Connecting Youth, Exploring Democracy


Global Nomads Group (GNG) and the U.S. Consulate General, Chennai, present Connecting Youth, Exploring Democracy (CYED), a virtual exchange and dialogue program connecting South Indian and American high school students for a series of structured virtual town hall-style discussions, exploring topics related to diversity, democracy, and prominent social issues. This program will be designed to equip youth with the critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration skills to discover, participate, and promote vibrant democracies across India and the US.

  • The virtual town hall will last 75 minutes with a 30-minute dial-in period (105 minutes total).   The virtual exchange will take place on a shared weekday. Exact date/time to be coordinated with implementation partner.
  • One hour of post-virtual town hall reflection activity, to be implemented by educators

Project Objectives: The overarching objective of the Connecting Youth, Exploring Democracy virtual

exchange is to create a network of youth across India and the US, who, together, have the skills

and knowledge to promote and participate in their vibrant national democracies. This objective

has the following competency targets:

  1. Youth will gain a greater understanding of topics related to democratic ideals;
  2. Youth will gain the necessary 21st century competencies12 to articulate and engage with the

               local/national democratic process;

  1. Youth will acquire cross-cultural knowledge and skills;

Virtual Town Hall Topics: During the Connecting Youth, Exploring Democracy program, students will learn about one or both of two topics: Freedom of Speech and Gender Inequality in Democracy.  

  1. Freedom of Speech has been an important topic in both India and the US for decades, due to the ongoing amendments of constitutional articles on self-expression in India since 1950s and in the United States of American since 1920s. With the technology-enabled forms of expression, it becomes critical for today’s youth to grasp a better understanding of freedom of speech and self-expression as a guaranteed human right, and therefore their responsibility towards developing an understanding of their responsibility towards society and the validity of their voice for positive social change.
  2. Gender Inequality is a global issue. Women are continuously underrepresented in social and political institutions. In the United States, as recently as 2014, women made up only 20% of elected officials in Congress (Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2016.) In the most recent Indian elections, only 632 women ran for office, compared to 7,527 men. (IPS article, 2016.)