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In late April, ACYPL was pleased to welcome 6 delegates from the Russian Federation. The delegates represented two of Russia’s largest political parties – United Russia and A Just Russia – and were geographically diverse. The Russian exchange, following our decades old Soviet exchanges, is one of ACYPL’s most important exchanges. For the fourth year, ACYPL was pleased to work with the Youth Public Chamber in making the exchange a success.
During their time in Washington, DC, the delegation was able to meet with a variety of organizations, individuals, and private firms. Some of the more enlightening meetings for the delegation were with the Democratic Governors Association, where they discussed campaign financing, and the International Center for Journalism for a discussion focused on press freedom. Another interesting topic for the delegation was governmental affairs operations at large multi-national corporations. In addition, the delegation had time to meet with the State Department and the Embassy of the Russian Federation.
Following the time spent in Washington, DC, the delegation then headed to Baltimore, Maryland for a brief visit that included a variety of interesting meetings. The delegation met with Healthcare for the Homeless, a non-profit that focuses on health treatments for underprivileged individuals. Additionally, the delegates were able to meet with the Baltimore Police Department to discuss policing in the wake of the Freddie Gray tragedy, as well as US Wind, a company that is attempting to build offshore wind farms along the Maryland and Delaware coasts.
After their two days in Baltimore, the delegation headed to Gulfport and Jackson, Mississippi. Some of the Mississippi meeting highlights included a meeting with the Port of Gulfport, a tour of North America’s largest Nissan manufacturing center, and the University of Mississippi Medical Center to discuss the complexities of the U.S. healthcare system. Additionally, the delegates had plenty of time to discuss local politics with several Mississippi local and state legislators.
Despite such a busy schedule, the delegates had plenty of time to experience American culture. The delegation went kayaking through the DeSoto National Forest in the heart of Mississippi; took in a Biloxi Shuckers baseball game; and enjoyed a traditional Maryland crab feast on the Chesapeake Bay hosted by ACYPL alumni. It was another very successful ACYPL Russian Federation exchange, and we look forward to continuing one of our oldest and most important partnerships.