AICGS is pleased to present two essays from the inaugural round of the AICGS New Transatlantic Exchange Program: Giving Voice to Diversity. This innovative program establishes new connections between communities in Germany and the United States that have grown principally from an immigration background, and addresses common challenges of immigration and integration, such as discrimination, employment, political and societal leadership, education, and international engagement. The purpose of the Program is two-fold: 1) to deepen public understanding of the issues and concerns of the largest populations in Germany and the United States that have an immigration background; and (2) to build and sustain a network of young leaders committed to transatlantic relations.
Project participants included a core group of young leaders (ten from Germany and ten from the United States) for engagement in intensive discussions during seminars and site visits in Washington, DC (October 2015) and Berlin (May 2016), and a broader community of experts and advocates focused on issues of immigration, integration, and cross-cultural understanding. The authors of the two essays, Alex Alvarado and Canan-Cansu Selte, were part of the inaugural program. Their essays reflect the personal impact of the program, details of program activities, and the richness of the program’s networking experience.