Creating international connections
Cultivating local innovation
Activating global potential
April 2022
Expand Your World Today
In This Issue...
  • Quote of the Month
  • The Dubai World Expo Comes to a Close
  • IVCLA at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting in D.C.
  • Sharing a Global Perspective
  • Welcome New IVCLA Board Member Mary Walden
  • Helping the Ukrainian and Afghan People
  • Are you a U.S. Citizen Exchange Alumni?
  • Los Angeles to Host the Ninth Summit of the Americas
  • Los Angeles and Kyiv to be Sister Cities
  • Community Events
  • International Opportunities
  • Stay Informed on COVID-19
  • Upcoming International Programs
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Quote of the Month:

“We need citizens, communities, civil society groups, businesses and others by our side – and we need them to work together across borders. Because when we team up with people tackling similar challenges in other parts of the world, we gain new tools, new insights and new perspectives. And the more we build collaboration at the local level, the more we can achieve globally.”

~ Secretary of State Antony Blinken in his address to the 2022 Global Ties U.S. National Meeting in D.C.
The Dubai World Expo Comes to a Close
Pictured: The USA Pavilion team. USA Expo twitter
The World Expo in Dubai came to a close on March 31st after six months of cultural exchange and creative expression. While the Expo may be over, IVCLA is hard at work planning a reception this spring in honor of the Greater Los Angeles Youth Ambassadors. We are excited to welcome them home and learn about their experiences at the USA Pavilion.

During the reception, representatives from the Department of State will be opening a community conversation to discuss the history of U.S. participation in past Expos and how future Expos, hosted at home and abroad, can best showcase our country’s diversity as a strength of our democracy. “While Expos have not been held on U.S. soil in a number of decades, these soft power platforms are critical to illuminating U.S. values to international audiences. With geopolitics rapidly shifting, they represent an opportunity to educate people globally, to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives, as well as engage and inspire U.S. citizens,” said Katherine Brown, Ph.D., President & CEO of Global Ties U.S.

Details regarding the IVCLA World Expo Reception will be announced soon. For a look back at the USA Pavilion at Expo, check out this article from Global Ties, U.S.
IVCLA at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting in D.C.
Pictured: Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), Jill Satterfield, speaking at the Opening Plenary
In March, IVCLA staff traveled to D.C. to attend the 2022 Global Ties National Meeting. During the three-day meeting, it was wonderful to connect with colleagues and friends from partner organizations around the country for the first time in over two years!

Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), Jill Satterfield, opened the National Meeting with remarks about the importance of international exchange. She highlighted the incredible work of community-based membership organizations (CBMs), like IVCLA, for facilitating international dialogue and aid, especially during these past six months with the assaults on democracy in both Afghanistan and Ukraine.
Over the following days, speaker sessions covered a wide variety of topics within the Department of State's international exchange programming. These included, social justice, navigating the return of in-person programming, cybersecurity, engaging with our international alumni, youth programming and more.

During the Citizen Diplomacy Luncheon, attendees were inspired and honored to receive a personal video message from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He extended his gratitude for the work we do facilitating global exchange via the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Watch the video of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s remarks here.
Sharing a Global Perspective
Diverse Narratives in Film and Television
Pictured: Visitors from Senegal with speakers from Amazon Studios, Ayanna Lonian (fifth from right) and Latasha Gillespie (fourth from right), IVCLA Program Officer for this project Victoria Meza (far right)
Large streaming platforms have a responsibility to provide narratives that are indicative and representative of diverse populations. Furthermore, to ensure accuracy and avoid stereotyping, the communities and individuals portrayed on-screen, should also be represented in every step of the process, from production to distribution. For the visiting Senegalese film and television executives, being able to share Senegalese stories and engage with the global community on their own terms was most important.

Ayanna Lonian, Head of Major Studio Licensing Strategy for Amazon Prime Video spoke with the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) participants about the unique position Amazon has via their licensing model, Prime Video Direct (PVD). Through this model, Amazon is able to seek out and work with independent filmmakers around the world and self-publish their work on the Prime platform. In this way, they can find and distribute material that is illustrative of individuals and specific communities, rather than working with big-name companies that often create content that does not often portray minorities.

