Jo Cox Memorial Exchange Program: In August 2017, 20 young people (ages 16-24) from across the United Kingdom participated in an immersive educational experience. The Jo Cox Memorial Exchange Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State – U.S. Embassy in London and administered by Legacy International, afforded these young leaders the opportunity to explore the topic of social cohesion in the United States. The program is named after Jo Cox, a member of Parliament for Batley and Spen, who had a strong moral compass and a passion for finding solutions to end violence and discriminatory hate. Jo Cox tackled issues of Islamophobia, refugee rights, and was a champion for representing ethnic diversity among her constituents. Her tragic death in June 2016 sparked global outrage and strengthened the resolve of the international community to carry on her legacy of tackling extremism and violence and promoting social inclusion and cohesion.
Taking place in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York between August 14-28, 2017, this two-week program strengthened the knowledge, skills, and networks of the participants and supported their efforts to be active and responsible members of their communities.
- Studying a variety of intervention tools used at the grassroots level and among civil society and law makers.
- Comparing and contrasting the climate and history of hate speech and hate crimes in the U.K. and USA, and the strategies employed on the local, state and federal level to combat violence.
- Understanding the factors that lead to targeting and non-inclusion of vulnerable and at-risk populations.
- Developing advanced understanding of community engagement as practiced in the US and how similar models can be adapted for use in the UK.
- Increase participants’ collaboration regarding ways to create more social cohesion.