Join the Virtual Student Foreign Service To Learn About Diplomacy

I was thrilled to be selected as a Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) eIntern for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  One of the attractions of my virtual internship was that I could work on this project from anywhere in the world. I first connected with my supervisor in September 2013, while I was studying abroad for a semester in Rabat, Morocco.  I often worked from my host family’s home while we discussed my role as a member of the IVLP team.  IVLP connects foreign professionals in various fields with their American counterparts, and nearly 5,000 participants visit the United States annually. 

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Dr. Jill Biden has taken over the Vice President’s Instagram account! Follow her trip to Africa at www.http://instagram.com/vp.

Dr. Jill Biden has taken over the Vice President’s Instagram account! Follow her trip to Africa at www.http://instagram.com/vp.

From the Civil Rights Act to the Disabilities Treaty
 
Fifty years ago today, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act — landmark legislation that broadly outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.  It was the culmination of years of sacrifice by some of the bravest, most patriotic Americans of our time, who mounted a massive grassroots effort in the name of equality despite unimaginable odds.  I was a junior at a high school in Brooklyn at that time, marveling at the movement that gave birth to a better America.  What I did not realize was how it was to transform my life and my life’s mission on a very personal level.

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Secretary Kerry traveled to Panama City, Panama today to attend the Presidential inauguration of Juan Carlos Varela. You can follow his travel on @StateDept and on www.state.gov.

historyatstate:

In 1914, there were five female clerks appointed to serve the Diplomatic Service in overseas posts, out of 55 clerks stationed abroad (9%).1 One such clerk was Ann Singleton, a woman ahead of her times. Born around 1877 in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, Singleton dreamed of seeing the world, and took up secretarial work as a means of doing so. She worked as a stenographer, typewriter, and secretary, before being appointed as a clerk in the Diplomatic Service and assigned to U.S. Embassy Paris on September 1, 1912.


Biographical Statement, Ann Singleton 
Registar of the Department of State, Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1915

Singleton saved up $600 from her work at the embassy, a sum she planned to use to tour the world. She earmarked her journey to start in Fall 1914, however, the outbreak of hostilities in August quickly derailed her trip. Instead, Singleton remained in Paris for several more months, and provided much-needed assistance as the embassy’s responsibilities multiplied.

Singleton returned to the United States but found herself once again in France a few years later. When General John J. Pershing, Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), arrived in Paris on June 13, 1917, “she was one of two women waiting at the Paris train station for Pershing to arrive. The other woman was a newspaper reporter.” 2 Singleton served as Pershing’s private secretary for the remainder of the war.

Upon the war’s end in November 1918, she again departed France for the United States to work and save money. Singleton finally began her much-delayed trip around the world in September 1921, departing Seattle for Honolulu and then Japan. For the next decade, Singleton traveled (and worked) the world, and gave lectures on “Circling the Globe on One’s Own.” In 1931, she returned to Washington, and took a job with the War Department, where she worked until her retirement many years later.


  1. Register of the Department of State, November 13, 1913. 

  2. John Malloy, “Daytona Woman Was Pershing Aide,” Daytona Beach Morning Journal, November 23, 1968, 47. 

ourplanetourocean:

Could education be the key to saving our oceans?

by Olivia and Carter Ries - Founders of OneMoreGeneration.org

Olivia" - As we attended the ‘Our Oceans’ conference at the State Department last week it became apparent that there are a whole lot of people and countries who care for the future of our oceans.  We heard experts from around the globe way-in on such issues as Ocean Acidification, Overfishing/Illegal Fishing and even about the issue of Marine Debris and Plastic Pollution. 

We were all so excited to see the level of participation from so many countries and the sincere compassion participants demonstrated as they mapped out their plans to help our oceans.  It was especially encouraging to hear how much support both financially and legislatively most participants were prepared to offer as they learned about the perils facing our oceans globally.

We heard pledges being made designed to protect even larger areas around various land masses and we were especially moved by the actor Leonardo DiCaprio as he committed an additional 7-million dollars to help create marine sanctuaries.  But the one thing we did not hear… from anyone, was the word ‘Education’.  As future leaders of the next generation, we feel that everyone is missing a key component to the solution and that is teaching kids (our generation) about ways they too can get involved.  We know first hand that if you teach kids about the issue, they are all too eager to want to be part of the solution.

