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.


By Irene Mirembe

The idea to engage and educate women in pathways to sustainable economic development originated from a lively discussion in Accra, Ghana during the Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar (Alumni TIES) on “Strengthening Business and Trade for Women Entrepreneurs in Africa” in June 2019.

In collaboration with fellow Alumni TIES participants, Nomuntu Ndhlovu from South Africa and Thubelihle Ndlovu from Zimbabwe, we devised the Empower Women, Transform Uganda project (EWTU), which was funded through an Alumni TIES small grant from the U.S. Department of State. …


By Nomuntu Ndhlovu

In June 2019, I attended the Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar (Alumni TIES) on “Strengthening Business and Trade for Women Entrepreneurs in Africa” in Accra, Ghana. Following the seminar, I received an Alumni TIES small grant from the U.S. Department of State and used the funds to enact change in my community in South Africa. Taking place in the Nkomazi Municipality, “Financial Inclusion South Africa,” aims to assist 40 rural trading women to grow their businesses through financial literacy workshops, focusing on topics such as business development, business planning, and financial management.

I collaborated with two of…


By Ellen Pearlman

In December 2019, I attended the U.S. Department of State-sponsored Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar (Alumni TIES) on “Arts, Culture, and Transforming Conflict” in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At the seminar I met Jonathan Hollander, director of Battery Dance Company in New York City who was one of the alumni facilitators. As part of the seminar, we were encouraged to come up with collaborative ideas for an Alumni TIES small grant project. Jonathan and I came up with the idea of “Dance for Transformation,” working with dancers wearing biometric sensors on their body who would then…


U.S. and international exchange alumni gathered for the first-ever global TIES to strengthen democracies through media literacy education ahead of Media Literacy Week 2020.

When the Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar (Alumni TIES) program gathered for “Shaping the Global Narrative on Media Literacy,” the seminar experienced its first truly global assembly, with 55 participants from 39 different countries across six world regions. The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a swift transition from an in-person to a virtual meeting — a change that allowed for a more international seminar and more diversity in the range of speakers and participants. In-depth conversations with media…


By Farzana Ali

Journalism in Pakistan is historically a conservative and a male-dominated career field, leaving very few opportunities for women journalists. This inequity is especially seen in the traditionally conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA districts. Currently, the media industry is in a state of flux and there are no job opportunities available within mainstream media organizations, which are presently undergoing massive downsizing due to a financial crunch. Within this context, it is important to build digital media literacy, in particular, content development skills of young women, who can then use this medium to create their own content and gain…


By Shahla Islam

Working in an ailing and exclusionary film industry with high barriers to entry, Bangladeshi filmmakers often find themselves struggling to maintain careers and foster new and inclusive ideas in film. Women filmmakers are even more susceptible to leaving the industry due to unfavorable environments. Recognizing these inequities, my project team and I developed the concept for the “Workshop on Encouraging Film and Web Content on Social Issues.”

Project Flyer designed by Syed Minhaj Hossain

We started this project after I attended the Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar (Alumni TIES) that took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan in November 2019 on the topic of “Women in…

Alumni TIES

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store