GREAT LAKES CONSORTIUMfor International Training andDevelopment (GLC) —
GLC is acollaborative effort of the BowlingGreen State University, LourdesUniversity, The University of Toledo, and WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc - Contract Agent and Manager. Establishedin 1999.
Dr. Elizabeth Balint
Barbara Dennis, Viktoriya Maryamova
GLC Toledo Office
P.O. Box 352424Toledo, OH 43635Phone: 419-725-0440Cell: 419-973-8007Email:
Website:www.GLC-Teachdemocracy.orgwww.gl-consortium.orgFind us on
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of the Educational andCultural Affairs, Office of Citizen Exchanges, Professional Fellows Division
The Great Lakes Consortium
– throughWSOS Community Action Commission,Inc. – as Contract Agent and Manager – received a grant for a two-way exchangebetween September 2011 and May 2013from the U.S. Department of State forthe “Citizen Legislative Advocacy inMinority Communities”.
The overall goal of this exchange
is toprovide a professional developmentopportunity for up-and-coming and mid-level professionals to gain knowledge of U.S. practices in engaging citizens andcommunity leaders in collaboration toinform changes in legislation that makea difference in minority communities(including Roma, disabled, homeless,immigrant populations) and strengthendemocracy.
In 2012 two delegations with a total of 16 fellows in each from Bulgaria, Hun- gary, Romania and Slovakia
visited theU.S. from March 26 – May 5, 2012 andfrom October 1-November 10, 2012.They were exposed to diverse commu-nity organizing methods how to engagecitizens as active participants in solvingproblems in their own communities.European fellows participated in theU.S. in group seminars, round-tablediscussions, site visits, and hadinteractions community organizers andleaders.
A 3-week internship
withmentoring, multicultural events, andparticipation in volunteer activities aswell as in the Professional FellowsCongress in Washington, D.C. were alsoincluded in the 6-week professionalfellows program. Participants didprepare a 6-9 month individual andgroup Action Plan for follow onactivities. They had opportunities toexperience the American family life andthe diversity in the U.S. through stayingwith American host families duringtheir internship in many states andcommunities across the U.S. Theygained hands-on experience at bothpublic and civil society institutions inthe U.S. and a deeper understanding of U.S. society, culture and people.
The first delegation of nine U.S. Mentorstraveled
for a reciprocal visit to Europebetween July 8-29, 2012, the 2nd U.S.Mentors group travelled to Europe fromNovember 24-December 15, 2012.
Athird U.S. Mentor group with 8 partici- pants will travel to Europe
from January25-February 15, 2013. The U.S.participants of this exchange will havean opportunity to share professionalexpertise and gain a deeper under-standing of the societies, cultures andpeople of other countries. They willparticipate in workshops, seminarsorganized by the alumni of this programand contribute with presentations,discussions and mentoring. They willalso visit public and civil societyorganizations working with the alumniin implementing projects in minoritycommunities and provide them on-siteconsultations. We hope that communityorganizing will start and will havesuccess stories in many communities in2013.This citizen civic exchange will promotemutual understanding, create long-termprofessional ties, enhance the collabo-ration between GLC and its overseaspartners: CEGA in Bulgaria, Civil Col-lege Foundation in Hungary, CeRe inRomania and Center for CommunityOrganizing in Slovakia as well as manyU.S. and European partner organiza-tions. Thank you very much for yourassistance and support!
“Citizen Legislative Advocacy in Minority Communities”U.S. Mentors Delegation Visit in EuropeJanuary 25 — February 15, 2013