Creating international connections
Cultivating local innovation
Activating global potential
August 2021
Expand Your World Today
In This Issue...
  • Quote of the Month
  • Sharing a Global Perspective
  • Welcome Communications Coordinator
  • One Year Anniversary of CivitasLA
  • International Opportunities
  • Community Events
  • Stay Informed on COVID-19
  • Upcoming International Programs
Click the button below to check out our past newsletters:
Quote of the Month:

“I love that the United States has variety in everything. Each state, each city has its own unique image that in some way inspires. There is a huge exposure in art, music, and technologies. This variety makes me curious and creative! I met nice American people and had a great impression.”

~ Dina Mukasheva, a visitor from Kazakhstan on the 2017 #HiddenNoMore: Empowering Women
Leaders in STEM program.
Sharing a Global Perspective
In the coming months IVCLA looks forward to once again welcoming our international participants to Greater Los Angeles on a limited basis. In the meantime we are continuing to create virtual programming for our International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) participants. While it’s not the same as meeting in person, we are pleased to be able to build dialogue and communication channels with our remarkable visitors from around the world in creative ways. 
It is always exciting to hear from our previous IVCLA participants. We heard recently from Wasif Shakil, a journalist in our Virtual February Edward R. Murrow IVLP Program – on Media Responsibility in an Age of Disinformation.

Wasif is the Senior Sub-Editor for Pakistani news site Geo News. During the Los Angeles portion of his program, Wasif met with UCLA’s Dr. Srinivasan, Professor in the Department of Information Studies and Director of the UC Digital Cultures Lab (read about their meeting here). The LA program inspired Wasif’s investigative dive into Pakistan’s social media driven vaccine hesitancy. “I worked on a reporting project to identify the issues in the country's awareness campaign that has failed to encourage people to get a jab. The sessions I attended during the IVLP project helped me understand the problem of social media disinformation and its global implications.

Make sure to read his article at the link below!
In our first program for the U.S. Department of State's new video game diplomacy initiative, IVCLA was honored to be part of the IVLP on Video Games for STEAM and Entrepreneurship last month. In collaboration with Games for Change and partner organization Cultural Vistas, IVCLA arranged two panel discussions for IVLP participants who are experts in the Esports and video game industry from 20 countries in the Western Hemisphere.

The panels covered topics on Esports, education technology, the social impact of video games, entrepreneurship in AAA and Indie developers. AAA is a term used to categorize games produced and distributed by a mid-sized or major publisher. Representatives from BITKRAFT Ventures and Sony Interactive Entertainment (PlayStation) spoke in two of the panels for Esports and Entrepreneurship. 

Esports is a multi-billion dollar industry that is growing exponentially as it garners more mainstream attention. During our panel discussion on Esports, we explored topics such as: what makes an organization successful in Esports, what does it take to become a professional player for a team and how does one get involved? Scott Rupp, Founding Partner at BITKRAFT, was one of four panelists for this discussion. BITKRAFT is an early stage investor and company builder focused entirely on the Esports sector. Scott explained that their diverse range of entrepreneurs, operators and investors help build businesses, create and expand opportunities and develop new technologies for Esports players, fans and stakeholders around the globe.
IVLP participants helped fuel the panel into a lively discussion with their questions. The Esports scene is growing rapidly. One participant from Trinidad and Tobago shared their hopes to unite the Esports teams in order to build their community. Participants and panelists alike discussed the reality that many parents remain skeptical of their kids “playing video games as a career". A representative from Nerd Street Gamers explained that kids who do participate in Esports should maintain good grades in school and lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle in order to combat that stigma around gaming. The representative also noted that there are many Esports scholarships for universities and colleges.
Our second panel was focused on Entrepreneurship. The panel considered the ways in which the video game industry has evolved by examining, methods for talent scouting and recruitment, gaming trends, diversity and COVID-19’s impact on productivity. One of the panelists, Riley Russell, Chief Legal Officer at Sony Interactive Entertainment (PlayStation), has been working in the video game industry for over 20 years and was able to provide the participants with an expert’s insight into how gaming has changed and where it’s headed. Riley mentioned, one big change, is a lot of companies are now looking into Virtual and Augmented Reality for gaming. 

IVCLA was honored to be part of the first of many programs focused on Video Games for STEAM and Entrepreneurship. We hope that many partnerships and collaborations arise from these meetings, and we look forward to keeping in touch with our alumni!
By Emilia Miller
IVCLA Branding & Communications Intern

IVCLA hosted an enlightening virtual program on Storytelling and Documentary Filmmaking attended by ten IVLP participants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The main speaker was Professor Barbara Boyle from UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television. The meeting provided a wonderful opportunity for the rising Central Asian filmmakers to gain insight and inspiration from a distinguished professional in their field.

Professor Boyle began her career as an attorney in the entertainment industry before becoming involved in financing and production. This trajectory has allowed her to view the film industry from many angles. Professor Boyle focused primarily on the evolution of the film industry and her experiences. She provided attendees with an in-depth analysis of how the early rise of production companies and unions contributed to the formation of the independent film industry and types of film distribution we see today. Throughout the meeting, Professor Boyle shared stories and anecdotes with the attendees about the film My Left Foot which her company, Sovereign Pictures, financed, produced and distributed. In one of these stories, she reminisced about actor Daniel Day Lewis remaining in character for the entirety of the shoot. Many IVLP participants engaged in a lively discussion with Professor Boyle, part of which focused on how to pitch and finance projects.

Professor Boyle’s lecture was impactful and educational, highlighting filmmaking as one of the most prevalent forms of international communication and artistic expression. Both IVLP participants and those at IVCLA were reminded of films unique capability to reach audiences globally. As such, we maintain a responsibility as artists and educators to use them in impactful and meaningful ways.
Welcome Our New Communications & Events Coordinator!
Hello IVCLA friends!