Visitors said they found this kind of model very interesting, and it would be useful to them so they could share their own stories and bring them to the rest of the world. One visitor shared that it is uncommon to find Senegalese stories, told by Senegalese people, in the international space. One of the biggest issues filmmakers face is financing their vision, without losing quality. One visitor stressed "We know how to tell our stories, but technologically there is a gap [in quality]." With the help of a self-publishing international streaming platform like Amazon, this gap in financing and technology would be more easily rectified. Visitors and speakers alike expressed their hope for a positive working relationship moving forward from this meeting.

In keeping with the discussion of inclusion and diversity in film and television, the visitors also spoke with Latasha Gillespie, Head of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Amazon Studios, Prime Video and IMDb. Ms. Gillespie shared Amazon Studios’ updated policy to ensure that target audiences are mirrored with a diverse team in-front of and behind the camera and to promote globally inclusive narratives that do not perpetuate stereotypes. The visitors saw this as an important policy and shared their work in Senegal to improve representation for women and girls within the industry dominated by men. Ms. Gillespie said the visitors and Amazon can continue to learn from one another in their approaches to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Religious Pluralism and Community Outreach
Engaging with a global community is the goal of all international exchange. Through citizen diplomacy we are able to connect with individuals from around the world and welcome them into our community. As citizen diplomats we have a responsibility to spread empathy and care to those who need it most regardless of religion, gender, race, tribe or ethnicity. These Los Angeles based organizations are showing us what it means to be a citizen diplomat and upholding diversity and inclusion in their community aid work.

Reverend Dr. Julia Sianturi, the Senior Pastor of Agape Evangelical Church, an Indonesian-language church in Arcadia, CA, shared her congregation's approach to community care through music, specifically public ukulele performances. As a church whose mission is welcoming and spreading love to all people, music offers a perfect way to connect with their community. "Our church not only gives back to the local community, but the community abroad, in Indonesia, Madagascar and elsewhere," said Rev. Dr. Sianturi. Experts in the areas of religion, pluralism, and community outreach from Indonesia were given their first demonstration of religious pluralism in the U.S. through Rev. Dr. Sianturi's presentation. The participants virtually visited Los Angeles on an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) March 22 & 23. This meeting showcased the many ways the Agape Church congregation maintain their identity and faith in the midst of a pluralistic society while continuing to reach out to those in need.

The following day, visitors met with co-founder and vice chairmen of WorldHarvest and Senior Pastor of IFGF Los Angeles, Reverend Dr. Daniel Hanafi. WorldHarvest is an international non-profit seeking to embolden communities, cities and nations regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender or age. With a focus on positive global impact driven by three pillars: Community, Education and Media Services. WorldHarvest currently provides services in numerous countries including South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Kenya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and India.

Both presenters spoke Indonesian, so without a language barrier the conversations were lively and open - with some jokes tossed in as well. As both speakers demonstrated, religious pluralism means people of many religious backgrounds can co-exist and work together to support not only their local community, but those around the world. Through international exchange, these values spread globally, and remind us it is our duty as citizens to connect with and contribute to our communities.
Welcome New IVCLA Board Member Mary Walden
Mary Walden
Human Resources Manager - Expert Effect

Mary Walden is a Human Resources Expert at Expert Effect, a company dedicated to assisting corporations and small businesses with their human resources needs. Mary has a well tenured career as an HR and Operations leader in multiple sectors including entertainment, legal services, social services, behavioral health, childcare and housing. Previously, Mary served as Executive Director of HR & Operations for KCET TV (now Public Media Group of Southern California). Before joining KCET, Mary was VP of HR & Operations at Bet Tzedek Legal Services. Mary is an avid writer and resides in Redondo Beach, California.
Helping the Ukrainian and Afghan People
We know our IVCLA members and friends care about others who are suffering around the world, especially those facing the trauma of war in Ukraine and fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan. Below is a list of a few resources that support refugees and provide humanitarian resources to the Afghan and Ukranian people.

Organizations Bringing Aid to Ukraine:
  • Sunflower of Peace Foundation is a Boston, USA-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN: 47-2620675). Their current mission is to support the people of Ukraine affected by the Russian military invasion. They collaborate with a global network of established organizations and institutions that are committed to helping Ukraine in this situation. Sunflower of Peace started a new fundraiser to provide medical and humanitarian aid that will be used by the paramedics and doctors in the areas that are affected by the violence in Ukraine. 
  • The Voices of Children Foundation is an organization dedicated to providing psychological and psychosocial support to children. This helps them to overcome the consequences of armed conflict and develop. Today, during Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, they are engaged non-stop in helping affected children and families from all over the country, providing urgent psychological assistance, assisting in the evacuation process.
  • Razom for Ukraine, which means “together” in Ukrainian, is an organization that believes deeply in the enormous potential of dedicated volunteers around the world united by a single goal: to unlock the potential of Ukraine. Razom’s Emergency Response is the SOS button that is pressed in times of need. Razom created this project to provide urgent help and support in the face of the extreme and unforeseen situation in Ukraine. Today, the sovereign nation of Ukraine has to deal with the most horrendous and catastrophic emergency – a brutal invasion. Razom is responding to this by providing critical medical supplies and amplifying the voices of Ukrainians. 
Refugee Assistance:

