Combatting Human Trafficking Through The Arts

This blog was written by Joel Bergner, who recently went to India as part of Meridian’s Community Engagement through the Arts program:

Looking at a map of India’s eastern state West Bengal, one will notice that it has an unusual shape. At the top, a tiny sliver of land shoots hundreds of kilometers north, like a little tree growing out of rest of the state, which includes the capital city of Kolkata and the iconic Ganges River. This sliver pushes up into the Himalayas, and borders on Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, not far from Chinese-controlled Tibet. It is a fascinating place, with incredible mountainous views, the world-famous Darjeeling tea fields and Buddhist and Hindu temples spotting the landscape. However, it was none of these things that brought me here, to the small city of Siliguri. Upon arrival, I met with my team of local artists and Nishi Kant, director of the Indian NGO Shakti Vahini, who educated us on the situation here.

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Bringing Peace back to the “City of Peace”

“Activism is action to bring about change in society. It can be trying to make a government change its laws, or trying to make people change what they do.”- Thamer Alyas Once upon a time, Baghdad was known as the City of Peace. After years of conflict throughout Iraq it is fair to say Baghdad is rarely looked at as a symbol of peace any more, but what people don’t understand is that peace is still very present in this city and all over Iraq. Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) is a highly competitive program sponsored by the...

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Choosing To Be Grateful Will Make You Happier and More Productive: A Global Perspective

Do you want more from your life? More happiness? Better health? Deeper relationships? Increased productivity? What if I told you there is one thing that can help you in all of those areas? Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we all know what that means—ahhh, roast turkey: that centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table. However, you are probably wondering why talk about Thanksgiving in a blog about global leadership? Because there is more evidence of the relationship between gratitude, happiness and productivity at work. Yes! A study by Martin Seligman and Nansook Park (Positive Pscylogy Progress, 2005) revealed that...

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Applications for Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program for Undergraduate Students Have Opened

This past week, I was fortunate enough to be present for the launch of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program for Undergraduate Students (IYLEP) 2016 application. While we knew students were waiting for the chance to apply, the results were astonishing. Once the application was released, applications began to arrive almost immediately. Over 250 applications were started within the first 24 hours, and that number has steadily increased.  Currently, nearly 3,000 applications have been created and several thousand more are expected by the application period’s closing on December 1, 2015. Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program for Undergraduate Students is implemented by...

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Why Meridian Matters

At the entrance of my alma mater, there is a sign that reads, “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve.” I passed by this sign every week on my way to school. It became a pivotal reminder as to the purpose behind my education – to become a more prepared global citizen and community leader. Since my time with Meridian International Center, I have continued to ponder on the sign and how it’s words apply to my experience with Meridian and its international programs. Last October, I decided to apply for the Washington D.C. Internship Program at my university....

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