2023 IVLP Professional Exchange Programs
2023 Countries in Tampa Bay!
January 28 – February 1
"Countering Foreign Disinformation for Egypt"
Kicking off our 2023 IVLP professional programming year, this group of Egyptian investigative journalists and fact-checkers participated in a full-day workshop at the Poynter Institute. Leading off the workshop was Al Tompkins, Poynter senior faculty for broadcasting and online, with a lively look at the sources of the whys and hows of disinformation, misinformation and propaganda, and a deep dive into the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence on social media, and in newsrooms. After a great interactive lunch outdoors (January in Tampa Bay!), Alanna Dvorak, International Training Manager, International Fact-Checking Network, led the afternoon discussion on fact-checking techniques, and IFCN's global standards for fact-checkers. The following day featured an interactive session with Dr. Casey Frechette, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Journalism and Digital Communication, University of South Florida St. Petersburg, on how social media and new technologies can be employed to amplify messages, disseminate information and connect with a target audience, and introduce and provide exposure to the serious impact of the current threat posed by disinformation and deceptive news.
To close out the professional program, World Partnerships 2012 Egyptian alumnus Mohamed Maher, U.S. Correspondent for Al-Masry Al-Youm Newspaper talked with the group about the challenges of fact-checking and combatting disinformation while working in the US as a foreign correspondent.
March 2 - 7
"Global Public Health Challenges
for the Indo-Pacific and Central Asia"
An Inter-Regional Project
Cambodia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Timor-Leste, Vietnam
Whether communications challenges, or scientists and public health officials battling infectious disease and pandemics, or the scientists finding vaccines and other preventive measures, and the health professionals on the frontlines of the pandemic, this IVLP delegation experienced the full panorama of academic research, medical centers and journalism centers of excellence in Tampa Bay! This IVLP program showcased Tampa Bay's world-class scientists, physicians, health care professionals and administrators and a seasoned journalist who produced a daily column for over two years to help journalists better inform the global public about what was known, what wasn't known, and to sort through the misinformation and disinformation related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
CLICK HERE for the full story!
March 17 - 23
“New & Traditional Media in the Digital Age”
Journalists in this single-country project met with Ms. Yolanda Fernandez, Division Manager, Community Awareness Division, St. Petersburg Police Department (above right, with Mike Deeson) to discuss the rights and responsibilities of a free press in a democracy from her perspective from her career as an investigative journalist and now working on the other side with the Police Department. She was joined by Mr. Mike Deeson, retired Senior Investigative Reporter for WTSP TV (CBS), and founder of Deeson Media, an investigative documentary company. These journalists also engaged in a workshop on disinformation with Al Tompkins, Poynter Institute senior faculty for broadcasting and online (bottom right); a roundtable with Benjamin Kirby, former spokesperson for the City of St. Petersburg, and a presentation and discussion with Dr. Casey Frechette, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Journalism and Digital Communication, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
April 12 - 19
"Countering Violent Crime
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Engagement With At-Risk Communities"
In collaboration with the St. Petersburg Police Department, World Partnerships organized a regionwide security and engagement program for Canadian law enforcement officers. Special thanks to the SPPD, the Tampa Bay Rays, Port Tampa Bay, the US Department of State Diplomatic Security Division, Tampa International Airport Police, the Seminole Tribe of Florida Seminole Police Department and the Security and Surveillance Divisions at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the Sixth Judicial Court, the State Attorney for Florida's Sixth Judicial Circuit, and Mr. Al Tompkins, retired senior faculty of the Poynter Institute for making this IVLP project of great value to your Canadian colleagues.
April 16 - 19
Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists
"New & Traditional Broadcast Media I"
A Multi-Regional Program
Argentina, Azerbaijan, The Bahamas, Barbados, Burundi, France, Ghana, Hungary, India, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Peru, Romania, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Suriname, Uzbekistan
After a three-year pandemic hiatus, this group was welcomed back to John Hopkins Middle School to "Meet the Press"! Nearly 30 middle- and high school "Journeys in Journalism" students interviewed our Murrow journalists about what inspired them to become journalists, what it takes to be a multimedia reporter, and what was there most challenging story. After the group discussion, the Murrows gave individual interviews to the student journalists, and participated in a podcast. Special thanks to Ms. Katlyn Stoneburner and the JHop team for creating a fantastic exchange. As one instructor said, this was "like taking a field trip around the world, but the world came to our classroom!"
