In-person Programming Fosters Return to Cultural and Personal Connections

After two years of virtual meetings, where we perfected the use of Zoom and asking people to unmute, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) has returned to in-person programs at full speed. While we all appreciated the chance to still connect during the throes of the pandemic, there is no true substitution for the connection face to face interaction offers. This was recently highlighted in the experience of Team SVAT, standing for Special Visitors, Ashi, and Tatyana (in reference to their resolute liaison team). This contingent of seven participants from various countries recently came to the U.S. for a...

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Rethinking Hispanic Heritage Month

The United States is home to 60 million Latino residents who play a crucial role in strengthening ties across the Americas. This month, we are amplifying Latino voices and the many contributions this diverse community has made to diplomacy, sustainability, and beyond. Origin of the “Hispanic” Narrative In 1976, the U.S. Congress passed the only law in this country’s history that mandated the collection and analysis of data for a specific ethnic group: Americans of Spanish origin or descent. The Nixon administration coined the term “Hispanic” to gather data about the Latino community, which reduced about 15 regions in...

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Building Cultural Competency through Storytelling with Bela Bajaria

The following blog post was contributed by Bela Bajaria, head of Global TV for Netflix and guest at culturefix, our inaugural cultural diplomacy celebration on June 9, 2021.  What inspired you to pursue a career in TV and international programming specifically? I was born in London and moved to the U.S. with my family when I was 8. One of the ways I learned to speak with an American accent was by immersing myself in American TV – Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and so many others. What that also did was it make me believe in the...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Connecting People, Creating Understanding, Exploring Opportunities

The following was written and submitted by Mr. Marco Polo. The author participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) of the U.S. Department of State from September 27 to October 20, 2019. He is an Associate Professor at the Communication and Journalism Department and concurrently the Director for University Advancement of De La Salle University-Dasmariñas in Cavite, Philippines. He is a former two-term national president of the Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE) and is a member of the Board of Management of the Asian Media, Information and Communication Center (AMIC). I have always believed that traveling is...

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