In 2018 and 2019, IPDGC recognized two U.S. senators for their unwavering support for public diplomacy work with the Walter Roberts Award for Congressional Leadership in Public Diplomacy. To further honor the recipients of this award, small grants were given to organizations in their home states for micro-projects reflecting the essence of public diplomacy - exchanges, outreach, engagement.
The University of Tennessee’s Center for Sports, Peace and Society (CSPS) and Vermont Council of World Affairs (VCWA) were the grantees for those respective years. The directors of both organizations have enthusiastically shared how the grants provided opportunity to have follow-up projects for the work they already do.
CSPS Director Dr. Sarah Hilyer was able to visit Iraq to conduct a first-ever mother-daughter basketball clinic for the partner organization, Zhima. CSPS and Zhima have a years-long supportive relationship; building sports and life skills of young girls in the city of Sulaymaniyah. Learn more.
VCWA Director Patricia Preston said that having a “reverse-exchange” program allowed their organization to return to Tanzania and reinforce the positive messages of the initial leadership program that brought visitors from Pan-African nations to Vermont.
In the upcoming year, IPDGC plans to recognize another representative who has ensured that America's values, vision, and ideas are shared with the rest of the world through public diplomacy efforts.
As IPDGC's Director Janet Steele notes, “The Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication created this award for congressional leadership in public diplomacy because we wanted to highlight something that for many Americans is invisible." It is through the Award Recipients' active participation, advocacy, and legislative support, that America's story is shared with the world.