July 24, 2020

U.S. Exchange Program Alumni Address the COVID-19 Crisis in Cities Across the United States

In April 2020, the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs invited U.S. citizen alumni of all U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs, including the Fulbright Program, the Gilman Scholarship, and Cultural and Sports Envoys, to apply for small grants of up to $10,000 as part of the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund Rapid Response funding opportunity. Exchange alumni from across the United States submitted proposals for public service projects that addressed issues related to the COVID-19 crisis and helped build community resilience.

Since April, the U.S. Department of State has funded over 25 projects that address the current global health crisis in cities and towns across the United States and virtually with international partners in Botswana, Japan, Kosovo, Mexico, and other communities around the world. Exchange alumni are contributing to their communities in meaningful ways by sharing media literacy best practices that help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, increasing access to virtual and at-home education for youth and their families, providing artistic and creative outlets for local and global audiences, and responding to other community needs.

“We are thrilled that our U.S. alumni are using the skills and knowledge they gained during their exchange programs overseas to join the worldwide effort against COVID-19,” said Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. “These Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund public service projects uplift communities and provide them with resources and education needed to fight the pandemic.”

The Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and implemented in partnership with the Partners of the Americas. Visit https://alumni.state.gov for more information.

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