  • The Tiyya Foundation, an organization founded by refugees and women of color for the communities they serve, has been working tirelessly to support refugees fleeing Afghanistan since the withdrawal of U.S. troops and the collapse of Afghanistan's government. At the moment, they are actively assisting more than 70 households in Orange and Los Angeles Counties and will be helping the 100,000 Ukranian refugees to be welcomed into the U.S. Currently, their biggest concerns for refugees are housing, employment and assistance with the English language. 
Are you a U.S. Citizen Exchange Alumni?
Did You Participate in a U.S. Government-sponsored Exchange Program?
The Office of Alumni Affairs at the U.S. Department of State is developing new opportunities for U.S. citizens who participated in U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs. IVCLA is assisting by reaching out to our Greater Los Angeles alumni. If you are a past participant in a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program contact Ellie Alberg, [email protected].

The exchange programs include, but are not limited to, these offered by the ECA Bureau. Returned Peace Corps volunteers and Boren Fellows are also qualified alumni. Whether you participated long ago or you recently completed your exchange program, we will keep you informed of opportunities such as events, programs and grants.
Los Angeles to Host the Ninth Summit of the Americas
Seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Friday, April 10, 2015.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
On January 19, the White House announced the United States has been selected to host the Ninth Summit of the Americas, with Los Angeles serving as the host city.

The Summit will take place this June and is the only hemispheric meeting of leaders from the countries of the Americas, The Summit, which will focus on “Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future” for our hemisphere, serves as the most important forum to address our region’s shared challenges and opportunities.
Los Angeles will welcome world leaders from throughout the Americas to promote regional cooperation and address the region’s most pressing issues, including increasing economic competitiveness, improving pandemic response and resilience, promoting a green and equitable recovery, building strong and inclusive democracies, and addressing the root causes of irregular migration. 
Los Angeles and Kyiv to be Sister Cities
The LA City Council unanimously approved Councilmember Joe Buscaino's motion to make Kyiv, Ukraine an official Sister City of Los Angeles. This not only is a symbolic show of solidarity with the people of Ukraine and Ukrainians in Los Angeles, but also allows the city to send retired goods, like firetrucks, to Kyiv. Watch Councilmember Buscaino's motion here.
Community Events
Congratulations to IVCLA Board Member Norman Arikawa for receiving the Stanley T. Olafson Award, and to former Board Member Guy Fox for receiving the Bob Kleist Leadership Award from the 2022 World Trade Week Southern California!
World Trade Week Southern California is hosting the annual Kickoff Conference on May 5, 2022, from 8 A.M. to 12 P.M. at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.

For over 95 years, World Trade Week Southern California has been the most extensive program of its kind in the nation, actively promoting global trade, which has supported our region in crisis and will be one of the most important drivers of economic recovery in the coming years. The annual Kickoff Conference convenes prominent business leaders, diplomats, government and civic officials as we discuss the crucial role of international trade in sustaining our global economy and launch more than 30 events held throughout the month of May by organizations throughout Southern California.
The 17th annual South East European Film Festival (SEEfest), Apr 27 - May 4, is excited to bring you another stellar lineup. Presenting and celebrating cinematic and cultural diversity of 18 countries of the Balkans and Caucasus, the film festival continues to provide a platform in the U.S. for the discovery of new talent from South East Europe. SEEfest is on a mission to educate about, and promote cultural diversity of, South East Europe through presentations of films and programs.

