American Voices: A Civic Dialogue
Advocate Tanbir ul Islam Siddiqui
Asking an American Diplomat questions on U.S. life and culture, government system, politics, foreign policy or even Iraq and Afghanistan war is not be an easy task for the students of Bangladesh. But that opportunity has been created for the students of different educational institutions in Dhaka through an interactive programme titled 'American Voices: A Civic Dialogoue'. The dialogue series is run by Change Makers, a civic education and human rights organisation supported by the American Center, U.S. Embassy, Dhaka.
The goal of the programme is to broaden the knowledge of Bangladeshi students aged 13-18 years regarding citizen's rights and duties and the institutions created to protect them. This is done by sharing the American models and raising awareness about the need for strong institutions to foster democracy. All the participants were provided adequate materials related to civic education that focuses on democracy and governance both in Bangladesh and internationally to distribute among students to generate discussions. A total of 2,500 high school and madrasa students will be reached under this programme.
The speakers included Ms. Heather Variava, First Secretary for Economic and Political Affairs, Ms. Catherine A. Hallock, Cultural Affairs Officer, and Mr. Garrett E. Wilkerson the new Cultural Affairs Officer of the American Center, U.S. Embassy, Dhaka. Programme development advisor of the American Center Ms. Sabreen Rahman and President of Change Makers Advocate Tanbir Siddiqui moderated the programme.