During their time in Tampa Bay, the Murrows also met with Al Tompkins, retired senior faculty at the Poynter Institute; Rob Lorei, Managing Editor, "Florida This Week" at WEDU-PBS; and Rob Roa, Editor-in-Chief of Creative Loafing, and award-winning alternative weekly newspaper and website.
Special thanks to Chief Anthony Holloway and the St. Petersburg Police Department for their collaboration as TMSSW Law Enforcement Partner.
US Department of State Special Initiative
“Towards a More Safe and Secure World:
Cooperative Efforts in
Combating Transnational Crime”
Australia, Barbados, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Ecuador, Estonia, Eswatini, Ethiopia, European Union, Fiji, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong S.A.R., Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Macedonia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vietnam
After a four-year hiatus during the pandemic, World Partnerships was honored to again host this US Department of State Special Initiative gathering of 68 IVLP leaders from 56 countries in Africa, Europe, the Indo-Pacific, Central Asia, the Near East and North Africa, and the Western Hemisphere. This three-day series of workshops focused on cooperative efforts in combating transnational crime. In collaboration with the St. Petersburg Police Department, our law enforcement partner for TMSSW, World Partnerships brought together speakers and panelists from law enforcement, the judiciary, research institutes and the United States military from local, state, and Federal institutions. TMSSW is an extraordinary gathering of professionals who combat transnational criminal organizations, terrorism and cyberwarfare every day, helping make our world safer and more secure.
IVLP visitors also enjoyed a Tampa Bay Rays-New York Yankees baseball game and engaged in a volunteer beach clean-up and community cookout at Fort DeSoto Park.
Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists
"21st Century Approaches to Print and Radio"
A Regional Project for the African Continent
Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tunisia
Leading off this quick visit at the close of their three-week program, these Murrows took a deep dive into trends in new media with Dr. Casey Frechette, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Journalism and Digital Communication, University of South Florida St. Petersburg. In Tampa, the group had a lengthy Q&A with Mr. Rob Lorei (top right), Managing Editor, "Florida This Week" at PBS affiliate WEDU-TV. Closing out the program in the afternoon, Al Tompkins (bottom right), retired senior faculty at the Poynter Institute, outlined the challenges of misinformation and disinformation for journalism, and the pros and cons of emerging artificial intelligence tools in a fast-paced news environment. A Sunset Sail into the Gulf of Mexico provided a relaxed opportunity for reflection on their whirlwind visit to Tampa Bay!
June 10 - 14
"Closing the Skills Gap: Indigenous Education and Skills Training"
Education professionals from Canada's First Nations were welcomed to an array of exemplary skills training institutions in the Tampa Bay area, beginning with a visit with Mr. Herbert Jim, Tampa Culture Language Director of the Seminole Tribe of Florida at their Lakeland tribal housing project. Mr. Jim discussed how the Seminole Tribe’s Education Department in Florida works to foster the development of every Seminole child and adult through education, culture, and language.
The group then had a day-long opportunity for dialogue with "hands-on" skills education at the elementary, middle and high school levels, as well as post-secondary and "dual enrollment" programs. Mr. Michael McCullough (top), Curriculum Specialist, Industrial, Technology, Agri-science & Public Service Education, Pinellas County Schools explained how the Richard O. Jacobson Technical High School offers Pinellas County high school students the opportunity to step out of a normal high school day and into block classes which offer a unique, “real world”-style education, including the opportunity for students to earn industry-recognized certification. Our Canadian visitors visited "industrial classrooms" where students learn marine mechanics, veterinary sciences, building construction, and electrician training.
Their next stop was the Gus A. Stravros Institute, where Institute Director Ms. Ms. Patricia Jeremiah-Pittman (second from top) offered a tour and overview of Enterprise Village and Finance Park, the original paradigm for economic education (5th grade) and financial skills training (8th grade), and gave a hands-on rigorous demonstration of how the financial skills curriculum works using real-life individual scenarios to educate 8th graders on budgeting and "life" skills.
