Paying It Forward: Lessons Learned from My IVLP

In July 2018, Ms. Sadaf Usman, Director of For a Cause, participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program project for Pakistan: “Strengthening Civil Society- Building Community Resilience Against Violent Extremism'”. She and her colleagues visited Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Kalamazoo, MI; and Detroit, MI to connect with organizations working to prevent and counter violence through community-focused programs. Below she reflects on her experience. As part of the IVLP on “Strengthening Civil Society- Building Community Resilience against Violent Extremism,” I found the 3-week experience to be quite enlightening and educational. The rise of conflict based on race,...

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IVLP Alumni Among Fortune Magazine’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders

Sunita Danuwar, 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Hero, was honored this week as one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. Sunita is the Executive Director of Shakti Samuha, an organization that provides shelter and support to victims of trafficking in persons in Nepal. A trafficking survivor herself, Sunita now serves as an advocate for other victims. She has played a key role in expanding her organization’s victim-support services to include education and skills training, repatriation services, and legal assistance to survivors and girls at risk of trafficking. In 2018, the US Department of State recognized Sunita and...

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Program Theme Spotlight: Transparency & Accountability

Transparency and accountability, whether in government, business, or other spheres of public life, ensures public trust in the integrity and fairness of leaders, elected officials and public servants.  International exchange programs on transparency and accountability typically highlight the roles of civil society and the media as watchdogs and catalysts for the creation and maintenance of transparent and accountable government and organizations. The importance of protecting these two concepts is recognized by civil societies and such protective efforts form the bases of numerous international exchange programs. Transparency and accountability can both be applied to a broad range of concerns in...

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Program Theme Spotlight: Women’s Empowerment

Women’s empowerment has long  been recognized as a pillar of successful economic, social and community development.  Since the 1946 U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, the international development community has focused research and attention on women’s rights in political, economic, social and educational fields, and one of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals focuses on Gender equality and women’s empowerment.

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Strengthening the Partnerships Between the State of Illinois and Korea – The Impact of a Program

To mark the 20th Anniversary of implementing the U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange, Meridian conducted a longitudinal study, surveying alumni from the 2007-2017 programs to assess how this exchange has impacted the 340 Americans and Koreans rising leaders who took part in the exchange. Their individual stories are a testament to the long term-impact of this exchange and of its crucial role in fostering better relations between the United State and Korea. Featured below is the personal story of Tommy Choi, an alum of the 2013 program, who shared with us as part of the...

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