Colorado Springs, CO, March 6, 2020 – Colorado Springs World Affairs Councilwill host a recipient of the U.S.
Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award on March March
10-14 as part of a two-week exchange program. The IWOC Award annually recognizes
women from around the world who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength
and leadership in acting to improve others’ lives. As part of the U.S.
Department of State’s International
Visitor Leadership Program, the awardees visit U.S. universities,
businesses, and nonprofit organizations to share strategies and ideas to
empower women around the globe.
World Affairs Councilis hostingAmaya Coppens of Nicaragua.
Coppens is one of the leaders of the 19th of April Student Movement in
Nicaragua. She participated in numerous protests against the Sandinista
government and the violent, repressive tactics deployed by its security forces.
In September 2018, she was abducted by Nicaraguan police from her residence
after participating in a peaceful protest. She was released in June and
continued to speak out against the regime in Nicaragua. She had the opportunity
to repatriate to Belgium during her first captivity, but refused. On November
14, Coppens was imprisoned again when she and 12 other activists attempted to
bring water to mothers of political prisoners on hunger strike. She and other
political prisoners were released by the regime on December 30, 2019.
Coppens will meet with several organizations in Colorado
Springs to speak about her experience, including students at UCCS and a panel
of elected leaders. Coppens story in is
in furtherance of IWOC’s goal to explain how work of these courageous women
directly impacts and promotes U.S. national security.
The 2020 IWOC recipients received their awards at the U.S.
Department of State in Washington, D.C. on March 4 and are now headed to cities
across the United States as part of the IVLP. The program concludes in Los
Angeles, California on March 17.
“Since the inception of the International Women of Courage
Award in 2007, the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program
(IVLP) has hosted awardees in 36 communities across 23 states in the United
States,” said Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and
Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. “During their exchange
program, the International Women of Courage awardees will meet and share ideas
with Americans, creating new relationships and lasting bonds critical to U.S.
foreign policy. I know that their stories and life experiences will engage,
inspire, and empower the Americans they meet.”
For the past 80 years, the IVLP has connected current and emerging
leaders from around the world to the United States through short-term
exchanges. The program has grown to include over 225,000 alumni, including more
than 500 current and former heads of state, and continues to build vital
linkages between U.S. citizens and emerging leaders throughout the world. The
IVLP continues to play a critical role in U.S. foreign policy and provides an
opportunity for the next generation of leaders to gain firsthand experience in
the United States.
For press inquiries on the IWOC Awardee’s time in Colorado
Springs, contact Jamie Bequette at email@example.com,
719-579-8443 ext. 2. For inquiries related to the awards ceremony and public
forum, please contact ECA-Press@state.gov,
Telephone: 202-632-6452. Follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter at
#IWOC2020 and #WomenofCourage.