Closing out the day, Mr. Mark Hunt, Executive Director, Office of Career, Technical & Adult Education, Pinellas County Schools, and Dr. Jakub Prokop (bottom), Director, Pinellas Technical College - Clearwater Campus discussed PTC's 60 programs that provide postsecondary education focusing on 40 career areas, and to learn about PTC's corporate training programs and apprenticeships in 11 different specialties, as well as continuing education courses and commercial training services. Dr. Prokop conducted a whirlwind tour of the entire PTC campus, including the culinary arts kitchen, welding, electrician training, auto mechanics, plumbing, marine mechanics and cybersecurity.
"Strengthening Law Enforcement Public Relations and Community Outreach"
Armenian law enforcement public affairs officers engaged in dialogue with law enforcement training professionals, law enforcement leaders, and the judiciary and explored what St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway called "systematic reinforcement of positive perspectives of law enforcement."
Mr. Todd Kirchgraber, Director of Training Programs at St. Petersburg College's Center for Public Safety Innovation discussed the CPSI training approach to law enforcement communications best practices. Chief Holloway welcomed the group to SPPD and led a discussion of his approach to community policing and the importance of building real relationships between law enforcement and the community they serve. Ms. Yolanda Fernandez, Division Manager, SPPD Community Awareness Division, spoke of her decades as a journalist and how it has informed her role at SPPD, the use of social media for law enforcement communication, and the importance of systematic communication with the media and the public.
Mr. Bruce Bartlett, State Attorney for Florida’s Sixth Judicial Circuit, discussed his role as a State Attorney, the responsibilities of the Office of the State Attorney, and how his office engages with the media and the local community to foster positive relationships and enhance public understanding. Closing out the program, Rev. Kenny Irby, Director of the SPPD Community Intervention Unit, emphasized the building of "authentic relationships" between the department and the community, and engaging in "dialogue not diatribe". He provided an in-depth look at the many youth outreach programs SPPD has, and led a lively discussion with the Armenian group on volunteerism, service and dealing with the needs of the community.
June 27 – July 1
Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists
"Research and Investigation"
Albania, Azerbaijan, Belize, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Hong Kong S.A.R., Lebanon, Malawi, Malaysia, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea,
Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United Republic of Tanzania, Thailand, Zambia
Neither flight cancellations nor delays could deter this engaged and energetic group of journalists from enjoying their time in Tampa Bay and diving into their professional programs! World Partnerships 2012 Egyptian alumnus Mohamed Maher (top left), U.S. Correspondent for Al-Masry Al-Youm Newspaper got things started with a highly-interactive session on combatting disinformation while working in the US as a foreign correspondent. Mike Deeson (top right), retired senior investigative reporter for WTSP-CBS, led a lengthy discussion on how investigative reporting gives "voice to the voiceless", and the critical role journalists play in today's fast-paced media environment. Al Tompkins (center), retired senior faculty at the Poynter Institute, led the group through the rapidly-evolving challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence and disinformation, and reminding the group to build trust with their audiences by "showing your work."
Before departing for home, the group sailed off into another beautiful Tampa Bay sunset.
"Enhancing Professionalism in Journalism"
For this group of Iraqi journalists, broadcasters and documentary producers, World Partnerships welcomed a new professional resource, Ms. Joy Mayer (top right), Director and Founder of Trusting News, which focuses on empowering journalists to demonstrate the credibility of their work and actively earn trust day to day. Her session focused on basic tenets of journalism ethics, including the challenges brought by digital journalism; why transparency is key to demonstrating ethics and credibility; how journalists can fight misinformation; how the public perceives journalism, and how journalists should respond.
The Iraqi journalists also met with Mr. Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty (retired), Poynter Institute; Ms. Yolanda Fernandez, Division Manager, Community Awareness Division, St. Petersburg Police Department, and Ms. Erica Riggins, Public Information Officer, City of St. Petersburg (middle); Mr. Benjamin Kirby, Principal, BJK Consulting, and former Communications Director for the Mayor of St. Petersburg; Mr. Mohamed Maher (bottom right), Newspaper Correspondent in the U.S. for Egyptian media outlet "ALMASRY ALYOM" (and a WP 2012 alum); and, Mr. Mike Deeson, founder, Deeson Media and retired Senior Investigative Reporter for WTSP TV (CBS).
"Strengthening the U.S.-Japan Alliance Through Base-Hosting Community Leadership Development"
Tampa Bay was the first stop for this Japanese group that included city officials and a journalist covering the topic, and World Partnerships was honored to host the project opening with the Department of State and FHI 360.
