by Nasiba Jakbarova

Today in Uzbekistan, the internet is the “go to” for media and information. There are various forms of media that help to inform, educate, and entertain our society. Young Uzbeks spend most of their time on social media. Media and the importance of media literacy is becoming a hotly contested issue. It is becoming impossible to control the flow of information and monitor what our youth share and post. All too often they post and share messages and information without checking the sources. As a result, they become victims of misinformation, disinformation, and fake news. In October…


by Julie Koidin

ChiArts students performing the big band choro arrangement of Jacob do Bandolim’s “Receita de Samba” (arranged by Ricardo Vieira)

In December 2019, I was fortunate to be one of forty artists from across the United States to participate in an Alumni TIES seminar dedicated to social justice in the arts. This opportunity to interact and learn from such amazing artists and their inspirational projects was an unexpected gift that ultimately opened a new path within my already established career as a music educator/flutist specializing in Brazilian music.

After the seminar, the Alumni TIES program offered everyone an opportunity to fund a project based on our takeaways from the seminar. For me, the project that was most…


by Kristina Hristova

The Bulgarian society is heavily affected by the spread of disinformation and anti-democratic propaganda because of the lack of media literacy education. The problem is even larger in the smaller regions where citizens cannot access media literacy resources and encounter societal prejudices. In addition to the political and oligarch business ties that suffocate the freedom of expression, citizens contend with myths and fake news that spread easily in these small communities. Senior citizens represent the larger part of the populace in these smaller regions. Often, they are new to social media and haven’t had any media literacy…


by Rasheedah Liman

Media Literacy Ambassadors at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria

In October 2020, I attended a virtual Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar (Alumni TIES) on the topic of “Shaping the Global Narrative on Media Literacy.” During the seminar, I was able to network with exchange alumni participants from all over the world. We were able to share ideas, access resources, increase our knowledge of media literacy, and develop skills through interactive webinars and small group discussions. The facilitators at the U.S …


by Zohir Shomusalamov

Bordering Afghanistan, China, and Kyrgyzstan, the Pamir region, the most remote region of Tajikistan, is in a state of informational chaos. A combination of increased internet access, international television channels, and the political influence of the neighboring countries in Pamir resulted in a large influx of media from various sources pushing multiple agendas. Despite the potential positive elements of an increase in access to information, the community in Pamir, including influential members such as teachers, lack understanding of media literacy and the tools needed to critically analyze new information. …


By Sonja Merljak Zdovc

In Slovenia, many 11- to 17-year-old children receive their news directly from social media platforms, such as TikTok, YouTube, or Instagram. However, not all of the stories that these children encounter are true. The challenge we as a community now face is how to sift through the fake stories and disinformation to find the truth. How can children effectively navigate a complex and ever-growing media world in an engaging manner? As a media literacy educator, I noticed that my students responded more positively to educational content in a video format, and while there are many amazing…


This March, the Office of Alumni Affairs and TechCamp team at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State joined forces to implement a virtual seminar for international exchange alumni on “Advancing Digital Citizenship through Media Literacy.” World Learning handled the logistics and technology, and PeaceTech Lab and the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) designed the seminar schedule and arranged an impressive slate of speakers and facilitators. Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, Executive Director of NAMLE and an alumna of the U.S. Speaker Program, moderated several of the seminar’s sessions.

Over 40 alumni participants…


By Nisha Krishnan

A handful of opportunities can lead to newfound insight into our perspectives and actions. One of those experiences was the Alumni TIES seminar I attended in November 2019, as an alumna of the International Visitors Leadership Program, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. This seminar afforded me the chance to connect and interact with journalists, videographers, and media entrepreneurs from across South and Central Asia and inspired me to want to redefine digital media for women’s security, empowerment, and skill acquisition. After the seminar, I was awarded an Alumni TIES small grant from the U.S. Department of State. Through…


A look into the project, “Media Literacy: Building Capacity and Social Empowerment of Girls”

By Shakhodat Saibnazarova

They gathered in a room, wondering about the next four weeks. They applied to the program mainly because they wanted some social interaction beyond school, but they were unfamiliar with the term “media literacy.” What would the next four weeks have in store for them?

Sitora Shokamolova, one of the workshop trainers, leads a warm-up exercise.

The idea of this project came to us quite randomly. At the Alumni TIES seminar in Almaty, Kazakhstan in November 2019, we realized that media literacy education for teenage girls is not covered by any program in Tajikistan…


By Kakel Mbumb

After attending the Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar (Alumni TIES) seminar on “Strengthening Business and Trade for Women Entrepreneurs in Africa” in Accra, Ghana in June 2019, I received an Alumni TIES small grant from the U.S. Department of State. Through the grant, my project partner, Sylvia Banda from Zambia, and I created a community-based project titled, “Rural Women Agripreneurs Network Implementation for Cross Border Collaboration and Trade Exchange Settlement between Congolese and Zambian Agripreneurs” with a focus on agripreneurs based in Kilwa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which is located near the border of Zambia.

Alumni TIES

Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminars (Alumni TIES) are regionally focused seminars for alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs.

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