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June 2023


Expand Your World Today

In this Issue...

  • Quote of the Month
  • Photo of the Month
  • Sharing a Global Perspective
  • Farewell Message from Eleanor Alberg
  • Carried by a Magic Fan by Jaak Treiman
  • U.N. Sustainable Development Goals Flipbook
  • Are you a U.S. Citizen Exchange Alumni?
  • Community Events
  • International Opportunities
  • Stay Informed on COVID-19
  • Upcoming International Programs

Click the button below to check out our past newsletters:

Past Newsletters

Quote of the Month

“Through this program I learned that in American culture personal liberties are very sacred.”

~A visitor from Saudi Arabia in March 2023, for the project 'The Climate Crisis: Working Together for Future Generations'

Photo of the Month

Visitors from Egypt exploring Southern California's coastline for their program on 'Environmental Awareness Post-COP27'

Sharing a Global Perspective

Mental Healthcare for Youth

Mental health professionals from the Gaza Strip with Dr. Jocelyn Meza (second from right) at UCLA

Mental health has recently been recognized as an international diplomatic issue. According to Diab Ali with the International Health Forum, it is “the globalized and interdependent nature of mental health” and its “large-scale social and economic drivers” which make international diplomacy relevant to mental health solutions in the modern world. This becomes abundantly clear when considering the effects of the recent global pandemic as well as times of conflict and war between nations on citizen mental health and wellbeing.

In order to examine how global inequities and conflicts affect youth mental health, ICDLA welcomed an IVLP group of mental health professionals from the Gaza Strip.

At the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Dr. Diane TANAKA, Medical Director of the Teenage and Young Adult Health Center, outlined CHLA's approach to care for youth experiencing trauma. Their methods focus on highlighting patients' strengths and aim for each patient to experience some level of post-traumatic growth. After learning about the visitors' work, Dr. Tanaka encouraged them to present their insights regarding youth mental healthcare in Gaza at a Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) National Meeting. The meeting is an opportunity for professionals from around the world to attend and participate in workshops and discussion forums on innovative research and multidisciplinary approaches to adolescent healthcare.

Another concern when addressing youth mental health is reducing suicide and self-harm. Dr. Jocelyn MEZA's work with the UCLA HEART Lab aims to provide treatment strategies for suicide prevention. An extremely effective form of therapy for this is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). However, as our visitors explained, “we are in dire need of DBT training for our healthcare professionals.” One of the many barriers to care is lack of access to proper provider training in many parts of the world. As such, Dr. Meza offered her expertise for an online training session in DBT for the visitors and their colleagues back home. 

At the UCLA National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, Dr. Jane Halladay GOLDMAN, Director of Service Systems, Dr. Greg LESKIN, Director for Military and Veteran Families Program, Dr. Melissa BRYMER, Director of Terrorism and Disaster Programs, and Dr. Robert PYNOOS, Co-Director of the center, exchanged ideas and strategies with the visitors for helping youth whose mental health has been impacted by war. Dr. Pynoos shared that in his work with youth in conflict areas, he has found the emphasis on loss and grief to be of paramount importance, despite the WHO’s mental health action plan not officially recognizing them as meaningful aspects of trauma recovery. The UCLA speakers were extremely interested in hearing how the visitors approach care in a conflict zone and discussed organizing a future meeting and perhaps a visit to Gaza to better acquaint themselves with the situation there. 

This exchange reflected the need for a global standardized mental health care system to address this international crisis. Though it is a governmental issue, it is also critical for specialists at the local level to continue sharing ideas and best practices with their international colleagues. 

The visitors also had an opportunity to experience hospitality L.A. style during a dinner with friends of ICDLA Board Member Rima Nashashibi. Hedab Tarifi and Dr. Hala Al-Tarifi, who are also from the Gaza Strip, are dedicated to humanitarian causes in Gaza and bridging cultural gaps here in Los Angeles. The dinner was a wonderful opportunity for the visitors to connect with fellow Palestinians and learn about their experiences living in Los Angeles.

Ukrainian Documentarians Driving Social Change

Following the onset of Russia’s war against Ukraine many Ukrainian filmmakers have struggled to capture the tragic and traumatic stories that riddle their nation. In March ICDLA was honored to welcome a group of documentary film makers for a program to discuss best practices for documenting the truth during the dangerous and rapidly changing conditions of war. In July we will welcome a second group of film producers and directors from Ukraine who will be discussing the Social Influences of Documentary Films. They are all playing a crucial role in combatting politicized propaganda and getting the facts to the world.