Tampa Bay was the ideal place to begin this project, given its longtime role as a host community for MacDill Air Force Base, the home of the 6th Air Refueling Wing of the 18th Air Force, and the headquarters of United States Central Command and United States Special Operations Command. Tampa Bay is also host to one of the United States Coast Guard Service's largest commands, Sector St. Petersburg. The Tampa Bay community surrounding these important military bases is comprised of a growing defense high tech industry, major Veterans Administration hospitals, and hundreds of thousands of military veterans.
Read The Whole Story Here!
July 23-27, 2023
This IVLP group of city planners, architects, and accessibility advocates from Moldova explored numerous aspects of building and managing sustainable cities. Their journey began outside Fort Myers at Babcock Ranch with Ms. Lisa Hall, who spearheaded media and community relations that resulted in the creation of the Babcock Ranch Preserve in Southwest Florida. They toured the neighborhood parks, community gardens, and expansive trails for alternative transportation that provide ways for residents to connect with their neighbors and their environment. Through these sustainability efforts, Babcock Ranch provides residents with a greener way of life, and builds upon the Babcock family’s careful stewardship of the land and surrounding preserve areas.
Back in St. Pete, Assistant Police Chief Mike Kovacsev toured the new St. Petersburg Police Department headquarters, was designed and constructed within Green Globes protocols and certified to 3 out of 4 Green Globes and is a sustainable facility for City operations and management for the life of the buildings. Kovacsev oversaw the sustainability and green design, and construction of the headquarters. St. Petersburg Public Works Administrator Claude Tankersley and Allison Mihalich, City Sustainability & Resilience Officer, held a roundtable discussion on how the city implements its Integrated Sustainability Action Plan (ISAP) with ambitious climate action goals, including a transition to 100% Clean Energy, environmental stewardship, resiliency, accessibility, and racial justice, while growing smart to sustain a thriving economy and quality of life for the residents of St. Pete. Then on to the St. Pete Innovation District, the professional home to thousands of scientists, doctors, educators and entrepreneurs working together to make life better. Executive Director Alison Barlow explained the origins of the district, and took the group on a tour of its high tech, medical, and scientific facilities.
The University of South Florida's internationally-recognized Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) hosted a roundtable discussion focused on The Tampa Bay Smart Cities Alliance, and creating and managing large-scale public-private partnerships for the use of technology in regional planning. The roundtable was led by Mr. Philip L. Winters, Director, TDM Program, Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida, and included presentations by Dr. Sisinnio Concas, Program Director, Autonomous-Connected Mobility Evaluation (ACME), Autonomous-Connected Mobility Evaluation (ACME) and Ms. Sara Hendricks, Senior Research Associate, Transportation Demand Management.
"International Parental Child Abduction"
This distinguished IVLP group featured judges, lawyers, and NGO child advocates, and their Tampa Bay program featured law enforcement, the Federal Judiciary, and lawyers specialized in the field of international parental child abduction. Participants exchanged ideas, case studies and best practices with: Mr. Robert D. Eckard, Esq., The Law Office of Robert Eckard & Associates; The Honorable Mary S. Scriven, United States District Judge, United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida; Chief of Police Anthony Holloway, Chief of Police, St. Petersburg Police Department; Major David Gerardo, Commander, Major Crimes Division, SPPD; ;Det. Henry Snowden, and Det. Nicole Johnson, Special Victims Unit, SPPD; and Mr. Bjorn Brunvand, Partner, Brunvand Wise P.A. Special thanks to Mr. Brunvand for hosting the group for dinner and further discussions in Ybor City.
July 29-August 2
"21st Century Changemakers:
Countering Disinformation Among Older Adults"
A Sub-Regional Project for Europe
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia
Ms. Emily Mann, Associate Librarian at the USFSP Nelson Poynter Memorial Library, introduced the concept of "information literacy" to this group that included journalists, librarians, educators, government communications specialists, and NGO leaders. A new concept to add to what they had heard about misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, information disorder, deceptive content, and outright deception and lies! Thanks to the other great interlocutors who brought their expertise to each of their intense, in-depth discussions: Al Tompkins, Dr. Casey Frechette, Mohamed Maher, and Mike Deeson.
