bias-Motivated Violence Against the LGBTI Community. At the time, Anna was the Director of Advocacy & Strategic Litigation for the Human Rights Law Centre. She currently serves as the CEO for Equality Australia. She offered the following reflections on her exchange experience and the impact of Pride Month. What have you been doing since your IVLP experience? I have a vivid memory of the plane ride home from the U.S. after my IVLP trip because when I landed on Australian soil I found out...

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Israeli IVLP Alum reflects on Pride and LGBTQ+ Solidarity

In March 2019, Israeli national Ms. Liana Ester Meirom Asif traveled to the U.S. for an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on “Human and Civil Rights for Marginalized Communities.” At the time, Ms. Meirom Asif was the International Funds and Resource Development Coordinator for IGY, Israel LGBTQ+ Youth. She has since taken on the role of Vice President, Resource Development and External Relations for IGY. Below, she reflects on her IVLP experience and what Pride means to her. What have you been doing since your IVLP experience? I have started new projects both at IGY, Israel’s LGBTQ+ youth organization,...

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Transgender Rights Activist Reflects on IVLP Experience and Pride Month

In June 2015, Naomi Fantanos participated in an IVLP project on Preventing and Responding to Bias-Motivated Violence Against the LGBTI Community. Naomi is the Founder and Executive Director of transgender rights group GANDA Filipinas, which works to battle transphobia in the Philippines. She offered the following reflections on her exchange experience and the impact of Pride Month.   What does Pride mean to you? Pride has come to mean so many different things to me through the years, from when I was actively organizing it and, alternatively, the times I was just one of its many marchers. One thing...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: NGOs leading the way in response to COVID-19 in Cote d’Ivoire

This post was submitted by Mark Rebstock, Vice President of External Relations in Meridian’s Professional Exchanges Division. As cases of COVID-19 began to emerge in Cote d’Ivoire in March 2020, non-governmental organizations began to mobilize to meet community needs. For NGO AGIS, headed by IVLP Alumnus, Dr. Aboubakar Sylla, this meant setting up informational sessions about the importance of hand-washing and other precautions, collecting and distributing PPE and other supplies, and a special operation to disinfect the bus stations in Cocody, Cote d’Ivoire. Dr. Sylla registered AGIS in 2012 to prevent pneumonia in children and to reduce the mortality...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Conserving Antiquities in Sinai

This post was submitted by Addie Curley, Program Associate in Meridian’s Professional Exchanges Division. In April of 2019, three Egyptian antiquities experts embarked on their International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) experience after attending the American Research Center in Egypt’s (ARCE) annual meeting. The week-long program brought them to Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA, and New York, NY to examine how U.S. institutions utilize technology in the area of conservation, engage in dialogue with experts to increase international cooperation, and create opportunities for future partnerships between U.S. and Egyptian museums and academic institutions. Mr. Hesham Hamed is the Director-General of North...

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