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GLOBAL NOMADS GROUP TO RECEIVE GRANT FROM THE ASPEN INSTITUTE STEVENS INITIATIVE TO EXPAND VIRTUAL EXCHANGE BETWEEN YOUTH IN MIDDLE EAST AND UNITED STATES.

MONDAY, APRIL 4, 2016-- The Aspen Institute Stevens Initiative today announced the award of a two-year grant to Global Nomads Group (GNG), one of ten new projects funded through a national competition to use virtual exchange to increase cross-cultural understanding and equip young people to participate in a global economy.

Global Nomads Group is among the first wave of virtual exchange programs to be funded by the Stevens Initiative, a public-private partnership designed to increase people-to-people exchange between youth in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa as a lasting tribute to the legacy of Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Virtual exchanges use technology for sustained, people-to-people education programs. The Stevens Initiative aims to increase mutual understanding between youth in middle school through post-secondary and equip a generation of globally minded youth with the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world.

The announcement marks the first major step in the Stevens Initiative’s plan to scale up people-to-people exchanges between youth in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa. The Initiative provided $5 million to support online programs that will bring more than 20,000 young people together to engage in cross-cultural learning experiences. The programs reach 17 countries in the Middle East and North Africa and 25 American states.

Global Nomads Group will use Stevens Initiative funding to expand its Campfire program, which connects connects youth across the US and Muslim-majority countries to foster respectful dialogue and understanding. By encouraging students to break down stereotypes, promote peacebuilding, and express their views, the virtual program will provide thousands of young people with a meaningful cross-cultural exchange, and will work to counter violent extremism by inspiring students to be compassionate and engaged global citizens.

“Our vision is to spark conversations between young people in countries around the world—to exchange ideas and information and to work together on addressing important issues. We look forward to working with Global Nomads Group to achieve this vision” said Elliot Gerson, Executive Vice President of the Aspen Institute.

The first Stevens Initiative award competition was open to U.S. non-profit organizations. In addition to holding future rounds of the award competition, the Initiative will share best practices and support research to address which methods have a measurable impact and have the potential to reach all young people as the field grows.

“The support of the Steven's Initiative will mean exponential growth in the reach and impact of our work” said GNG’s Executive Director, Chris Plutte. “We are leveraging technology to connect youth in meaningful, respectful exchanges across cultural and national boundaries, and the deep investment of the Steven's Initiative signifies a great recognition and boost to the emerging field of virtual exchange.”

About Global Nomads Group:

Global Nomads Group (GNG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with offices in New York City and Amman, Jordan. We leverage technology to connect youth from around the world to promote empathy, awareness, and the skills required to navigate the most complex issues of our time. Since its founding in 1998, GNG has offered programs in 54 countries, on all seven continents, and reached more than one million young people.

About the Stevens Initiative:

The Stevens Initiative is a public-private partnership designed to increase people-to-people exchange between youth in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa as a lasting tribute to the legacy of Ambassador Chris Stevens. By fostering structured online engagements between young people in secondary through post-secondary education, the Stevens Initiative aims to increase mutual understanding and equip a generation of globally minded youth with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.

Housed at the Aspen Institute, the Stevens Institute is a collaboration between the family of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. Department of State, the Bezos Family Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the governments of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Algeria, and Morocco, and Microsoft, Mozilla, Twitter, and GoPro.  Visit us at www.stevensinitiative.org.