"New and Traditional Broadcast Media"
A Project for the Western Hemisphere
Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela
This seasoned group of reporters from around Latin America closed their IVLP project in Tampa Bay, visited La Gaceta, the only tri-lingual weekly newspaper in the US, and enjoyed a Tampa Bay Rays - St. Louis Cardinals "pennant race" baseball game and a Sunset Cruise into the Gulf of Mexico. Special thanks to our community of experts who met with them: Dr. Casey Frechette, Chair & Associate Professor, Department of Journalism & Digital Communication, University of South Florida; Mr. Rob Lorei, Managing Editor, Florida This Week, WEDU-TV; Mr. Patrick Manteiga, Editor and Publisher, La Gaceta; Mr. Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty (retired), Poynter Institute; Mr. Mike Deeson, founder, Deeson Media and retired Senior Investigative Reporter, WTSP-CBS.
August 12–19, 2022
World Partnerships Alumni Special Project
"Tech Talent 2023"
Al Nayzak STEM Mission
Thirty-three “Tech Talent 2023” award winners, teachers and Al Nayzak team members traveled to Florida for a STEM education mission. The second Tech Talent STEM Mission - with students from the West Bank and Gaza - organized in partnership with World Partnerships, Inc., this delegation had on-site visits to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral), Walt Disney World "Disney Imagination Campus" (Orlando), the University of South Florida Judy Genshaft Honors College, the “USF Connect” Student Incubator, the USF Nault Center for Entrepreneurship (Tampa), Palestinian entrepreneur Husein Atari, the Richard O. Jacobson Technical High School (Seminole), Seminole High School (Seminole), St. Petersburg College’s STEM Lab (Bay Pines), and the St. Petersburg College Innovation Lab (Seminole). Tech Talent 2023 was implemented by Al Nayzak in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Office of Palestinian Affairs in Jerusalem, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and under the auspices of the Higher Council for Innovation and Excellence.
Al Nayzak was founded by a distinguished World Partnerships alumnus (2013), Mr. Aref Husseini, who was named one of the first US Department of State IVLP "Gold Stars" for his tireless work to establish this organization, building STEM Education Centers in Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus, Gaza, and Ramallah-Birzeit.
Experience the Tech Talent 2023 Mission HERE!
"Identifying and Combating Disinformation in the Quad"
An Inter-Regional Project
Australia, India, Japan
Policy officials, think-tank experts and journalists from the Quad nations engaged in in-depth roundtable discussions with Dr. Casey Frechette, Chair & Associate Professor, Department of Journalism & Digital Communication, University of South Florida; Mr. Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty (retired), Poynter Institute; and Mr. Mark Douglas, retired investigative reporter for WFLA-8 (NBC).
"The Benefits of Transparent Fisheries Management in the Western Indian Ocean"
A Sub-Regional Project for Africa
Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles
Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico provided an ideal landing point for these marine scientists, policy officials, and business executives from the South-West Indian Ocean to explore best practices in transparent fisheries management with world-renowned experts, and discover new methodologies for public-private partnerships. Their visit began with a virtual session with Mr. Markus Burgener, Senior Programme Officer, TRAFFIC, an international organization dedicated to monitoring wildlife trade and providing essential information, including trade dynamics, malpractice and policy to wildlife authorities. Burgener led a discussion of the importance of transparency in fisheries trade, and the role this can play in supporting sound fisheries management. His in-depth case studies all came from his work in the Southwestern Indian Ocean. The group then moved to a seaside park in Dunedin, where Dr. Randy Runnels, Manager, Florida’s Aquatic Preserves talked about Florida's 41 Managed Protected Areas and the value they bring to fisheries management, environmental sustainability, and to Florida's tourism industry. Dr. Steve Murawski, Research Professor and St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership Peter R. Betzer Endowed Chair, University of South Florida College of Marine Science gave an in-depth presentation of how Marine Protected Areas can be used by countries to manage and monitor their ocean fisheries, and maximize the economic and environmental benefits. Ms. Alison Barlow, Executive Director, St. Pete Innovation District welcomed the group to the Maritime and Defense Technology Hub, a shared workspace that brings together under one roof the triple helix of innovation: industry, government, and academia. In addition to being introduced to this unique public-private partnership, and discussing the New Blue Economy, visitors also saw some new state-of-the-art underwater technology that could be of value to their work.
