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Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia took participation at OPEN WORLD Leadership Program

February, 2012


Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, with five other non-governmental organizations from Serbia - YUCOM Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights, BeFem, Youth Initiative for Human Rights and Gay-Straight Alliance - took participation at OPEN WORLD Program, organized by Open World Leadership Center - service of Library of Congress, American Councils in Washington and Belgrade, Embassy of the United States in Serbia, with financial support of United States Congress.

Program participants are leading individuals very active in various fields of work. Specificity of Open World Program is reflected primarily in the scope and breadth of geographical coverage of participants, as well as in orientation for young political and public figures. Also, the very important thing is that implementation of the program take place in local communities, which gives delegates the possibility of direct participation in the life of American citizens in local communities.

The primary mission for the visitors is to share, learn and explore sustainable solutions for civil and human rights organizations in their own country as well as how people in the United States deal with civil and human rights issues. The delegation has been attending various professional appointments that have been arranged by Akron International Friendship to meet with Akron area civic leaders, university resources and government officials. They will discuss the roles that government, educational and civic organizations, as well as the role that youth can play, in promoting mutual understanding between people or groups that are marginalized or facing rights violations.

Before the delegation's arrival in Akron, delegate of Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia Jelena Dzombic together with delegates from other organizations met U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Doug Babcock, his legislative aid for international affairs in Washington, D.C.

In Akron, some of the scheduled appointments included a workshop on NGO Management with Elaine Woloshyn, NGO consultant and professor; a meeting with John Grafton, of the Gay Community Endowment Fund, to discuss its work in promoting tolerance and equality in the community; meetings with Lee Gill, of The University of Akron's (UA) Office of Inclusion and Equity; Rosa Githora, of the Women's Resource Center; and Martin Belsky, dean of UA's School of Law, who is presenting on the Anti-Defamation League of Ohio/Kentucky/Allegheny Region.

The visitors also paid a visit to the Akron Mayor's office for meetings with Akron Peace Makers to discuss youth, diversity and empowerment. Rounding out its stay in Akron, the delegation will visit Lawndale Elementary School for a discussion on cyber-bullying and Archbishop Hoban High School for a presentation on the peace and justice work that students have done there.












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