My name is Eleanor Alberg and I am very excited to be part of the IVCLA team as the new Communications and Events Coordinator!

I graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and Spanish Cultural Studies and a minor in Studio Art. I am fluent in Spanish and spent time in college abroad in Havana, Cuba studying at the University of La Habana. While there, I studied language, art and Caribbean culture.

I love cultural studies and am looking forward to working with the team at IVCLA writing for the newsletter, helping plan events, and working on the IVCLA social media. I love IVCLA’s dedication to cultural exchange and citizen diplomacy. In my free time, I enjoy painting, knitting and crocheting and spending time with my friends and 13-year-old pug, Leilett.
Celebrating One Year of the CivitasLA Podcast!
IVCLA is pleased to congratulate Dwayne Gathers, former Chair of the IVCLA Board, on the one year anniversary of his podcast CivitasLA!

CivitasLA celebrates and elevates diverse and emerging leaders who are creating, building and serving the Greater Los Angeles community….locally, regionally and globally. Dwayne shared, “I’m proud our work, while local, has already reached a global audience, with listeners now in 28 countries outside the U.S. (led by India, Bangladesh, Canada, Germany, Rep of Korea, Belgium, U.K., Indonesia and South Africa).

In honor of their first anniversary they shared three great episodes of leaders who are building global community and working to connect Los Angeles to the world, and vice versa. IVCLA’s CEO Janet Elliott was honored to be included as a guest on the podcast. You can check out IVCLA’s Episode #13: Building Global Community through Citizen Diplomacy.
You can also hear Stephen Cheung, President of the World Trade Center of Los Angeles and Dr. Noel Hacegaba, Deputy Executive Director & COO of the Port of Long Beach, on the episodes below. 

Episode #33: Growing Green (Dr. Noel Hacegaba)

You can listen to these episodes and others on their website,
or stream it on iTunesSpotifyGoogle and Stitcher.
International Opportunities
The American Council on Germany (ACG) is currently seeking applications for its McCloy Fellowship on Global Trends, which seeks to tackle overarching issues that affect communities around the world – but especially in Germany and the United States – in areas such as urbanization, climate change and sustainability, technological breakthroughs, public health, demographics changes, as well as equity and social justice.

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 $5,000 stipend, which covers transatlantic airfare and domestic travel, as well as room and board, for a minimum of 21 days.

Questions regarding the program, or any other fellowship opportunity may be directed to [email protected].

The application deadline is Tuesday, August 31, 2021.
Community Events
Thai El Monte Garment Workers:
The Return of Slavery and Trafficking in the Modern Era
Exhibition at the Museum of Social Justice
June 10–September 5, 2021

The Museum of Social Justice is dedicated to telling the neglected stories of the diverse people of Los Angeles. By showcasing the history of social movements from the perspective of marginalized groups, the Museum inspires visitors to engage with social justice principles and advocate for change.

El Monte was the first recognized case of modern-day slavery in the United States, leading to the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in the year 2000. The Thai Community Development Center, one of IVCLA’s professional resources for the IVLP, played a pivotal role in this case and has since assisted over 2,000 Thai victims of human trafficking.

This exhibition tells the story of the case from the perspective of the survivors, featuring their testimonies, images and maps of the compound, and other artifacts.
'Summer Is Back' as Grand Performances 35th Season returns to the newly renovated California Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles! This epic outdoor concert series features live performances by artists from around the world. Don’t miss a diverse and highly intriguing mix of bands, DJ sets and dance parties! Check out the list of artists and events at the link below!

Now through September 2021
Free for people of all ages!
Stay Informed on COVID-19
The COVID-19 vaccines are allowing many countries to begin their path to more normal lifestyles. However, that is not the case for all countries - as the infographic global report in the link below illustrates. IVCLA’s staff and board send good thoughts to all our colleagues and international alumni around the globe. We can all do our part to lend support to others, not only in Los Angeles, but all over the world.This unprecedented global crisis will be solved by coming together to share all of our knowledge, expertise, and goodwill. We are stronger together!       
An informative, infographic global report of the COVID-19 data is HERE

Free COVID-19 Testing Available for Angelenos HERE

Now Free COVID-19 Vaccination Without Appointment HERE
Upcoming International Virtual Programs
The following are international guests of the U.S. government whose
professional appointments in Los Angeles will be virtually arranged by the
International Visitors Council of Los Angeles

Aug 12: Strengthening Saudi Legal Institutions to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Domestic Abuse Cases
Saudi Arabia
Aug 13, 16: International Parental Child Abduction
Aug 17: 21st Century Changemakers: Recognition and Remembrance-Documentarians Reflect on the 30th Anniversary of the Dissolution of the Soviet Union
Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Republic of Kosovo, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine
Aug 18, 26: Enhancing Maritime Governance
Aug 31: Supporting Survivors of Sexual Assault 
South Korea
In-person programming for IVLP participants will fully resume in January 2022. IVCLA’s other exchange programs will resume later this year. We look forward to welcoming more remarkable visitors from around the world as soon as it is safe. In the meantime, as the entire world works together to put an end to the pandemic, IVCLA continues to reach out and stay in contact with our international alumni. If you are an IVLP Alumni who would like to share your thoughts about your L.A. IVLP 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 Victoria Meza at [email protected].
The International Visitors Council of Los Angeles depends on its members and friends to help support its programs. If you are not an IVCLA Citizen Diplomat, please review our membership benefits here and consider joining — or make a tax-deductible donation here. We need your support now more than ever! Please make a contribution today.