People to People International was recognized by the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational & Culture Affairs at the 2016 Annual Alliance Conference
October 19, Washington DC: The Alliance for International Exchange held the 2016 Annual Conference in Washington DC to discuss the impact of cultural and educational exchanges across the globe. With over 90 non-government organizations in their network, the Alliance serves as the sole voice of the international exchange community and continually promotes the growth of exchange programs through member engagement, development opportunities, and public awareness.
At the Alliance event, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Evan Ryan, spoke about the importance of these international exchange programs. Within her speech, she highlighted the work of People to People International over the past 60 years, as well its relevancy to global affairs:
“As I look back at the evolution of international exchanges, I think it is useful to note that this year is the 60th anniversary of a seminal event in the history of exchanges–President Eisenhower’s 1956 People-to-People gathering.
It brought together a remarkable variety of talent, ranging from William Faulkner–described in the official attendance list simply as ‘Author, Oxford, Mississippi’–to labor leader George Meany and from conductor Eugene Ormandy to CBS President Frank Stanton. This event was pivotal in the history of many organizations, including People-to-People International, Sister Cities International, and the Business Council for International Understanding.
I think it is worth noting, and it will not surprise anyone here, that this group—while distinguished—was also almost predominately white and male. This is an area where important strides have been made and where there remains work to do.
President Eisenhower defined the purpose of the 1956 gathering as ‘the most worthwhile purpose there is in the world today: to help build the road to an enduring peace.’ I don’t believe anyone here would disagree with that.
‘How do we dispel ignorance?’ Eisenhower asked, ‘How do we strengthen friendships? How do we learn of others?’
I like to think we here can say that we have done our part to advance the cause of peace and understanding in the world.”