Protect Essential Funding for the Fulbright Exchange Program
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The prestigious Fulbright Exchange Program, which has fostered cultural exchange and understanding between the U.S. and the rest of the world for seventy years, is under threat. Proposed cuts in the federal budget would see a devastating drop of 47% in financial support for the program, threatening the legacy of U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, who sought to promote empathy and compassion among nations.
We are calling on the U.S. Department of State to protect this vital program for the benefit of America and its allies across the world. We are advocating for continued and sufficient financial support for an initiative that allows thousands every year to exchange ideas and perspectives in pursuit of greater understanding.
The cuts do not represent a saving for Americans, but a huge cost in terms of the lost contributions to research and industry that Fulbrighters have always brought with them. In terms of the prestige and impact of Fulbright, this decision would also come at a diplomatic price.
Regardless of political affiliation or perspective, the Fulbright Exchange Program represents the opportunity for us all to look outside of our own view of the world, to see what we might learn there, and to share our own unique perspective with those we meet. While we seem to be in a time of great division, it is through unlikely encounters and conversations such as these that we can begin to remember those things that bind us and that alloy our best endeavors into a common drive toward betterness.
Senator J. William Fulbright himself said this: "Of all the joint ventures in which we might engage, the most productive, in my view, is educational exchange. I have always had great difficulty--since the initiation of the Fulbright scholarships in 1946--in trying to find the words that would persuasively explain that educational exchange is not merely one of those nice but marginal activities in which we engage in international affairs, but rather, from the standpoint of future world peace and order, probably the most important and potentially rewarding of our foreign-policy activities."
We need your help defending Fulbright for all those who would benefit from its support in the future.
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