Globalization is especially felt and promoted in Michigan through a very specific organization: The International Visitors Council of Detroit.
From the Annual Meeting of its Membership, to its visitors from Australia, its Belarus Community Connections, and more, the IVC has had a very busy summer full of international delegations and events that celebrate diversity in our state.
July is seeing the presence in Detroit of several multi-regional performers, artists, music students, and professors from numerous countries, including the Power of Music Concert on Wednesday, July 17th at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn.
The Power of Music Concert included delegates from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Armenia, Sudan, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, Oman, and Palestine, and was sponsored by DTE Energy. Live musical performances were featured by delegates from a multi-regional delegation. This was an opportunity to network with visitors from other countries while enjoying complimentary refreshments in the beautiful Arab American National Museum.
The importance of IVC Detroit has grown over time, and its International Visitor Leadership Program has enjoyed important visitors to Michigan that have included over 1,500 cabinet ministers, and over 200 current and former heads of state, such as Mexico’s former President Felipe Calderon, Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai, and the UK’s Tony Blair and Lady Margaret Thatcher.
Established in 1972 as a non-profit organization, IVC Detroit is supported by the U.S. Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to promote and organize international events in the US. One of these events is Open World, an exchange and partnership program created in 1999 that aims to build US-Eurasian cooperation.
As a member of the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV) in Washington, DC, Michigan’s IVC brings every year hundreds of international visitors to Detroit to present, speak, and interact with the local population. IVC also helps foreign delegations enjoy their stay in Michigan by organizing tours, sightseeing trips, and providing translators and interpreters to ensure all communications go smoothly during their visit.
IVC not only focuses on culture, politics, and the arts. This summer, various groups of NGO leaders, foreign government officials, prosecutors, law enforcement agents from Ukraine, Iraq, and other countries around the world visited Michigan to discuss and look at methods to combat the global epidemic of human trafficking, considered today a modern slave trade.
According to the Human Trafficking Search website, human trafficking affects 27 million people (men, women, and children who are presently held captive around the world), and violates labor, public health, and human rights globally.
IVC is taking action and doing its share to stop this shameful practice by organizing and hosting meetings with executives and intellectuals from other countries to discuss options to effectively control this social epidemic.