Tag: Hillary Clinton

Taking Black History Month to ... India?

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is apparently making good use of cultural diplomacy early in her term. Before she departed on her current Asia tour, Clinton sent a delegation of U.S. congressional representatives, civil rights leaders and musicians, including Herbie Hancock and Chaka Khan, to India to commemorate U.S. Black History Month. The group includes Martin Luther King III, who is retracing a trip his parents, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, took 50 years ago to study Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence.

Meanwhile, Hancock, Khan and jazz students from New Orleans will perform at concerts in Mumbai and New Delhi, then jam with students at the Ravi Shankar Institute of the Performing Arts. I’m pleased to see the group continue a long tradition of U.S. jazz ambassadorship abroad.

Hillary Clinton’s Peace Corps Bid

Hillary Clinton embarks on her first foreign trip as Secretary of State next Sunday, breaking with tradition by visiting Asia rather than Europe or the Middle East. The Japanese are thrilled that they’re first on the itinerary, and the Chinese are eager to talk climate change, but it’s her stop in Jakarta that’s got me interested. The State Department confirms Clinton wants to discuss reestablishing the Peace Corps program in Indonesia, which shut down in the 1960s after only two years in operation. If Indonesia supports the idea, the move would certainly bolster President Obama’s strategy to improve U.S. relations with the Muslim world and would open another valuable avenue for person-to-person exchange. 

Clinton’s stop in Beijing will likely get the lion’s share of media attention next week, but I’ll be watching the Jakarta coverage to see if she scores a small victory for public diplomacy.

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