Creating international connections
Cultivating local innovation
Activating global potential
October 2021
Expand Your World Today
In This Issue...
  • Quote of the Month
  • World Expo 2020 Dubai
  • Sharing a Global Perspective
  • Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Community Events
  • Stay Informed on COVID-19
  • Upcoming International Programs
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Quote of the Month:

“The world demands accountability in the form of tangible solutions - working together in solidarity across governments, business, and civil society. If we are united in crisis, then we must be united in our solutions.”

~From remarks by Jerome Foster II, the youngest member of the President’s Environmental Justice Advisory Board, at the United Nations General Assembly preview event, "Covid, Climate & Cooperation: What Will it Take to Fix Our Fractured World?"
World Expo 2020 Dubai - Congratulations Youth Ambassadors
The 2020 World Expo opened in Dubai on October 1st, 2021! As part of the Global Ties U.S. network, IVCLA assisted in recruiting a diverse group of Angelenos to serve as Youth Ambassadors and Cultural Performers who will perform and interact with visitors at the Pavilion.

We are so thrilled to have four wonderful Youth Ambassadors representing the Los Angeles area at the USA Pavilion - Faces of America! Jesús Fernandez from Long Beach, Sebastian Araujo from Canoga Park, Alban Martinez from Tarzana, and Crystal Rabizadeh from Woodland Hills, will foster global connections at the USA Pavilion at the Expo in Dubai. These Youth Ambassadors' unique perspectives showcase the diversity of the U.S. and Southern California and the importance of global citizenship.
75 Youth Ambassadors from around the country met the week of September 13th in D.C. 
to prepare for the US Pavilion!
World Expos are a great place to exchange ideas, innovations and promote diplomacy around the globe. The theme for the Expo in Dubai is Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. As facilitators of citizen diplomacy globally, Youth Ambassadors and Cultural Performers from each country will play a major role in providing human connections to build a better understanding of the United States.

As the Youth Ambassadors embark on this amazing journey in Dubai, we will keep you updated on their experiences and accomplishments! We are proud to see Los Angeles represented by such inspiring individuals at the World Expo.

Learn more about the Los Angeles-area Youth Ambassadors and see them in the videos below!
Jesús Fernandez received his BA in international business and international relations from the University of California, San Diego, and his Masters of Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. In the future, Jesús hopes to find an opportunity that will allow him to continue working in international exchanges and city diplomacy. When asked about what he looks forward to at the Expo, he expressed that, “As a Youth Ambassador, I look forward to sharing stories about how our diversity uplifts our communities, creates compassionate leaders, and catalyzes innovation.

Alban Martinez is a first-generation Mexican-American and a Zapotec Indigenous community member. He is currently an undergrad student and plans to major in International Relations at the University of San Diego. When speaking about what he looks forward to in Dubai, Alban said “I’ve been fortunate enough to live in a more than a supportive community with an amazing environment and a beautiful city. For those reasons, I look for opportunities to share my stories with people and try to provide them with the same treatment that I was given. Being a Youth Ambassador will give me that opportunity on a worldwide and international scale. I can’t imagine the different stories I can share with people and how we can compare the memories we’ve made.”

Crystal Hanna Rabizadeh is a child of refugees, an aspiring diplomat, and forever driven by a passion for human rights and protecting religious and ethnic minorities around the world. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, and recently graduated from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University with a BA in international relations and political science with a concentration in international security and diplomacy in the Middle East/North Africa region and minors in philosophy and Chinese studies. She is a native speaker of English and Farsi with proficiency in Mandarin. When asked what she looks forward to as a Youth Ambassador, Crystal said, “The Expo’s greater purpose of providing opportunity and facilitating international diplomacy is so powerful and I am so proud to be a part of it.”
Sebastian Araujo is the son of immigrant parents and a first-generation student studying at UCLA. He is currently a senior majoring in history and Chicanx. He aspires to become an immigration lawyer and recently became one of four UCLA students selected to receive one of UCLA's most prestigious awards, the Charles E. Young Humanitarian Award. When speaking of his hopes as a Youth Ambassador for the USA Pavilion, Sebastian said “I live in the San Fernando Valley, where we are consistently forgotten and where individuals like me rarely get opportunities like this. Therefore, I feel extremely grateful that I will have the opportunity to live in the Middle East and take a little bit of my background to an event that will include international participants.
Want to experience the Expo in person? Click to buy tickets to the Expo taking place October 1st, 2021 - March 31st, 2021 below!
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. 
5 Speakers on Providing Specialty Care for Survivors of Sexual Violence
A Project for South Korea
Sexual violence is a pervasive issue around the globe that affects individuals and families. It is also, one of the most difficult subjects to discuss for many. Cultural understanding and support resources help survivors and their families heal from these experiences. As a means of facilitating cross-cultural dialogue and increasing resources and understanding for survivors, IVCLA partnered with Global Ties Albuquerque and the San Antonio Council for International Visitors to host IVLP participants from Korea and 5 guest speakers for a project on Supporting Survivors of Sexual Assault.