The group ended their meetings at Mote Marine Institute in Sarasota. Mr. Kevin Claridge, Mote Vice President for Sponsored Research & Coastal Policy Program provided an overview of Mote's scientific research and community outreach, and introduced three senior research scientists for a roundtable discussion on fisheries conservation: Dr. Demian Chapman, Senior Scientist & Director, Center for Shark Research; Dr. Jake Lasala, Program Manager, Sea Turtle Conservation & Research; and Dr. Ryan Schloesser, Program Manager for Fisheries Ecology & Enhancement.
Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists:
"Media Responsibility in an Age of Disinformation"
A Regional Project for Africa
Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
With only one program day to fill, our visitors made the most of it with great interactive sessions with Mr. Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty (retired), Poynter Institute, and Dr. Casey Frechette, Chair & Associate Professor, Department of Journalism & Digital Communication, University of South Florida.
Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists –
"New and Traditional Broadcast Media II"
Argentina, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kuwait, Lithuania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
This highly interactive group of senior journalists engaged in workshops and discussions with Mr. Rob Lorei, Managing Editor, Florida This Week, WEDU-TV; Mr. Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty (retired), Poynter Institute; Mr. Mike Deeson, founder, Deeson Media and retired Senior Investigative Reporter, WTSP-CBS; and Mr. Mohamed Maher , Newspaper Correspondent in the U.S. for Egyptian media outlet "ALMASRY ALYOM". While here, the group also enjoyed a Gulf of Mexico "Sea Screamer" racing boat cruise and the Florida Aquarium.
"Law Enforcement and Community Policing"
A Project for the Western Hemisphere
Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay
Law enforcement officials from throughout South and Central America engaged in an extensive workshop at the St. Petersburg Police Department. Chief of Police Anthony Holloway discussed best practices in community policing with case studies and current data, and the evolution toward new approaches, including professionalizing communications and outreach, creating community liaison divisions and incorporating NGO and mental health services into policing and training efforts. Rev. Kenneth Irby, SPPD Community Intervention Director, introduced new programs that emphasize relationship-building between law enforcement and the community, including the innovative "Not My Child" program to reduce violent interactions, working with faith leaders, Feeding Tampa Bay, and Men & Women in the Making mentorship programs. Ms. Yvette Flynn, a 21-year veteran of the Tampa Police Department, also discussed TPD's approach to community policing.
After a two-hour ride-along with SPPD Spanish-speaking officers throughout the city's neighborhoods and downtown, the group met with Mr. Robin Gomez, City Manager of Madeira Beach (Florida), to discuss his groundbreaking work earlier in his career to form the Hispanic Leadership Council in Clearwater, bringing together law enforcement, city officials, neighborhood leaders and the Mexican community for providing city services, Spanish language 911 service, and community building.
To end the program, Professor Luz Nagle, Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law conducted a lively and productive Action Planning Workshop. This 3-hour workshop bonded the group together to explore innovative ways to adapt what they had experienced about community policing into their own work and their departments, and a commitment to maintain their new network.
"21st Century Changemakers:
Building Resilience to Disinformation and Foreign Malign Influence"
A Sub-Regional Project for Europe
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia
What is the difference between media literacy and fact-checking? How do you recognize confirmation bias? Why is being a "sense-maker" important in journalism today? How do you fact-check in real-time? What are the challenges and opportunities presented to journalists by rapidly-emerging AI? This group of NGO leaders and journalists engaged in these questions and more over a two-day period with seasoned journalists in the Tampa Bay region, including: Dr. Casey Frechette, Chair & Associate Professor, Department of Journalism & Digital Communication, University of South Florida; Mr. Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty (retired), Poynter Institute; Mr. Mark Douglas, retired investigative reporter for WFLA-8 (NBC); and, Mr. Mike Deeson, founder, Deeson Media and retired Senior Investigative Reporter, WTSP-CBS.
October 28 - November 1
U.S. Department of State Special Initiative
"Hidden No More:"
Empowering Women in STEM
Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Norway, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Uzbekistan
“Hidden No More”, a special IVLP initiative inspired by the work of African-American women scientists at NASA during the Space Age (the subject of the movie "Hidden Figures"), brought women leaders from Antigua, Brazil, Norway, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Uzbekistan to St. Petersburg for interaction with our outstanding STEM teaching resources, including the Salvador Dali Museum, Jacobsen Technical High School, Seminole High School, Lakewood High School, the USF College of Marine Science Oceanography Camp for Girls, the St. Pete Innovation District, St. Petersburg College STEM Center, and the SPC Innovation Lab, where they met with Ms. Nicole Stott, a NASA Space Shuttle astronaut! On October 30, WP partnered with USFSP Student Government for a "community conversation" open to the public to meet and interact with these pioneering women change-makers during the panel discussion and at the reception.
