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Summer IVLP!


Since April, we have hosted nearly 100 international visitors in-person for 11 projects in Colorado Springs. Delegates have participated in several cultural activities including a ride up to Pikes Peak, dinner in Coloradans' homes, enjoying art museums, and exploring the Garden of the Gods! These leaders have successfully met with military installations, the private sector, the Olympics, non-profit organizations, journalists, cybersecurity professionals, and so many more - Thank you to all of our community partners who participated! By sharing your work with our international visitors, you are elevating Colorado Springs while having a global impact in your career field. 


Space & Defense

Colorado Springs made history this spring as we welcomed the U.S. Department of States International Visitor Leadership Program's first-ever multi-regional delegation focused on Space. We hosted leading space professionals from 14 countries in our community to connect with their colleagues from the United States Airforce Academy Space Missions Program, Catalyst Campus, Space Training and Readiness Command, and the U.S. Space Operations Command. The group also had the opportunity to attend two days of the 2023 Space Symposium where they attended discussions and lectures focused on space law, global space economy, space exploration, and space science.

Delegates were featured in an article by the U.S. Space Operations Command: read more about the visit here!



Social Media Blogging for Uzbekistan

As the first International Visitor group of the month, visitors from Uzbekistan met with award-winning journalists, reporters, and a slew of editors from the Colorado Springs Business Journal, Colorado Springs Public Radio, and Daily Dose 719. The bloggers further benefited from meeting with mayoral candidates Yemi Moblade and Wayne Williams, who each discussed their views on the impact of the First Amendment, a free press, and social media on the dissemination of information in a democratic society.

Performing Arts and Cultural Centers in the U.S. 

Simultaneously occurring with the Blogging IVP, a group from China focused on how performing arts centers operate effectively as community and education centers, becoming essential aspects of civil society. The IVs met with the directors of the Ent Center for the Arts at UCCS and the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, as well as trustees from the Bee Vradenburg Foundation. This was the first IVLP project that our intern, Aaron Esparsen, saw through from beginning to end, writing the proposal, reaching out and securing meetings, and escorting visitors to those various meetings.

Elections and Civic Engagement: 

This delegation of Polish leaders was in town at the perfect time! Their visit coincided with the runoff election of Wayne Williams and Yemi Mobolande. Delegates had the opportunity to meet with both candidates leading up to the election where Yemi Mobolade made history in Colorado Springs. Along with these exciting meetings, the group also met with the El Paso County Office of the Clerk and Recorder, as well as the local advocacy organization Citizens Project. 

"When I think about our meeting, I realize again how important it is for people from different cultures to talk and work together. It was a true pleasure to meet someone as dedicated as you all, and I am looking forward to applying the insights and lessons gleaned from our discussions in the future." 

- Julia Swiech, IVLP delegate

Foreign Policy Decision-Making:

The last delegation of international visitors for the month of May was a multiregional group engaging with American foreign policy decision-making professionals. Specifically, the group met with Colorado Springs' apt examples of civil-government relations, as well as grassroots efforts within the Pikes Peak region to influence foreign policy. This included meetings with members of the 440th Civil Affairs Battalion and an intimate visit to the U.S. Air Force Academy. The visitors also met with members of the Mayor's Office to discuss the public diplomacy exhibited through the Colorado Springs Sister Cities International program and experienced the grassroots humanitarian international affairs of Compassion International.


21st Century Challenges in the Indo-Pacific Region: 

As a unique topic for our international visitor program, a group of academics and intellectuals from Bangladesh on their first day of the program met with the 440th Civil Affairs Battalion - which primarily operates in the Indo-Pacific theater, as well as Dr. Suisheng Zhao, Professor, and Director of the Center for China-US Cooperation at Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. The next day was just as innovative, with the visitors meeting with the co-founder of the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) and exploring the United States Air Force Academy after a briefing from the Academy's Institute of Future Conflict. The visitors were also in town for Fourth of July celebrations, which they celebrated at the homes of Elliot Cohen and Linda Knapp and Aaron and Jeanette Esparsen.

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Friday, 19 April 2024