On Friday, October 9, more than 400 public, private, and civil society leaders and representatives from various diaspora organizations throughout the United States gathered at the State Department for the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance’s (IdEA) 2015 Global Diaspora Week kick off.

Launched in 2011 by the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships (S/GP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Calvert Foundation, Global Diaspora Week aims to harness the resources of diaspora communities to promote sustainable development and diplomacy in their countries of heritage, supporting initiatives in areas like investment and entrepreneurship, philanthropy and volunteerism, and innovation.

In addition to representing the Turkish diaspora as the only Turkish organization, Turkish Heritage Organization (THO) was selected by IdEA to participate as an exhibitor in the Partnerships Marketplace during the 2015 Global Diaspora Week Launch Event. THO staff informed organizers and the participants about its activities and discussed ways to collaborate to create awareness on issues that are mutually important for diaspora communities. 

In his remarks, Secretary of State John Kerry, emphasized the unique demographic profile of the country and how “Partnering for Global Impact”, which is the theme for this year’s launch, could create more agile foreign policy.  “Our diversity is a strength, not a weakness. The United States has the largest number of diaspora members of any country; more than 60 million Americans are first or second-generation immigrants. This era requires much more nimble institutions, more agile foreign policy. And part of that agility comes from engaging diaspora communities” said Kerry.

Secretary also indicated that the United States gets its strength from partnerships that are built through cultural ambassadors and diaspora communities. “Immigrants built America. And immigrants continue to make America what it is today. And this event, this celebration of diaspora communities and of our diversity is a beautiful and meaningful reflection of that truth” said Kerry.

Global Diaspora Week will run from October 11 – 17 and feature over 90 events organized throughout the United States and around the world by diaspora focused organizations and individuals.

For a full list of registered Global Diaspora Week events, visit the IdEA website.