Croatian film Murina by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović, who won Camera d'Or in Cannes last year for this stunning debut, will open the 17th annual SEEfest, co-presented by ELMA, the L.A.-based foundation for European Languages and Movies in America.
The gala premiere will be held at one of the classic era Hollywood theaters, the Fine Arts. 
SEEfest has previously shown Kusijanović's short films, as a talent to watch. 
Tickets for this event are limited! Join fellow film lovers as we return to in-person theatrical screenings.
Don't miss two outstanding Ukrainian films SEEfest is bringing to L.A.!
Klondike by Maryna Er Gorbach
Blindfold by Taras Dron
The 2022 Sundance directing award winner Klondike by Maryna Er Gorbach, playing Sat, Apr 30, 7:30 P.M. at Lumiere Cinema, is a tour de force account of the war that's been waged against the people of Ukraine. "A mesmerizing, urgent story that transcends into a universal portrait of the tragedy of any conflict," says Vera Mijojlic, SEEfest founder and director.

From filmmaker Taras Dron comes another Ukrainian timeless story, Blindfold, making its US premiere at SEEfest Mon, May 2, 7:00 P.M. at the Lumiere Cinema. The film is also focused on ordinary people trying to live their lives under the constant threat of new conflict and war traumas that just won’t go away.  

"SEEfest is proud to bring to L.A. audiences these remarkable films with strong female characters at the center of the story,” says Vera Mijojlic. "It is important for our Ukrainian colleagues that their films are seen and their stories heard. These are movies made with guts, with courage, with passion, and they confront the injustice as only strong filmmaking can." 

Two short animation films from Ukraine are also in the program. The 17th annual edition of the Los Angeles-based film festival is slated to unfold as a hybrid, with in-person as well as virtual screenings on the Eventive platform. 
The ScotWeek festival is back in Los Angeles from April 3 - 24 with many exciting events celebrating modern Scotland. ScotWeek highlights both the proud history of Scottish culture as well as its special bond with the United States and its people moving forward into the future. ScotWeek will host events promoting Scottish heritage, contemporary culture and charity to provide opportunities for education and scholarship.

On April 16, ScotWeek is hosting an intimate cocktail reception in the beautiful Fairmont Miramont Hotel & Bungalows to celebrate modern Scottish excellence. Red carpet, live music and a fashion show by ScotWeek board member, award-winning fashion designer Jeff Garner.

Visit the Scotweek festival website for more information on the events taking place this month and their Youtube channel to experience the festival virtually.
International Opportunities
The American Council on Germany (ACG) is currently seeking applications for its McCloy Fellowship on Global Trends. Through the fellowships, the Council is tackling overarching issues that affect communities around the world – but especially in Germany and the United States – in areas such as equity and social justice, urbanization, climate change and sustainability, digitalization, public health as well as financial concerns such as inflation, trade, and global supply chains.

The fellowships allow American and German experts from journalism, the public sector, think tanks, nonprofits, law, and cultural organizations to research and assess the most pressing topics on the transatlantic agenda while engaging with their counterparts overseas. Fellows receive a $7,000 stipend, which covers transatlantic airfare and domestic travel, as well as room and board, for a minimum of 21 days. 
Candidates for the McCloy Fellowship on Global Trends must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen residing in the United States or a German citizen residing in Germany;
  • Be 40 years of age or younger at the time of the application deadline;
  • Have a minimum of five to eight years of relevant, full-time work experience;
  • Hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent);
  • Demonstrate a track record of outstanding professional performance; and
  • Have a sincere commitment to furthering the transatlantic relationship.

The application deadline is Friday, May 20, 2022
Stay Informed on COVID-19
As the world moves towards less stringent pandemic restrictions and more normal lifestyles, the information below remains valuable for tracking global problem areas. Being prudent and remembering COVID is still with us continues to be crucial in helping to prevent new variants from emerging. It is important to continue sharing knowledge, expertise, and goodwill throughout the world. We are stronger together!      
An informative, infographic global report of the COVID-19 data is HERE
Upcoming International Programs
The following are international guests of the U.S. government whose
professional appointments in Los Angeles will be arranged by the
International Visitors Council of Los Angeles

APRIL 2022
Apr 8: Community Policing - VIRTUAL
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Uruguay, Venezuela
Apr 28 - May 3: Advancing Women & Girls
IVCLA knows it is important to maintain our connections with our international visitors beyond their programs. As such, IVCLA continues to reach out to our international alumni. If you are an Alumni who would like to share your thoughts about your L.A. experience, or if you are an IVCLA member or resource who has stayed in touch with alumni and would like to share your experience, please contact Eleanor Alberg at [email protected].
Editor: Eleanor Alberg
Communications & Events Coordinator
Share your comments with me at [email protected]!
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