The speakers shared their experiences working with survivors of sexual violence and how to engage in these difficult conversations in order to best support survivors and their families. The aim of the conversation was to expose the visitors to new ways to approach sexual violence cases with an understanding and awareness of the survivor's cultural background, as well as offer alternative methods of care.

Nia Davis of the Alamo Area Rape Crisis Center in San Antonio, Texas, is an Education Coordinator responsible for organizing training and presentations that seek to prevent sexual violence. Her organization also specializes in aftercare for survivors and counseling services. Ms. Davis emphasized to the visitors the importance of education and prevention courses in schools and advocacy programming for survivors and their families.

Sikivu Hutchinson, Founder of the Women’s Leadership Project in Los Angeles, said her work focuses on anti-racism and uplifting Black women's voices, and providing them specialized care. Founded in 2002, the Women's Leadership Project centers on sexual violence and sexual harassment prevention, reproductive justice, and LGBTQIA+ youth empowerment. Ms. Hutchinson stressed the necessity for specialized care for marginalized folx, especially marginalized youth. In her article titled #MeToo in our Schools: Hearing Black Girls in the Sexual Abuse Backlash, Ms. Hutchinson examined the #Metoo movement and its marginalization of Black women’s voices and how we can better approach these issues in our schools.

Sunhee Kim, the Domestic Violence Program Manager for Korean American Family Services Los Angeles, stressed in her presentation, the necessity for cultural understanding when working with survivors. She spoke with the Korean visitors about cultural norms, specifically in Korea, that prevent survivors and their families from feeling comfortable discussing sexual violence and sexuality. Ms. Kim noted that her work focuses on ensuring survivor safety and comfort and then determining the best services to provide.

Suzanna Lueras and Cecilia Parra-Tores from Casa Fortaleza in Albuquerque, New Mexico, discussed the role they play in their community, offering sexual and domestic violence services for Hispanic/Latinx survivors and their families. Suzanna oversees the counseling department where they offer Trauma therapy, EMDR therapy, and Sand Tray therapy among others. Cecilia, the Outreach Coordinator for Casa Fortaleza, provides workshops and education resources for the community. Both speakers noted that there was a lack of resources in their community for Latinx survivors and Spanish-speaking individuals before they began their work. The language and community services they provide give a voice to many individuals who are often overlooked.

Visitors and speakers alike agreed that conversations like theirs were a critical step in ensuring survivors and their families obtain the care they need. The response methods and education training the speakers shared, gave the visitors new ways of approaching sexual violence in their communities and vice versa. IVLP programs like this, help visitors and US participants learn valuable new skills for approaching difficult topics like sexual violence.
Building Awareness of Cybercrimes
A Regional Project for Africa
How do Cybersecurity professionals defend against cyber-attacks and help inform the public on ways to decrease the risk to their information and safety when they are using the internet? With this global network, our methods for protecting against cyber-attacks must involve a global dialogue. The great thing about IVLP exchanges is that they offer a way for professionals in their field to meet and exchange ideas with U.S. colleagues to enhance our global response.

Cybersecurity professionals from Algeria, Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Togo, and Zimbabwe met with Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) to learn how their Cyber Crimes Unit prevents and responds to Cybersecurity threats for a program on Promoting Cybersecurity.

Detective Trevor Larson and Senior Systems Analyst David Nuno, shared LAPD’s investigative methods for local cybercrime and the role of the Cyber Crimes Task Force. With the size and reach of the internet, it is impossible to investigate Cybercrime. Therefore, prevention through education is the most important job of the task force. David Nuno shared that the "Cybersecurity Awareness Program promotes security awareness to influence behavior by focusing its attention on threat vectors that are relevant to the organization.”.

