Cartoons in the COVID-19 Era

Political cartoons can be biting or amusing, and in a moment of crisis they can illustrate a simple, persuasive point with no words at all. It is a form of satire that gives insight into the events and issues happening all around us. Amid a global pandemic, when there is information everywhere, using a picture may be more poignant than a lengthy paragraph and political cartoons grab attention and make the reader pay head. So how are cartoonists in the Middle East depicting the coronavirus in their work? Meridian administered a U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in the Fall...

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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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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Promoting the digital economy through collaboration

In September of 2019, Mr. Aaron Hape of New Zealand participated in the multi-regional International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) project “Advancing an Open, Reliable, and Secure Digital Economy.” Working as a senior public servant in the New Zealand Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, his focus is aimed at helping guide regional economic development policies. For Mr. Hape, his IVLP experience highlighted the importance of global perspectives in pursuing his work remarking, “Because of the myriad of cultures I was exposed to in my IVLP cohort, I now have a greater understanding of how other countries support the growth of their digital sectors and encourage the uptake and use of...

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