Read the Whole Story Here!
"Global Public Health Challenges"
A Regional Project for Africa
Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Namibia, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia
This IVLP group was comprised of public health officials, medical doctors, and virologists from around the African Continent. Their visit commenced with a series of meetings at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, the only comprehensive pediatric hospital on their US agenda. Dr. George Jallo, Vice Dean and Physician-in-Chief provided an overview of this "high complexity hospital" and its all-encompassing care for children. He was joined by Dr. Fernando Bula, who discussed the hospital's Pediatric Infectious Diseases Program. The group toured specialized units, including Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia division, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the "Biorepository" (tissue-based research), and the state-of-the-art Simulation Lab (top right). Special thanks to all the hospital chiefs who spent time with this IVLP group, and especially to Mr. H. Roy Adams, JHACH public relations specialist, made this visit a valuable piece of their IVLP program.
Next stop was the University of South Florida College of Public Affairs, the largest in the Southeast US. Dr. Tricia Penniecook, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Public Health Practice and Vice Dean for Faculty & Global Affairs (center right), engaged in a lively dialogue about the college's commitment to global research and collaboration (noting a number of researchers currently working in a number of the countries represented in the group), and how it is organized for cross-disciplinary training in all aspects of public health. Ms. Gillian Stressman, Ph.D. offered an overview of her work on malaria epidemiology in many of the represented countries.
The day ended with a workshop by Mr. Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty (retired), Poynter Institute (bottom right), on the challenges to public health officials created by disinformation and misinformation, as well as the risks and opportunities presented by artificial intelligence. He urged the experts in the room to be constant communicators, and to reveal "how you know what you know."
November 8 - 11
"Entrepreneurship and Inclusive Economic Growth"
Leading Canadian Black entrepreneurs came to Tampa Bay to explore equitable and inclusive economic development strategies, and generated lively and intense discussions with the administration of St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch, community leaders and local entrepreneurs.
The program opened with a panel discussion on public initiatives focused on building the policy ecosystem for economic equity, and was hosted by Mayor Welch at the St. Petersburg Police Department. Topics ranged from workforce development, housing, capacity-building, equity technical skills, and supplier diversity initiatives. The discussion also included the process leading to the Historic Gas Plant District re-development project. Panelists included Chief Anthony Holloway, SPPD Chief of Police; Mr. Tom Greene, Assistant City Administrator; Mr. James Corbett, Community Development Administrator; Mr. Brian Caper, Economic and Workforce Development Director; and Ms. Kourey Hendryx-Bell, Supplier Diversity Manager. Lunch was catered by local superstar Heavy's Food Truck!
An afternoon session at the St. Pete Greenhouse, a "one-stop shop" providing local business owners and entrepreneurs with the education, resources and assistance necessary to thrive in the local economy. The Greenhouse is a public/private partnership between the City, the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and private partners. Ms. Tracey Smith, Small Business Liaison and Greenhouse Co-Manager, led a discussion by African-American entrepreneurs who have benefited from Greenhouse service.
Ms. Terri Lipsey Scott, Executive Director, hosted the Canadian entrepreneurs at the Carter G. Woodson African-American Museum for a reception and more informal discussion about the creation of a new Woodson museum as part of the Historic Gas Plant District re-development, making it the only purpose-built African-American museum building in Florida. The museum currently features legacy works by the children of the legendary Florida Highwaymen, African-American landscape painters. Thanks to the St. Petersburg Police Department for their generous sponsorship of the reception. Ms. Scott invited the group back next evening for a panel discussion on Black Philanthropy, part of the Tampa Bay Afro-Futurism Festival, with one of our visitors joining the panel.
