PAYLP Alumni Bring Community Momentum to COVID-19 Response in Guinea

The Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program is an exchange program of the U.S. Department of State, implemented by Meridian International Center since 2013. PAYLP Alumni activities are funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, as amended. Meridian is proud to support our young alumni, as we work daily to strengthen engagement between the United States and the world through global leadership and international exchange. Sustaining these networks of young leaders is important now more than ever, as it will require hard work by...

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A Need for Corporate Diplomats in the time of COVID-19

This blog post was contributed by Abby Bowman, a recent Carlos M. Gutierrez Corporate Diplomacy Fellow at Meridian who is now working with a Meridian Corporate Council member organization, AT&T.  As I prepared for my work as the Corporate Diplomacy Fellow at Meridian, I (of course) had no idea that this same timeframe would come to be defined by the global pandemic. I spent my first few months in the historic houses across from Meridian Hill, playing a small role in Meridian’s convenings of U.S. Government officials, foreign Ambassadors, and senior private sector leaders. As in-person gatherings were slowly canceled, and whispers of work-from-home escalated into a new reality, I worried that...

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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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