Below are updates on the work of the Ukrainian filmmakers who were here in March. 

Pictured from left: Leonid Yezhurov, Andrii Lytvynenko, Yuliia Hontaruk, Simon Mozgovyi, Mykola Dondyuk,

Olena Makarenko and Ella Shtyka

Leonid Yezhurov is an independent filmmaker who also works in journalism and social activism. He has made several films and film essays, and he is currently working on his film Illusion about social activists in Kherson, a port city in southern Ukraine near occupied Crimea. The Russian army took control of Kherson in the first days of the 2022 full-scale invasion. Leonid’s recent film, To Survive the Occupation, also centers on Kherson. During Russia’s invasion no evacuations or green corridors existed for its residents. The city and region were held hostage for six months. People were beaten, kidnapped, tortured, and subjected to incredible psychological pressure. Leonid’s project is an animated documentary depiction of the testimonies of the inhabitants of Kherson who survived the occupation.

Yuliia Hontaruk has produced and directed 35 documentary shorts and two full-length documentary films. Yuliia is one of the founders of the creative group, Babylon’13, who are now dedicated to filming the war in Ukraine and its consequences. Yuliia’s current film, Company of Steel, follows three young Ukrainian men with no military experience, who in 2014, set out to serve their country in the fight against the Russian invasion in Eastern Ukraine. Lyosha (known as 'Dancer') was a recent engineering graduate; Sergiy (known as 'Shakhta') worked as a TV host; and Andrii (known as 'Potter') was a jeweler. After two years on the frontline, they return home and struggle to readjust to civilian life. This film follows their journey from military life back to civilian life and ultimately their return to military service at the onset of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Through the prism of these three young men we see the self-sacrifice modern Ukrainians are making for their country.

Farewell Message from Eleanor Alberg,

Communications and Events Coordinator

Dear ICDLA Friends,


I wanted to take a moment to share the news that after two wonderful years, I will be leaving ICDLA on June 12, 2023. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work at such an amazing organization with people who value the importance of cultural exchange and citizen diplomacy. I have learned so much during my time here and will cherish these experiences forever.

I want to extend my gratitude for all of my ICDLA colleagues - Janet, Danica, Ho, Victoria and Tu. It has been an honor and a privilege to work alongside such dedicated and hardworking individuals.

I will continue to stay involved with ICDLA wherever my path may take me. Thank you to the entire ICDLA community!



Eleanor Alberg

Carried by a Magic Fan by Jaak Treiman

The Honorary Consul General of Estonia, Jaak Treiman, recently released a memoir, Carried by a Magic Fan. Set against the backdrop of World War II and accented by the birth, demise and rebirth of a nation, this memoir chronicles a Baltic refugee family’s escape from Estonia to the United States. Spanning nine decades and three continents it incorporates an essay by his mother, his parents’ letters, and conversations with his father. Jaak Treiman describes his family’s journey and their life afterward as they sought the American dream. After settling into their new lives, they kept memories of their homeland alive by engaging in political activities that contributed to the break-up of the Soviet Union, including strategizing with dissidents behind the Iron Curtain, engaging in court battles, and attending meetings with American presidents.


Of the book Jaak says, “There is a lot of L.A. history in the book. Not only was Los Angeles the place that welcomed my parents and I, refugees that we were, but Los Angeles was also the only place in the world where each of the Baltic States had a diplomatic representative. It was a key stop-over for the Estonian dissidents who were able to come and explain to the world what was happening.” Carried by a Magic Fan is the history of a refugee family, but also a microcosm of the refugee experience which recounts the hopes, fears, tribulations and fates they experienced.


Find the updated English translation of the Estonian language book, In the Tailwind of a Magic Fan, HERE.

U.N. Sustainable Development Goals Flipbook

As the world's only truly universal global organization, the United Nations has become the foremost forum to address issues that transcend national boundaries. Their 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a way to ensure the future of all 8 billion of us as well as all life on our planet. The Sustainable Development Goals Flipbook is a quick way to understand those goals for 2030 and the progress we're making and opportunities to work together for progress.

The UN SDG's are a call for action by all countries - developed and developing - to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including, health, education, social protection, and job opportunities – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

More important than ever, the goals provide a critical framework for COVID-19 recovery.