The second day of programming brought together a panel of community leaders and entrepreneurs who spoke to the importance of representation, community engagement, and presence to have the "courageous conversations" necessary for equitable economic development. Discussion was led by Dr. Kanika Tomlin, CEO and president of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg; Dr. Cynthia Johnson, Director of Pinellas County Economic Development; Ms. Nikki Gaskin-Capehart, CEO and President of Pinellas County Urban League. Panel discussants included Mr. Pat V. Mack, President and CEO, PVM; Mr. Jonathan D. Graham, President, HORUS Construction; and Ms. Renee Edwards, President, Skin Kandii, LLC. The morning session concluded with a tour of "The Deuces", St. Pete's historic African-American main street, the St. Pete Youth Farm, and areas in the community redevelopment area. Lunch was sponsored by World Partnerships at the House of Vegano, an African-American-owned vegan sushi restaurant.
The visit concluded with a hands-on tour of the Stavros Institute's "Enterprise Village & Finance Park", the national paradigm for youth economic education and financial literacy skills. The in-depth tour was led by Ms. Patricia Jeremiah-Pittman, longtime director of the Institute.
November 15 - 18
"The Hague Convention in the United States"
The Dominican Republic & Honduras
These distinguished Federal judges and child advocates engaged with law enforcement, the Federal Judiciary, and lawyers specialized in the field of international parental child abduction.
Participants exchanged ideas, case studies and best practices with: Assistant Chief Michael Kovacsev, St. Petersburg Police Department; Det. Henry Snowden, and Det. Nicole Johnson, Special Victims Unit, SPPD; The Honorable Mary S. Scriven, United States District Judge, United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida; Mr. Bjorn Brunvand, Partner, Brunvand Wise P.A.; and Mr. Robert D. Eckard, Esq., The Law Office of Robert Eckard & Associates.
World Partnerships also facilitated a Zoom Meeting with the Honorable Scott M. Gordon, (Ret.) hosted by Ms. Danica Kreculj, Director of International Programs, International Citizen Diplomacy of Los Angeles.
November 25 - December 2
“International Anti-Corruption Champions Awards Initiative”
A Special Initiative of the
US Department of State
Bureau of International Narcotics & Law Enforcement
Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs "International Visitor Leadership Program"
Belarus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, India, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Moldova, Montenegro, Panama, Seychelles, Timor-Leste
For second consecutive year, World Partnerships was honored to welcome the "International Anti-Corruption Champions" to the United States prior to receiving their awards from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, DC. Nine IVLP visitors from Belarus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, India, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Montenegro, Panama and Timor-Leste engaged in a series of interactive, substantive workshops led by local, state and Federal law enforcement, the judiciary, and academia, all focused on the anti-corruption theme of the project Individual participants also met one-on-one with peers in local government, the judiciary, civics education, and investigative journalism.
CLICK HERE for the whole experience!
December 5 - 8
"Supporting and Strengthening Local Journalism"
Young journalists asking the tough questions and getting honest answers and advice from this group of seasoned Turkish journalists was a highlight of this IVLP project. At right, the Turkish journalists celebrate in the classroom and the TV studio with students from the Journeys in Journalism program at the John Hopkins Middle School "Center for Journalism and Multimedia".
The program included an in-depth AI workshop by Mr. Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty (retired), Poynter Institute ("Seeing is no longer believing!"); case studies in investigative reporting by Mr. Mike Deeson, founder, Deeson Media and retired Senior Investigative Reporter, WTSP-CBS; a dialogue with Mr. Patrick Manteiga, Editor & Publisher of La Gaceta (the nation's only tri-lingual newspaper); and current research on social media and AI relevant to journalists with Dr. Casey Frechette, Chair & Associate Professor, Department of Journalism & Digital Communication, University of South Florida.
December 10 - 13
"Community Strategies for Identifying and Combating Disinformation"
Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Zimbabwe
Closing out the World Partnerships program year, this IVLP group had a series of in-depth workshops and roundtable discussions on the topic of disinformation, investigative techniques, and artificial intelligence with: Mr. Benjamin Kirby, Director of Communications & Community Engagement at HCA Florida St. Petersburg Hospital (and former Communications Director for the Mayor of St. Petersburg); Mr. Justin Garcia, State and Local Accountability Reporter for the Tampa Bay Times (top left); Mr. Al Tompkins, Retired Senior Faculty, Poynter Institute; and Dr. Casey Frechette, Chair & Associate Professor, Department of Journalism & Digital Communication, University of South Florida.
We even timed a city tour so the group would be backlit by one of our famous St. Pete sunsets!