Arts and Culture Advocacy: The Unsung Heroes of American Society

Whether it’s a podcast you listen to on your commute or your book club’s latest pick, we consume arts and culture daily through various mediums. As we adapt to a post-pandemic world, the arts and culture are in a new renaissance. Despite the devastating losses in the field over the last 18 months, artists and creators around the world showed their resilience and innovation, leading to new ways of engaging with the arts and using their creativity to design solutions to challenges brought on by COVID-19. The arts and culture have been a cornerstone for our global society’s sanity...

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Legacy of and Future for Black Professionals in Diplomacy

Candies Kotchapaw is the Founder & Executive Director of Developing Young Leaders of Tomorrow, Today (DYLOTT), a black youth-focused leadership incubator organization changing the socio-economic outlook for this marginalized community. In 2021, she participated in an IVLP project on Black Leaders & Voices. She offered the following reflections on her exchange experience. How did your virtual IVLP experience impact you? Were there any particular resources that inspired you, changed your perspective, or sparked new ideas in how to approach your work? The virtual IVLP experience was incredibly valuable in further aligning and clarifying the trajectory of my professional career....

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Ambassador Dwight L. Bush

This post was contributed by the Honorable Dwight L. Bush, former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco. It is a part of a blog series highlighting and acknowledging the work and contributions of Black diplomats during Black History Month. I had always hoped that I would have the opportunity to do public service for our great country. Becoming an ambassador provided a perfect opportunity to serve. I am fortunate to have had broad academic, business and international philanthropic experiences which, taken as a whole, prepared me well for being an ambassador. I studied economics and government at Cornell University. Most of...

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A Fellow’s Farewell: Final Reflections on Communications and Diplomacy

This blog post was contributed by Urwah Ahmad, Global Communications Fellow at Meridian International Center.  When I first started my fellowship at Meridian in February 2020, I never knew what the year ahead would bring. However, I never imagined my time in D.C. would be cut short so quickly. I also never imagined how flawless the transition would be. Lastly, I never knew that my imposter syndrome would be cured. As I sit from the comfort of my home writing this, I’d appreciate it if you all to lend me an ear as I talk about what this year and what Meridian has meant to me.   This past year has been full of ups and downs, and...

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U.S. Ambassador Terence Todman: Breaking the Barriers of Bias

This post was written by Nic Cervantes, Program Officer, Meridian’s Center for Global Leadership. It is a part of a blog series highlighting and acknowledging the work and contributions of Black diplomats during Black History Month. Implicit bias can take on many forms as it exists throughout society. While it can be as seemingly harmless as taking your Uncle Giovanni to your favorite Italian restaurant every time he visits from Italy, these indiscretions can have much larger unintended consequences. The results contradict Meridian’s core value of strengthening bonds between people of varied backgrounds. Ambassador Terence Todman faced these challenges...

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