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. ICDLA is assisting by reaching out to our Greater Los Angeles alumni.

  • Career Connections Seminar: June 23, 2023, Washington, DC

Save the date for Career Connections Washington, DC. Career Connections brings together U.S. Exchange Alumni and leaders in business, government, civil society, and other diverse fields to leverage their skills and networks. Join us for this in-person event featuring professional development workshops and networking opportunities for U.S. Exchange Alumni. The deadline to register is June 5. More information HERE.

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. If you are a past participant in a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program contact Eleanor Alberg, [email protected]. 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.

Community Events

🚀 Summer of Science Exploration 🚀 


Get messy with chemistry, dig deep into Earth science, shoot for the stars with space science, and much more! Hands-On Science Camp offers an unparalleled summer science experience for students in grades Pre-K through eighth with Educators from a variety of backgrounds, opportunities to explore the Science Center's interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, and cutting-edge spaces for experimentation—like our 32,000 sq. ft. Big Lab! With over 25 unique classes, there's an exciting course for everyone!

  • Weeklong courses June 12 - August 11, 2023
  • Morning, afternoon, and full-day classes. Extended Day option available.
  • Scholarships available for students and families with demonstrated financial need.

Registration is now open!

Learn More

International Opportunities

Join the San Diego Diplomacy Council's private delegation October 10 - 20, 2023, for a journey through Morocco's rich cultural heritage, complicated history, and present-day realities. This carefully curated cultural exchange program will go beyond tourist corridors by engaging local scholars, public officials, entrepreneurs, musicians and artists offering in-depth commentary on the Moroccan way of life, political system, art history, architecture, and religion. You do not want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join an exclusive educational journey through the heart of Morocco to see first-hand what makes this country so complex and nothing less than magical.

This program will require high intensity walking on uneven and sometimes hilly cobblestone streets and stairs where an elevator is not always available. Participants must be able to walk unassisted.

Learn More/Register

The Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles is now accepting applications for the 2024 Research Students Scholarship, 2024 Undergraduate Students Scholarship, and 2024 Specialized Training College Students Scholarship. Please click on the title to learn more!

Some 102,000 students from approximately 160 countries and regions have studied in Japan under the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho, or MEXT) Scholarship program, established in 1954. (Data is through fiscal year 2015).

The Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles accepts applications for Japanese Government scholarships from candidates who are U.S. citizens and reside or attend universities in Southern California* and Arizona only.

Please read the Application Guidelines for detailed information on the four MEXT Scholarships administered.

(*Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties)

Application deadlines are Wednesday, June 7, 2023, 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Learn More

Stay Informed on COVID-19

The United States coronavirus public health emergency expired on May 11, 2023, however, the information below remains valuable for tracking global problem areas. 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 and other diplomatic organizations whose professional appointments in Los Angeles will be arranged by

International Citizen Diplomacy of Los Angeles

JUNE 2023

May 31- Jun 3: Reducing Ocean Plastics and Aiming for Zero Waste in Coastal Communities


June 15 - 21: Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists –Research & Investigation

Albania, Azerbaijan, Belize, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Hong Kong S.A.R., Lebanon, Malawi, Malaysia, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United Republic of Tanzania, Thailand, Zambia

June 17 - 21: Engaging Youth through Performing Arts

Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates

June 21 - 24: Non-Profit Organizations and U.S. Society

People's Republic of China

June 21 - 27: Smart Ports

Argentina, Australia, Benin, Brazil, Ecuador, India, Israel, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mauritius, Morocco, South Korea, Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay

Jun 29 - Jul 5: Women and Entrepreneurship

ARS Paris, Benin, Ghana, Haiti, Lesotho, Niger, Nigeria, Tunisia, Uganda

ICDLA knows it is important to maintain our connections with our international visitors beyond their programs. As such, ICDLA 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 ICDLA member or resource who has stayed in touch with alumni and would like to share your experience, please contact Eleanor Alberg at [email protected].

International Citizen Diplomacy of Los Angeles depends on its members and friends to help support its programs. If you are not an ICDLA Citizen Diplomat, please review our membership benefits here and consider joining. We need your support now more than ever! Please make a contribution today.


Editor: Eleanor Alberg

Communications & Events Coordinator

Share your comments with me at [email protected]!

International Citizen Diplomacy

of Los Angeles


[email protected]


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