By Jennifer Clinton, Ph.D.
ExchangeMatters, March/April 2014
The ongoing turmoil in Ukraine has led to growing polarization between the West and Russia. While the governments of the countries involved grapple with how to respond, it is important that we remember who has the most to gain and lose in this struggle: the Ukrainian citizens. Poor economic policy, corruption, 18 months of deep recession, and a turn away from further integration with the European Union all contributed to economic instability. This instability was the impetus for citizens to take the streets to demand a better future. Their goals are not unique. Like us, they strive for peace, prosperity, and individual rights that are supported by the rule of law.
The situation in Ukraine, like many recent uprisings around the world, exemplifies a simple fact: regimes can no longer ignore the will of their people. And for that reason, it is important for the United States government and its people to engage with the people of Ukraine in significant ways.
Welcome to ExchangeMatters, the new name of the Global Ties U.S. newsletter! Thanks to all of you who submitted suggestions for the new name to match the new look. The new name reflects the purpose of the newsletter: to inform, educate, and inspire you to find ways to strengthen our network, amplify our collective impact, and build a more peaceful, prosperous world through international exchange. In ExchangeMatters, you will find news, tools, and highlights from the Global Ties network, our partners at the U.S. Department of State, and the wider nonprofit and international exchange community.
In this issue:
North Texas Council for International Visitors (NTCIV)
During this year's Global Ties U.S. National Meeting, NTCIV teamed up with a group of community-based members in Texas to visit their elected representatives on Capitol Hill. Their leadership in cultivating relationships with their elected representatives is an example of how critical it is to speak up for international exchange programs.