In a blog post calling for increased funding for US-MENA exchanges, Ambassador Richard LeBaron and US diplomat Dan Sreebny stress the need for virtual initiatives both while in-person exchanges remain halted and after they resume, citing Soliya's programming as a model for online innovations for diplomacy: "[...] while ramping up for more in-person exchanges, we should also pull together the lessons learned from the increased use of online exchanges and continue to innovate in the virtual space so that the number of people reached in the region can grow.
Soliya is honored to be recognized by Columbia University's International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution as an organization transforming polarization and division in the United States through our virtual exchange work. See the full list here.
"Through Soliya's Connect Global: US-MENA, Hanan Mahmoud, a student at University of Benghazi in Libya and Evanthia Karageorge, a student at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, learned that they share a struggle for women’s equality. Hanan and Evanthia developed a bond that would not have been possible without virtual exchange." Read the full story, on the Stevens Initiative's website, here.
Virtual Exchange Alumna: "I don’t want to speak on behalf of the community, I want to uplift them. That is what it takes to be part of a diverse community."
Over the past two decades, nearly 25,000 young people from around the world have taken part in Soliya's dialogue programs, representing a diversity of thoughts and experiences that have informed our values and elevated our virtual exchanges. Today, we are proud to share the first in a series of interviews with past participants who have become agents of positive change within their own communities. We're excited to explore their journeys, amplify their stories, and celebrate their impact.