Carter" - If I may elaborate a little more on what Olivia has already pointed out.

It is all fine and well to create a marine sanctuary and to seek out solutions which will ensure we are producing less carbon and creating larger no-fishing zones to allow species the opportunity to restore themselves to safe levels, or to seek ways we can work with manufacturers to ensure that they are producing less plastics etc.  But, unless you incorporate some sort of global education program designed to reach the next generation of leaders and teach them at an early age and show them how they too can be the solution to the issue of plastic pollution, what have we accomplished?  

Plastic pollution will continue to find its way into our oceans and eventually into the very ocean sanctuaries being created.  We are producing more plastic waste than can ever be recycled.  Most people here in the US and even in most countries don’t even understand how a recycling system works.  Most people think that just because they are sending all their plastic trash to a recycle center, they are doing their part to make a difference but the reality is that they are not.

My sister and I travel around the country and have even traveled abroad visiting recycle centers and teaching kids about what we call “Precycling” and how that actually is even more important than recycling.  What we would like to see is that the US and other countries take a serious look at providing an educational component to their ocean strategy.   

We have already created a curriculum which was written to match the latest National Standards for science and we have even infused math, literacy and art throughout the program.  We learned about the issue of plastic pollution while helping with the animal rescue efforts during the BP Gulf oil spill and we know first hand that if you give students the education they need on the issue, we can and will find the solution.

In closing, we wish to thank everyone for making our participation such a memorable experience and we sincerely hope to have the opportunity to work with you and your staff on ways education can be made part of the master plan.  Remember, “Anybody can make a difference… if we can, you can too.”

Sincerely,

Carter and Olivia Ries - Founder of One More Generation

Five Things You Did Not Know About Human Trafficking








Modern slavery exists in the 21st century, even in the United States.
Human trafficking does not require movement or the crossing of borders.
Anyone can be a victim of human trafficking.
The illegal profits made from the use of forced labor in the private economy worldwide amount to $150.2 billion per year, according to the International Labor Organization.
The food you eat, the products you buy, and the consumer items you use on a daily basis may have been produced by victims of forced labor.  Become a conscientious consumer by visiting Slavery Footprint to determine “How many slaves work for you?”














To learn more about the manifestations of modern slavery around the world, read the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report, and learn what you can do in your own life by visiting 20 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Five Things You Did Not Know About Human Trafficking

  1. Modern slavery exists in the 21st century, even in the United States.
  2. Human trafficking does not require movement or the crossing of borders.
  3. Anyone can be a victim of human trafficking.
  4. The illegal profits made from the use of forced labor in the private economy worldwide amount to $150.2 billion per year, according to the International Labor Organization.
  5. The food you eat, the products you buy, and the consumer items you use on a daily basis may have been produced by victims of forced labor.  Become a conscientious consumer by visiting Slavery Footprint to determine “How many slaves work for you?”
united-nations:

Call for all bloggers who love to travel!
Why not participate in World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s Blogger Competition for this year’s World Tourism Day on 27 September under the theme “Tourism and Community Development”?
The author of the winning post will be invited to a round trip to Mexico, with the opportunity to visit local community projects.

The competition is open from 24 June to 15 August.
Find out more at: http://j.mp/1v25DKR

united-nations:

Call for all bloggers who love to travel!

Why not participate in World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s Blogger Competition for this year’s World Tourism Day on 27 September under the theme “Tourism and Community Development”?

The author of the winning post will be invited to a round trip to Mexico, with the opportunity to visit local community projects.

The competition is open from 24 June to 15 August.

Find out more at: http://j.mp/1v25DKR

Egypt’s Chilling Detour on the Path to Democracy

On Monday, an Egyptian court convicted three international journalists from Al Jazeera’s English-language network along with 15 others of conspiring with “terrorists” to harm national unity. Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Australian Peter Greste received seven-year sentences; Egyptian Baher Mohamed got an extra three years for possessing a single spent bullet, a souvenir from his reporting on the country’s street protests.

Read more on DipNote.

Lunch break to cheer for U.S. Men’s National Team here at @StateDept! #LetsDoThis #USA #IBelieve #USAvsGER

Lunch break to cheer for U.S. Men’s National Team here at @StateDept! #LetsDoThis #USA #IBelieve #USAvsGER