Exchange DetailBACK TO MAP
In November, ACYPL welcomed a six-member delegation from China for a twelve-day exchange. Over the course of the program, the group visited Washington, DC, Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama, and Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado. The delegation was professionally diverse and included a Secretary-General of the All-China Youth Federation (ACYF), the President of the Hubei Provincial Youth Federation, an Editor for China’s largest state-run news agency, Xinhua and the Deputy Division Director of the Department of Basic Education.
Programming in Washington, DC focused on education policy, as well as the Virginia gubernatorial election that took place while the delegation was in Washington. Among the notable meetings in DC, was a discussion with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos about education policy, specifically as it relates to underserved communities and persons with disabilities. The delegation also observed a polling station in Virginia and met with the Democratic Governors Association to discuss the previous night’s election results.
In Alabama, Hoover City Councilman John Lyda organized a series of meetings to familiarize the delegation with state government and Birmingham’s role in the Civil Rights Movement. In Montgomery, the group met with the Secretary of State of Alabama, John Merrill to discuss state governance and Supreme Court Justice Kelli Wise to learn about the Alabama judicial system. In Birmingham, several civil rights leaders and city councilmen led the delegation on a civil rights tour of the historic Kelly Ingram Park.
The group then traveled to Colorado Springs where the focus was primarily on local and county governance. The delegation learned about the role of the city council in the “Strong Mayor” form of city government from City Council President Richard Skorman and was welcomed by the Chairman and CEO of the El Pomar Foundation William J. Hybl with a breakfast a reception at El Pomar’s beautiful Penrose House. In Denver, Mayor Michael B. Hancock spoke to the group about the city of Denver, and its strategies for tackling new challenges, such as affordable housing and achieving an accessible public transportation system in the midst of booming population growth.
Although the delegation had a very busy schedule, they still had plenty of cultural experiences. In DC the delegation toured the National Monuments, In Alabama, they attended a Sunday church service at the historic 16th Street Church, a Veteran’s Day Parade in downtown Birmingham and a high school football playoff game. In Colorado, the Athletic Director for the Olympic Training Center gave the group a private tour of the facility and on their last night in the US, they were able to relax and enjoy a professional basketball game between the Denver Nuggets and the New Orleans Pelicans.
As one of ACYPL’s longest standing and strongest international partnerships, we look forward to continuing our bilateral exchange programs with the All-China Youth Federation.