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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 24, 2008


Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Goli Ameri, in conjunction with the Adobe Foundation, will launch an online video contest to amplify U.S. public diplomacy using web-based outreach campaigns and social media platforms on Monday, December 1, at 3:00 p.m. at a National Press Club Newsmaker (529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC - Zenger Room).

The "My Culture + Your Culture = ? Share Your Story" video contest is part of a Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) initiative to encourage cross-cultural community building and mutual understanding via the web and social media platforms. The contest also highlights the newly designed website, exchanges.state.gov, which is a portal to ECA’s Facebook page and its ExchangesConnect social network (connect.state.gov).

The Department of State and contest co-sponsor, the Adobe Foundation, invite members of the ExchangesConnect online community to submit a short video (up to 3 minutes) on the contest’s theme. Video submissions will be accepted December 1, 2008 to January 26, 2009. The ExchangesConnect community will vote on video entries and an expert panel of judges, all ECA exchange alumni, will rank the "top 40" videos. Two foreign and two American winners will be selected by ECA. International winners will be eligible for a two-week all-expenses paid exchange trip to the United States; the American winners will receive the same to an overseas destination.

The expert panel of contest judges includes:

  • Toni Blackman - Musician, Performer and Writer (U.S. Cultural Envoy and The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad alumna);
  • Fran Drescher - Actress; Founder, Cancer Schmancer Movement (American Public Diplomacy Envoy);
  • Milton Glaser - Graphic Artist (Fulbright Program alumnus);
  • Raafat Khalid - President, Cultural Civic Education Organization, Egypt(International Visitor Leadership Program alumnus);
  • Bob Shaye - President and Co-Founder, New Line Cinema (Fulbright Program alumnus); and
  • Bob Simon - CBS News Correspondent (Fulbright Program alumnus).

The "My Culture + Your Culture = ? Share Your Story" video contest is co-sponsored by the Adobe Youth Voices initiative of the Adobe Foundation, a private foundation created and funded by global technology company Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Media Contact: Catherine Stearns, 202-203-5107 or StearnsCL@state.gov.

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