It’s been a busy month of fellowship programs!
This month we have been lucky enough to host four fellowship programs, The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Professional Fellows Program, U.S. Department of State Professional Exchange Program entitled “E Pluribus Unum” (or “Out of Many, One”), Professional Fellows Program Eurasia, and Professional Fellows Program for Middle East and North Africa.
Through these four programs (and other International Visitors Leadership Programs, along with the inaugural Global Youth Collaborative session taking place this month), international visitors have met with dozens of SDDC members, professional resources, and community advocates, and built on their U.S. experience by participating in networking events, volunteering opportunities, cultural explorations, and so much more. We were so grateful to spend an evening at our recent Global Social Hour, hosted in partnership with Academy of Our Lady of Peace (OLP), to gather as a community and celebrate our international visitors.
In partnership with the Academy of Our Lady of Peace (OLP), the San Diego Diplomacy Council debuted all of our groups at our Global Harvest: Global Social Hour event. During this event, SDDC Members, fellowship participants and the OLP community spent the evening exchanging stories of international experiences and exploring multiculturalism, diversity, identity, and unity through unique lenses, via presentations curated by our visitors. We would like to thank Ms. Echaib, Ms. Nikki, for taking the opportunity to present our group’s background and vision for their time in San Diego to our event attendees.
Read on to find out more about what the groups have been doing in San Diego.
In late September to early October, we hosted two fellows from The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Professional Fellows Program, Chareya Long from Cambodia and Nikki Phinyapincha from Thailand in partnership with American Councils for International Education.
Chareya, was placed with a great partner of ours, La Jolla Country Day School’s, Lower School. Where she learned about their management with early education services, as well as assisting in the classroom teaching cultural differences in Cambodia. They wrote an article about the cross-cultural experience she brought to the school here.
Our second fellow Nikki Phinyapincha was partnered with another great partner of ours San Diego Pride. Nikki learned about DEI
initiatives in the corporate space, especially focusing on gender equality and trans-inclusive policies. She was also able to attend plenty of events, including The Aids Walk and Run San Diego, where she attended on behalf of SD Pride to help the LGBTQ+ community to get involved in the voting process.
E Pluribus Unum
In early October we were welcomed 11 emerging leaders from the U.K. – specifically Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – who were in San Diego as part of a U.S. Department of State Professional Exchange Program entitled “E Pluribus Unum” (or “Out of Many, One”) exploring concepts of multiculturalism, diversity, identity, and unity. During their time in San Diego, they were able to receive a tour of Chicano Park with the Chicano Park Steering Committee to explore the history of the park, the struggles the community of Logan Heights face such as environmental racism, and how they come together as a community with a mutual identity to raise awareness on a government level. Through this tour the group was able to explore the brand-new Chicano Park Museum, and even view the art archive room, normally closed to the public!
Volunteering, Home Hospitality, and Professional Enrichment
While their time in San Diego is coming to a close, we are grateful that our fellows are leaving a lasting impact on our San Diego community as we briefly welcomed them into it. Our San Diego Diplomacy Council Program Associate Julia Masias joined fellow Nawal and PFP Eurasia Fellows Damla Uzun, Natia Gamkhitashvili and Ani Maloyan for a Saturday morning of volunteering in Ocean Beach with Second Chance – Bread of Life: Congregate Meal Services. Throughout the morning, Mr. Glyn Franks educated us on volunteer services that Second Chance – Bread of Life: Congregate Meal Services holds in San Diego all while simultaneously leading our group in serving breakfast, take-home meals, and distributing clothes to San Diego residents and communities in need. Thank you, Glyn, Second Chance – Bread of Life: Congregate Meal Services volunteer staff, and all of our San Diego community for welcoming us to participate in this impactful event!
Wrapping up their month-long fellowship, Nawal, Fatima, and Samira have begun their week-long homestay with some of our San Diego Diplomacy Members. Thank you, home hosts, for your hospitality, generosity and patience. San Diego Diplomacy Council recognizes and honors your dedicated support of our indispensable cultural exchange experiences.
This Friday, our fellowship group will participate in a day of insightful professional development workshopping at San Diego State University, which includes a Professional Leadership Workshop with Chelsea Lombroso (Winer), Assistant Director of Leadership & Service at the Glazer Center for Leadership & Service, a campus tour, and lunch at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.
With thanks to our wonderful partners at American Councils for International Education, we have been blessed with four incredible fellows visiting this month through the Professional Fellows Program Eurasia. Community leaders and subject matter experts in their own right, we are grateful to the host organizations who have welcomed our visitors into their workplaces for the month of October.
Ani Maloyan is the Senior Specialist in the Department of Development Programs, Tourism and Analysis at Lori Regional Administration in Vanadzor, Armenia. Interested in government accountability, entrepreneurship and innovation, and the American context of local governments, Ani has completed her fellowship with the City of San Diego’s Economic Development Department.
Natia Gamkhitashvili is working with the Southern California Immigration Project to learn about anti-discrimination, accountability, and advocacy practices in the U.S.. Natia calls Tblisi, Georgia home, where she works as a human rights lawyer with Sapari Women’s Rights Organization.
Eugenia Mazurenko left her family and young daughter in Ukraine to take part in the PFP fellowship program and learn more about how U.S. philanthropy networks operate, and how foundations organize giving and development. At home in Kyiv, Eugenia is CEO of Zagoriy Foundation. In San Diego, Eugenia has been working with Women’s Empowerment International where she was guest speaker at an event on “Women Leading Through Crisis”.
Damla Uzun from Ankara, Turkey, is an International Relations and Fundraising Officer with Kaos GL Association, Turkey’s oldest LGBTQ+ rights association in the nation. To learn more about LGBTQ+ rights, gender diversity, women’s empowerment and NGO management, Damla is completing her fellowship with San Diego Pride.
The PFP Eurasia fellows have been making the most of their time in San Diego, becoming integral contributors to their host organizations, attending SDDC community events, organizing professional introductions of their own, volunteering with local nonprofit organizations, and exploring the diverse communities on offer in San Diego.
The end of a fellowship, but the beginning of a life-long friendship
The last of our October fellowships will come to a close this weekend, as our gracious Fellows depart to Washington, D.C. for the official program closing. Thank you to each of our worksite partners, community collaborators, and homestay hosts who have made everyone’s fellowship experience effective and impactful to our newfound family, now a permanent fixture in our San Diego community regardless of their distance.
Interested in getting involved with future fellowship programs? Email Program Director Jessica Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.