Visitors inquired about the software used to provide individuals with cybersecurity resources if they find suspicious emails or activity online. Detective Larson explained that a plug-in from a third-party vendor helps identify and provide analysis of suspicious phishing emails, so users can perform these analyses on their own. Once analysis is complete, LAPD handles incident response for emails that are deemed malicious. Nuno described it as an "uphill battle" against malicious emails.

International Cybersecurity projects are crucial, now more than ever, as cyber threats have increased at an alarming rate since the COVID-19 outbreak. The participants and speakers were pleased at seeing so many people involved in cybersecurity, building awareness, and ensuring the safety of internet users. IVCLA was proud to foster this international exchange between IVLP participants and their professional counterparts in Los Angeles.
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Los Angeles
Join IVCLA in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month! To honor the City’s diverse Latinx communities during Latinx Heritage Month (Sept. 15 through Oct. 15), L.A. Controller Ron Galperin released an online story map featuring 15 sites in Los Angeles that showcase the influence of Latinxs on local history, politics, arts, culture, education and more. "Latinx Los Angeles" gives a unique look at important places, spaces, monuments, and institutions that are publicly owned or have been officially recognized by the City as integral to the development of L.A.’s Latinx communities.

"Latinx Los Angeles" continues Controller Galperin’s innovative use of data and mapping to promote civic engagement and connect people with public resources. On the story map, users can fully explore the monuments marking where Los Angeles was born, along with historic adobes, parks, plazas, and neighborhoods.
Community Events
On Sunday, October 10, CicLAvia returns to DTLA and surrounding neighborhoods for its birthday event celebrating over a decade of open streets! Join them on a 6-mile open streets ride at CicLAvia's “Heart of LA", presented by Metro. Bike, skate, run, walk, skateboard, and spectate; people of all ages and abilities are welcome.

Some things to know:

  • CicLAvia is FREE!
  • CicLAvia lasts from 9am to 4pm.
  • CicLAvia closes streets to car traffic and opens them for people to walk, skate, bike, play, and explore parts of LA County.
IVCLA Board member Tim Watkins, CEO of Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC), salutes the Watts Tower's 100th Anniversary and supports its continued preservation. The Watts Towers Arts Center Campus (WTACC) celebrates two milestone anniversaries this year. The WTACC will mark the milestone with numerous events and activities including the exhibition "I Wanted to do Something Big," Celebrating 100 Years of the Watts Towers and 60 Years of the Watts Towers Arts Center; the workshop Tile Atelier for a Day with Melvino Garretti and Carlos Spivey; an online gallery of public art created on and off-campus; museum and arts education brochures; a scavenger hunt and activity book; bookmarks and postcards; a Heritage Series with Tribute Videos to John Outterbridge, R. Judson Powell, and Kenzi Shiokava; and photos essays on archival exhibitions with Alison Saar, Margaret Garcia, and the Gigli Festival in Nola Italy.

Plus the WTACC will celebrate the 39th Annual Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival and the 44th Annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival in October this year with live video performances. LEARN MORE...

To start the festivities, the WTACC is rereleasing documentaries from its extensive archive. WATCH...
Enjoy CivitasLA’s latest podcast with Self-Help Graphics & Arts, which has been a IVCLA professional resource for many years. By sharing the great work they do, they have inspired many of our change-makers from around the world to implement similar programs in their countries. CivitasLA is joined by Betty Avila, Executive Director of Self-Help Graphics & Art (SHG) as they discuss the rich history of Chicanx art in our region; the work SHG has undertaken to nurture aspiring artists, and efforts to elevate and expand the voices of Latinx artists and arts organizations through the formation of the Latinx Arts Alliance. For nearly 50 years, SHG has served as a prominent center for Latino art in printmaking, exhibition, and training, while also serving as a resource for young and emerging artists.
To learn more about SHG and get involved, please visit and to learn more about the Latinx Arts Alliance, please visit  

Hear the conversation on Apple; Google; Spotify; or Stitcher
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

Oct 15: Human Rights – LGBTI Advocacy
and Cross-Sectoral Alliances
Oct 28 & Nov 1: Best Practices in U.S. Energy Infrastructure, Planning, and Execution
In-person programming for IVLP participants will partially 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 Eleanor Alberg 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.
Editor: Eleanor Alberg
Communications & Events Coordinator
Share your comments with me at [email protected]!